Fierce competition and changing strategies in the financial sector are raising awareness of the vital role of interpersonal skills in business success. This change is charted and it is explained how financial organisations need to ensure that the “soft” issues such as values, behaviour and interpersonal skills go hand in hand with the traditional “hard” elements of strategy and objectives. At present, in many financial organisations the “soft” side is clearly out of balance, lightweight and undervalued. Six key skills are identified: relationship building, collaboration, trust, listening and learning, the “what” and “how”, and results orientation. Interpersonal skills training is not only about raising awareness but about actually changing the way people behave. It must be specific and reflect an organisation′s culture and values. Finally, it must be consistently applied across an organisation at every level to ensure success.
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