These days, skills and experience are not the only essential things when it comes to succeeding in the workplace. Whatever work you do, it’s crucial to work well with others and even have good relationships with them. In other words, become a people person. Frankly, it’s easier said than done, especially in the middle of a pandemic, where almost everything is done virtually. That said, it’s totally possible to become a better people person even in these challenging times. Here are the people management skills and how you can apply them to your daily virtual work life.
Having good communication skills means you can share your ideas with clarity, get others to listen to you, and get along well with others. With the virtual work setting, it might be harder to communicate well. You can’t convey body language via emails and chat platforms, so it can be difficult to tell the emotion of your coworkers. This is why it’s important to say “please” and “thank you” when talking to people online. It’s also helpful to clarify if they understand your message clearly, and explain it again if they don’t.
It’s also crucial to schedule regular meetings with your team. Make sure that everyone is aware of the team’s goals and progress.
Interest in Others
Even though the team progress is regularly updated through the team meetings, it’s still necessary to check up on the team members individually. Since you don’t see your coworkers face-to-face, it’s hard to tell when anyone is having some issues. The solution would be to ask them directly. Ask them questions like how they’re doing, what obstacles they’re facing, and make sure to help them solve their issues if there’s any.
Ability to Listen
In becoming a people person, listening to others is more important than talking. Listen to people without interrupting, and carefully think about what they said and how you want to reply.
Sometimes people don’t have the courage to speak up in virtual meetings. Encourage them by regularly asking if anyone has an opinion, and remind them that every idea matters and will be taken into account.
Being open-minded seems to be commonly misunderstood lately. Having an open mind means being open to accepting new ideas and realising that there are things that you don’t know. When someone suggests an idea, think about it carefully, even though you already have something else in mind. Schedule a meeting to discuss it with them, in case you can work out a better solution together.
Empathy is understanding someone else’s feelings and being able to see things from their point of view. When a coworker is going through a difficult time, show them compassion. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself, what would you need if you were going through the same thing?
In this new normal era, many things can go wrong during working hours. Not everyone has a comfortable and quiet home to work from, and it’s harder to maintain our mental well-being these days. So don’t be too hard on your coworkers when they can’t attend meetings or deliver decreasing performance, for instance.
Become a person that people can easily talk to. To do this, give your full attention when someone talks to you, even when you’re busy. This improves the quality of your relationships.
In the virtual work setting, you can be more approachable by telling your coworkers your working hours so that they know when to expect a response. Make sure to be online during these hours to ensure that no message is left unanswered for too long.
Trusting your coworkers that they are doing the best they can is the key to having mutualistic relationships with them. Even though it’s hard to keep track of everything when you’re working virtually, there’s no need to check on everyone every few hours. Trust them to do their jobs, but make sure to give them guidance when they need it.
Taking the PPL course during online learning is certainly not something to be happy about, but it’s manageable with the right people management. In working on our project, we keep good communication by regularly having meetings to talk about the assignments or even work on a problem together.
We also express our gratitude by saying thank you when a teammate has helped us, and we help each other when needed. Here’s hoping we can keep up good communication until the end of the term.:)
This post is written as an assignment for the PPL course at the Faculty of Computer Science, UI.