Developing your People Skill for easy ISO Implementation & ISO project management.
There is no point denying it, many of us don’t welcome change with open arms especially when we are so used to ‘the way we do things’ and so any form of change is usually met with hesitation. Heck! who likes extra work!?
This attitude poses a great barrier to implementing any ISO management system Standard in an organization. Following the requirements of the ISO 9001:2015 QMS for example, we see the emphasis on the active engagement of process owners and top management in its implementation process and so there is no way extra activities will not be assigned to every employee to successfully implement this system. The challenge will then be getting people to own and commit to the procedures required in making this work, and to overcome this your people skill will be tested!
Using the ISO 9001:2015 QMS as a case study, we see that this new version comes with some changes that requires hitherto held processes to be improved upon and this leads to the question, how do I convince my colleagues that the processes they thought was working needs to change!? This means that the processes that your company employees have been using is more often than not acceptable to the ISO 9001 requirements, and so some small additions need to happen to improve the process due to some new requirements.
Now this supposed herculean task can sure be surmounted with a good interpersonal skill, but the question then is what really is an interpersonal skill? And how can it be fully maximized to enable a successful ISO Certification implementation?
Most managers and employees usually display the term ‘good interpersonal skill’ in their resumes and conversations, but I bet a quarter of them really understand what it entails.
Interpersonal skills or People skills simply means a set of abilities that involve working with other people. In a professional context, it can be defined as attributes that are used to understand what motivates employees and how they use their knowledge to achieve the best results. This definition aptly shows how important this skill is in any business operation and certainly in implementing any management system.
Embedded in an excellent interpersonal skill are the following; emotional intelligence, communication, self-confidence, tolerance, openness to feedback, conflict resolution, body language, relationship management among others.
For the purpose of this article, all these features come into play and I will briefly explain 2 key ones. To act with emotional intelligence is to notice feelings, pay attention to them, give them significance, think about them and take them into account in choosing what to do. This applies to both our feelings and those of others. Hence in convincing your colleagues to give extra time in ensuring a successful ISO implementation, you cannot avoid applying your EI to seamlessly get what you want from them.
On communication, you have to consistently update your colleagues and never assume everyone has gotten the same information. Practice a positive nonverbal communication by being an active listener which shows respect and admiration and not neglect an effective verbal communication which includes when to speak and how to speak which should be confidently and cordially.
By committing to developing these skills and more, your organization will not only have a seamless and successful implementation activity, but there will also be an increase in performance and productivity of the employees.
To the project managers, lead implementers and the Executives, there are no alternatives to effective communication and good interpersonal relationship in a work place.
By Temitope Udom
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