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If you are leading your organisation or department, you will already be aware that the department’s culture, ethos and training environment start with you. It’s your behaviour that will determine how tasks are approached, right down to the delivery level.If you are not at the head of the hierarchy, this may be less obvious but the first place to start is still with yourself. If you don’t know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there, you will find it harder to convince others and take them with you, whether they are your direct reports, your own manager and directors of your company, or people who aren’t in your management line at all but on whose co-operation your success depends.Your own behaviour is the one thing that you have direct control over. You can influence other people, you can persuade them, you can motivate them with carrots (usually financial) and sticks (shouting and ultimately firing) but you cannot control them as you can control yourself. If you want your manager to adopt better people skills, you will need to get his buy-in, find a way to make it easy for him, and make sure it stays at the top of his priority list. If you want to adopt better people skills yourself, you can (within reason) simply decide to do so.Taking the time to build your own skillset is an absolute pre-requisite to helping your team to improve theirs.

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