What you say is what you get

You may know what you are thinking and feeling, but do your colleagues? The chances are, they don't. And that, according to the psychologist and management writer, Peter Honey, is why you don't always get your way. "You are your behaviour," he explains in his book Improve Your People Skills. "It determines the impression they form of you and the way they react to you. Your behaviour is the key ingredient that helps or hinders your relationship with other people."

Fortunately, though, it is possible to do something about this. By learning how to monitor and modify your behaviour, you can find ways to make meetings more productive, transform relationships with colleagues, and get far more of what you want at work.

Mr Honey's book, published by the Institute of Personnel and Development, has long been regarded as a useful source of practical guidance on everything from appraisals, brainstorming and customer satisfaction to leadership and team working. But perhaps most usefully, it also shatters many common myths about behaviour, showing how people can learn to prevent unwanted feelings of anger, boredom, depression, hurt, jealousy and worry.

As the book points out, badly handled negotiations can break down, criticism can cause resentment and even praise can breed complacency. But the right techniques can help people assert themselves, disagree, delegate, state difficulties or give feedback without alienating other people.

The second edition of the book, just out, includes eight new sections covering such topics as bullying, diversity, mentoring, values and empowerment. The last has become particularly widely used in recent years, and Mr Honey has trenchant views on the subject. Empowerment can never work, he says, for "people with control-freak tendencies [who] harbour major reservations about the wisdom of letting go and and thus relinquishing the illusion that they are in control (it is always an illusion!)".

The secret is "to define the constraints so that empowered people are clear about the limits to their freedom. Then, stand back and let them get on with it, providing support and guidance when it is requested and monitoring the whole process at agreed intervals".

But to do this, managers have to ask themselves some tough questions. For instance, what are the things over which they absolutely must maintain control? Who is best placed to make certain decisions? Are they truly prepared to listen and appreciate the viewpoints of others, even if they differ from their own? Are they prepared to promote other people's successes as much as their own? What benefits will they get from increased empowerment?

But, with everybody looking to enhance their effectiveness at all levels of organisations, there is a need to be well-versed in many other areas. Improve Your People Skills aims to bring together the essential principles of such areas as coaching, chairing meetings, interviewing and influencing.

But in case anybody thinks that he is a great champion of the humble employee, Mr Honey acknowledges that organisations contain many people with "annoying attitudes, from gossiping and whingeing to the downright dogmatic and temperamental". And he has written another book on the subject, Problem People - And How To Manage Them.

News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
News
people
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
artCultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
filmBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
News
Two giraffes pictured on Garsfontein Road, Centurion, South Africa.
i100
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm, actor was just 68
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
News
people
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features playground gun massacre
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Training Programme Manager (Learning and Development)-London

£28000 - £32000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manage...

1st Line Support Technician / Application Support

£20000 - £24000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider of web based m...

Team Secretary - (Client Development/Sales Team) - Wimbledon

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Secretary (Sales Team Support) - Mat...

Accountant / Assistant Management Accountant

Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an Assistant Management Ac...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices