The accelerating pace of change in the work place is mirrored by a need to re-evaluate how management operates and communicates with the work force. "A manager with excellent people skills will leave every interaction confident that both parties have understood each other," explains Sue Bishop, author of the Complete Guide to People Skills. She concedes that although agreement may not be possible on every occasion, the need for mutual understanding is paramount if goals are to be met. The key to this is solid communication, something Bishop believes is a skill to be learnt ­ not a gift we are born with. "Organisations who hope to survive will be customer focused. They will be challenged and motivated by change. They will also have to be creative and able to anticipate and even exceed customer expectations. This will involve everyone," says Bishop. "Instead of the traditional manager knows best' style of controlled supervision, people-focused leadership is now required." This means being able to communicate effectively at all levels. "Today's manager will not just walk the job, but talk the job and he will need an armoury of people skills to get the best from his team. The communications skills required by today's managers and team leaders differ greatly from the days when boardroom decisions were imposed on staff." So what are the qualities needed in today's management? They need to be people who believe in themselves and trust their teams. They will have clear and positive outcomes in mind ­ and yet have the flexibility in pursuing those aims. "It is important to realise that success lies not in winning' ­ sometimes at the expense of others ­ but in concentrating on the needs, opinions and feelings of the other party to help them achieve their outcomes too." {{PEOPLE MOVES }}