Interpersonal Skills for Leadership (2nd Edition)

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9780131173439: Interpersonal Skills for Leadership (2nd Edition)

This practical resource provides an introduction to interpersonal skills theories which are reinforced through experiential activities. Coverage focuses on the development of the basic interpersonal skills necessary to become a successful leader. Addresses such topics as: skills in journaling; methods for less stressful and more rewarding lifestyles; active learning; critical-thinking skills; service learning; communicating online; active listening; nonverbal communication; perception; self-concept and self-esteem; time management; and cross-cultural communication. For use as a guide for servant leadership professionals.

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In the decade since ideas for this book were first developed and earlier editions were published, much has happened, but much has stayed the same. Effective skills in interpersonal communication are still essential for successful leaders. This book is designed as a practical resource providing an introduction to interpersonal skills theories that are reinforced through experiential activities. Previous versions of this book have been field-tested nationally by well over 30 faculty and over 1,500 students. Their feedback has allowed us to refine the text into what we believe to be one of the most practical, useful interpersonal skill texts available.

The ability to be in command of one's own life, to relate well to other people, and to lead others in positive directions is a valuable commodity in the exciting and changing time in which we live. Our futures are more than ever bound to those of other people, both the neighbor next door and the business colleague around the world. Likewise, the fear and uncertainty caused by terrorism and war have heightened our awareness of the lack of understanding of each other around the globe. The pace of living is fast, and huge quantities of information are available to us in the blink of an eye (or a tap on the computer keyboard). Electronic devices for communication—everything from e-mail and cell phones, to an array of gadgets—are having major impacts on our professional and personal lives. Still, the measure of one's success depends, as it always has, on our dealings with the people beside whom we walk on the fast track and whom we engage in information exchange.

For all its burgeoning possibility, or perhaps because of it, the world must still deal with incivility, violence, discord, and distress. Even the seemingly minor stresses of daily life—a malfunctioning teller machine, traffic jams, long lines at the food market—are not easily resolved with superficial solutions. Both leaders and followers can make their lives and the lives of those with whom they live and work less stressful and much richer through the exercise of good personal skills. Time devoted to learning to listen well, to act with commitment and vision, to value yourself and your capabilities, to handle stress and conflict, to communicate with trust and empathy, to lead wisely, and to truly value others is indeed time well spent.

For these reasons, we offer this book as a guide to developing interpersonal skills that will serve you well in all aspects of your life-on campus, at home, in the community, and in the workplace.

We acknowledge colleagues across the country who provided invaluable scholarly contributions to this text and extend to them our sincerest thanks.

We also welcome you to these pages, in which we hope you find a true reflection of yourself. Practice what you find here in whatever ways best suit your needs; we wish you every success as you test your leadership wings. May you fly high and happily.

We encourage you to use this text as a workbook, selecting and augmenting to fit the particular needs of teachers and students in leadership education. We hope this book meets your needs and we welcome your feedback.

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