Your Altitude

Updated: Nov 14, 2019

In my work as a human development specialist, I often come across employers who are fed-up with employees who are not pulling their weight in their various positions and job responsibilities.

It seems that few employees are meeting, let alone exceeding their employer's expectations on the job. As an employer of labour myself, I am often tempted to join the band wagon of those who complain about how many people want to get paid but do not want to work for their pay. However, I have come to understand that the foundation for personal and business success lies in your ability to understand yourself and understand others.

Improving your people skills is the single most important thing that you can do as a leader, manager or employer. Attaining an excellent set of people skills is the key to practicing good communication and achieving successful, productive working relationships with your staff.

For us to have productive working relationships, we must have motivated team members. Anyone who knows the motivating principle will understand that you cannot motivate other people and that all people are motivated. Your employees or team members will do things for their own reasons and not for your reasons. So how do you get them to have the right reasons for doing what needs to be done in order for the team to be successful and productive?

To this end, I will highlight a number of things that as an employer, one should look out for when head hunting for highly motivated team mates.


When interviewing a candidate, does the candidate's appearance show that he or she made an effort to look the part for the job?

Do they look like their conscious of the position and the organization that they are being interviewed for?

What clues about their character can you pick from their appearance?

Is the candidate careless or does he or she appear to pay great attention to detail?

If you were to sum up the character of your chosen candidate based on their appearance, what single word would you use?


When meeting someone for the first time, their manners will speak louder than their words. The candidate who walks into your office and dumps their handbag on your desk or sits down before he or she is invited to do so is likely to leave a sour taste in your mouth.

How courteous is the person whom you are planning to include in your team? Will this person constantly step on other people's toes because they lack basic tact and common courtesy?

Remember that etiquette is consideration, common sense and convenience. Nothing more, nothing less.

A considerate person who applies common sense in their interpersonal relationships will be much easier to work with and to supervise than one who does not.

You also do not want to hire a staff who lacks confidence and has insecurity issues. A secure person does not need to put others down, run them down or pull them down in order to feel superior or climb the so called corporate ladder. These sort of behavior could lead to dysfunctions in your team dynamics.

Body Language

When hiring, especially for professional staff positions in your establishment; take note of your candidate's posture, polish and positioning.

What does their body language say about them? Are they nervously twiddling their thumb? How often do you manage to make eye contact with the prospective team member? How was their carriage as they walked into your office? What was your very first impression of the individual when they sat down in the interviewee's chair?

Experts believe that body language accounts for 55% percent of our communication with others. As an employer, it will yield great dividends to understand how non-verbal communication works when interviewing a prospective team member.

If a person knows more about you than you know about them, they can control the communication process. And if the person knows more about you than you know about yourself, they can control you. This works even during the interview process.

Communication Skills

A candidate who has developed their vocabulary, knows how to properly pronounce words, and knows when and how to use those words will possess high levels of confidence. Confident people are the type of people that you want on your team. That teammate's voice will become a valuable asset to your organization.

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