As a consultant and trainer, I see the lack of interpersonal skills – or personal qualities as the number one reason for conflict, and poor leadership in organizations. The trouble is that most people aren’t aware of the importance of these qualities and fail to recognize their own short comings in these areas. In a world where everyone is crazy, the sane people start to look abnormal. With interpersonal skills, it is much the same. Poor behavior becomes the norm and it has grown in social acceptance. However, it still leaves dysfunctional tracks in organizations, and families.
A business associate forwarded a link to me on Personal Qualities not measured by tests http://www.docstoc.com/docs/33016765/THE-LIST-Personal-Qualities-NOT-Measured-by-Tests by Gerald W. Bracy. Mr. Bracy was inspired to create this list from a paragraph written by Robert Glaser of the University of Pittsburgh for the National Academy of Education in 1987, occurring in NAE’s critique of a plan to “restructure the National Assessment of Educational Progress simply stating that the human qualities that we value the most are very difficult to assess”. Mr. Bracy lists 26 personal qualities.
Receiving this information was timely because I also recently attended the Association of Governing Boards conference in San Francisco where several speakers including keynote Robert Reich spoke of the failure of the public school system to educate the whole child and overemphasis on standards and assessments. Indeed the modern-day de-emphasis on the arts, cultural activities and even sports programs for financially strapped urban school districts has devastating consequences for lifelong success of these students.
I’ve selected 15 personal qualities from the list that everyone, from schools to business organizations, may find desirable.
- Critical thinking
For me, these qualities I have listed strike a personal chord because they were taught to me by my parents when I was a child. They were reinforced in school by teachers because we were graded on things like “citizenship” and “behavior” which were largely subject to interpretation by the teachers. I carried these qualities into my higher education and throughout my career. They have served me well.