According to the Portland Business Journal, people skills are described as: understanding ourselves and moderating our responses talking effectively and empathizing accurately building relationships of trust, respect and productive interactions.
A British definition is “the ability to communicate effectively with people in a friendly way, especially in business”
Successful people usually have great people skills, especially people in leadership and management roles. Effective communication is often a big challenge in business no matter what the company. Developing great people skills will assist you in communicating and understanding the employees or customers you are trying to lead/manage. We are talking in a business context but good people skills transcends business, social and personal relationships. People skills are also known as soft skills, life skills or interpersonal skills. It’s unfortunate that most individuals don’t invest time in developing these skills when they are equally as important as product knowledge and education. Here are a few tips to improve your people skills:
Learn to Listen
Listening is different from hearing, listening involves understanding non-verbal communication and verbal communication.
When you genuinely value people’s feelings and ideas, they will reciprocate and feel that they can trust you.
In our multi tasking world it’s so easy to become distracted, we are constantly checking notifications of the latest tweet or emails. How many meetings have you sat in and being checking your phone at the same time? Start paying your full attention to the situation you will be surprised what hidden agendas and opportunities you will spot!
Learn to Relax
When we are nervous we tend to talk faster and fidget. Being tense is also visible in our body language which is a huge part of communication. These non-verbal signals can give clues and additional information and meaning over and above spoken (verbal) communication. You have to let your confidence shine through, make eye contact and smile.
Acquire a win – win attitude.
“We live in a very competitive society. There is almost always a winner and a loser. But this does not have to be. Especially, when it comes to business, you do not want your customers to feel that you sold them something they did not want. You want them to feel that they purchased a great product/service at a great value and that you helped them. Focus on converting every situations into a win – win for everyone involved and success will be the by-product.”