Monthly Archives: May 2008

Great People Skills Are Essential For Lasting Success

If you want to be successful then you must have great people skills. Great people skills are rooted in being able to effectively communicate with all people; not just communicating with the ones who you think can get you somewhere. Unfortunately, this is how some people think.  They think that knowing and communicating with the right people can put them where they want to be. However, this kind of thinking makes you a fake and a user of people.  There is nothing genuine in this kind of thinking, and eventually you could possibly be found out. That could well be the end of your success! It’s much better to build a strong foundation of effective people skills as that can allow you to become successful in whichever area you choose, and even to change direction if you choose.  Great people skills are transferable!

Success is based, first and foremost, on being honest with yourself. It is virtually impossible to achieve success if you are not honest with yourself. Ask any successful person.  You must be genuine, and it begins with you. Being genuine is about knowing who you are and knowing your verbal and non-verbal behaviors. Once you achieve this knowledge, then you will be have the confidence to be genuine with everyone you come into contact with.

Being genuine with yourself demands that you understand yourself. And here’s the really great thing: once you understand yourself you can more easily understand others, and understanding others is a key component to any success.  People’s personalities differ between each and every individual. But there are similarities too! It is the discovery of those similarities that will lead you into a more complete understanding of any one particular person.  Similarities are the door to the specifics, and therefore, to understanding each individual more intimately. By understanding yourself you understand people and this will, without a doubt, bring you success.

Another part of having great people skills is the ability to express your thoughts, along with your feelings, clearly.  Many people have difficulty in expressing themselves. This difficulty sometimes has to do with fears, specifically the fear of being judged differently.  This fact, alone, hits directly at self-confidence.

The self-confident person is secure with themselves and, therefore, is able to express themselves effectively without fear of what other people might think. Moreover, when you express yourself effectively people will be inclined to express themselves more effectively with you. This exchange builds confident relationships with family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances. These are the soil in which to grow your success.

Let’s talk more about self-confidence as it relates to people skills and success. Successful people, without any doubt, are self-confident. Self-confidence is a behavior and is demonstrated, not only verbally, but non-verbally as well. Successful people interact confidently, their Body language expresses confidence, and their words are of confidence.  They know themselves and are secure with themselves.

Success, related to people skills, also requires feedback.  Successful people know something about feedback. First, they know that they don’t know everything, as it is impossible for any one human being to know everything. The successful person asks for feedback in conversations, whenever appropriate. Secondly, people will always give feedback, in their body language if not in their words. If you want to be successful, you should try to mold yourself based upon the feedback you get from these verbal and non-verbal skills.

Related to feedback is the knowledge that no man is an island. The successful person knows that they can’t exist alone and, therefore, can’t achieve success without help.  They know that life is a collaborative effort, needing everyone one of us to make it all happen.  Successful person clearly understands this fact and bring this knowledge into every one of their relations, with all people.

Great People Skills Are The Secret To Happiness

Having and developing great people skills will bring you happiness in work and in your social and private life. Great people skills tend to attract people. People with great people skills are generally the first to get promoted at work; they are the ones who have good relations with the opposite sex; they are the ones who people gather around at social events and because of these factors, they are the ones who are happier with their overall life.

The number one key to having great people skills is to care about yourself, and equally important is to care for others.  Caring about yourself is not about thinking of yourself first. But rather, it’s more about respecting yourself and maintaining a way of life that reflects that you care about yourself. When we care about ourselves we reflect that to others in our verbal and non-verbal behaviors. This is reflected in how we care for others.  Thus, caring is a great people skill brings us happiness in itself.

Caring people treat others with kindness, rather than cruelty. Kindness can mean different things to different people. However, kindness is rooted in respect for another.  This respect is demonstrated in behaviors like intently listening to the other without judgment or interruption, as an example. When we truly listen to another person we become engaged and participate in a meaningful conversation and interaction with them, aiming to developing a relationship that helps them.

One great people skill that will lead to happiness is trustworthiness. When people trust us they want to be around us because they know that they can talk to us about anything regarding their lives, knowing that what they say to us stays with us. A trustworthy person doesn’t run around telling the secrets of another, but rather keeps that information to themselves. Also, the trustworthy person doesn’t use that information against another.

Another example of a trustworthy person, but more related to honesty, is the one who finds something of value that belongs to someone else. But rather than keeping it for themselves, they do everything in their power to return the valuable to its rightful owner. When a person behaves in a trustworthy and honest manner they will most certainly experience happiness.

Reliability is another people skill that leads to happiness.  Family, friends, acquaintances, and employers want to be able to rely on us, for whatever might need to be done or taken care of. Related to reliability is commitment. When happy people make a commitment they follow through with that commitment and, if for whatever reason they can’t fulfill that commitment, they take the responsibility of letting the other know. Reliability, commitment and responsibility are all interrelated and each is a great people skill that enhances one’s happiness.

The ability to connect with others is a great people skill to have. People who are able to connect with another are empathetic and that empathy is reflected in their conversational relations, both verbally and non-verbally.  The body language of the person who can connect with another demonstrates an interest in the other and has patience, which is obviously seen in one’s body language. Their body language is presented in such a way that it draws the other in, rather than rejecting them.

Great people skills obviously rely on knowing the appropriate thing to say. Their language is not abusive or threatening, but rather it is insightful and caring. It takes account of what other people are feeling and thinking and reacts to them accordingly in verbal and non-verbal communication. Having great people skills is a real gift because it allows you to put other people at their ease; communication will be made so much easier that you are bound to be happier.

Common Small Talk Mistakes You Need to Be Aware Of

Small talk, for many people, can be a difficult undertaking, whereas for others it’s as easy as tying their shoes. Of all the conversational styles however, small talk is the most difficult to negotiate. What do I talk about? This is the basic question we ask ourselves when first meeting someone.  Another part of the dilemma is that in order to meet someone new we have to engage in small talk with them first, before the interaction can develop into a friendship. So, if you want to meet someone new you will have to initiate small talk. Here are some common small talk mistakes to avoid.

Many people, wanting to engage in small talk with another, fear that they will be boring.  And boring you might be, but it is better to take a chance on being boring than not trying at all. If you don’t try you’ll never know. Don’t worry about charming the pants off someone. Rather focus your attention on meeting them. Let go of all your preconceived notions about how another will respond to you.  If they don’t respond in a positive way, oh well. That is their problem, not yours. They are the ones missing out on you.

The most important thing whenever trying to initiate small talk with another person is to approach that person with a smile, and maybe even a hand shake. Smiles are a world-renowned ice-breaker that opens the door to practically every conversation. Smiles soften people. A handshake mixed with a smile lets the other know you are no threat. A smile sends a message of comfort to the other. A handshake sends the message of sincerity.

Take a moment to reflect on the last time you met someone for the first time. Perhaps that reflection is upon a job interview. The interviewer and yourself greeted each other with a smile and a hand shake before walking into his or her office. Not only was this an act of professionalism, but it was also an ice-breaker. Both your prospective employer and yourself relaxed more after this initial greeting. Apply this same principle to every time you initiate an interaction.

Another small talk mistake not to make is not paying attention to your body language as you make your approach.  Body language is very important in every interaction, especially when becoming involved in a new relationship. We all notice the interests of another in many situations, and when see that person approach we are looking at their body language. That body language sends us signals and messages of which we begin to evaluate. And yours does too! Become aware of your body language. Good body language will get you better results than poor body language.

Asking close ended questions is a big mistake. The answer should be obvious. A closed question gets a dead-end response. And once you get a dead end response you will be standing there trying to recover and come up with something else.  Not listening is another small talk mistake. Small talk can be fun, interesting and engaging, but it requires one to listen, even if the small talk may seem boring. If it seems boring keep listening, because small talk has a tendency of taking turns. Small talk can go off into a variety of places and never sticks to any one for a long period of time. The more you listen the more involved you are able to become in the small talk. And small talk can get quite relaxing and funny at times. Perhaps, this is what small talk is about: relaxing and having fun!