11 Insights on How to Improve Your People Skills

In every industry, it has proven that the most profitable skills to have, after the required technical skills, are good people skills. Whether you engage in professional networking on a regular basis or are just focused on building a small business, you are still going to need some critical interpersonal skills for building and maintaining significant relationships. Two of my favorite books in this category are Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends And Influence People and Keith Ferrazzi’s Never Eat Alone.

I highly recommend you read both of those books.  Here are eleven insights to help you with you with your social skills. These are an excerpt from the chapter on Relationships in my book The SHARK Belief Success Code.

1. Smile

Sounds simple but most people don’t do it often enough. It’s especially important to smile when you first meet someone or if you want to make yourself approachable. Smiling makes you more attractive to others and you’ll also seem more trustworthy and approachable. Smiling is contagious and others will usually smile back at you so give it a shot.

2. Remember their name

A person’s name (or whatever they like to be called) is the sweetest sound to them and also their favorite word. I’m always impressed when someone remembers my name, especially when I barely know them or when I can’t remember their name. It shows respect and awareness for others when you take the time to remember and use their name which in turn will make you more respected and memorable.

3. Listen

It simple and we’ve all heard it before, but when someone else is talking, just listen. Resist the urge to cut them off and jump in with your comments. Rather, actively listen to what they are saying and paying attention to the conversation will make you an excellent conversationalist even if you don’t say much!

4. Compliment and Praise Others

Make it a habit of pointing out and saying good things about other people. Recognize other’s strengths or attractive attributes and point them out. If someone has a new car, compliment them on it. If you notice some has a new haircut, point it out and make them feel special. However, people don’t appreciate flattery and false praise, so make sure you’re genuine and sincere when complimenting others.

5. Focus on the other person

Speak about what they are interested in. Ask questions and show a genuine interest in others. The majority of people like to talk about themselves and their interests more than anything else. If you give them this opportunity, they will enjoy talking with and being around you. They easiest ways to do this is by asking them questions.

6. Gratitude

Show sincere appreciation for others. This is especially important as a leader or influencer. I’m always amazed by how powerful a simple thank you note or phone call can be. If you’re mindful of others and show a genuine appreciation, you will be amazed at how much others will be willing to do for you. Also, wouldn’t you rather be around someone that shows sincere gratitude for the things in their life over someone that is constantly complaining?

7. Be Agreeable

You know those people that like to argue with everyone and contradict ideas or point out flaws? They always have to be right and make it a point to prove others wrong. Don’t be that person! When having a conversation, it’s okay to be agreeable and let others have their way from time to time. Sometimes, you just have to go with the flow.

8. Try to see things from their point of view

Let’s face it, not everyone is going to agree with your or share your opinion. During times of difference, do your best to see things from their point of view before jumping to conclusions. You may gain a new perspective or insight as to why some people see things a certain way which will make you an even better people person.

9. Allow others to save face after making a mistake

Never criticize someone in public or in front others. There will be times when you’re offended or when people fail and let you down. Let others save face and dignity by keeping your critique or dissatisfaction a private matter between you two. Berating someone in front of their friends or coworkers will almost always gain you a permanent adversary. People find it hard to forgive when they’ve been publicly humiliated.

10. Use Humor

Don’t be so serious all the time. People like to laugh and have fun, so learn when to crack a joke or even make fun of yourself. It shouldn’t be excessive but it will certainly make you more enjoyable to be around if you remember to keep things light from time to time.

Added Bonus!

I shouldn’t have to say this but unfortunately, it is a huge reason some people struggle when interacting with others so it must be said. Be mindful of your own personal hygiene and appearance. Simple things like body odor or bad breath can be a huge turn-off and a distraction to others. Beyond just smells and appearance, make yourself easy to be around. I’m not saying to not be your authentic self, but simple things like showing good manners, wearing clean and presentable clothes and personal etiquette play a huge role in likability. It’s all about being self-aware and mindful of how others perceive you.

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