10 Ways to Improve Your People Skills

Armando Gomez
from http://www.askmen.com/money/career/28_career.html


Moving up in the workplace means that you have to keep up with others by improving your skills. And no matter how much you improve your technical skills, your social skills are the ones that will eventually land you that promotion and ensure you're always remembered.

Everyone needs to fine-tune their abilities to speak and interact with others. You don't need to work in the service industry as a store clerk or as an office receptionist to be up to par with your social lingo.

get your name out The main goal here is to interact with others and let them get to know you, and ultimately like you. Nobody fancies a mute employee that makes a habit of staring at their computer screen for half of the day, shunning the human species.

To help you understand the importance of being a sociable guy, I have compiled a list of 10 tips you should follow if you want to improve your people skills. Remember that being good with people does not only imply that you have a gift for the gab, but that you know what to do with it.

1. Speak Clearly
Your communication skills determine how people will perceive you, after your appearance of course. You can easily look like a million bucks, but if you're unable to stitch together a few words to make up an adequate sentence, you'll lose major points.

An eloquent man is more likely to get far in life because he is capable of making the most of his conversations. He can beautify, amplify and impress his colleagues with his million-dollar words and witty comments.

2. Have Something To Say
Don't assume that just because you're saying something, people will listen to you. If you tend to blurt out anything that comes to mind, then people won't place much weight on whatever you have to say.

The best thing to do is roll your tongue twice before asserting yourself.

3. Understand People
It is of prime importance to understand that people have different upbringings and backgrounds. That's why Europeans tend to refuse an offering the first time you ask, even if they want to say yes.

This is just a prelude to comprehending that we are different and shouldn't judge others based on a simple glance. You have to be able to disagree with someone, and still work together to be productive.

4. Influence Your Peers
Having a difference of opinion with someone can push you to persuade him to see things your way or sell him on your perspective. But if you're still stuck on the same point as you were at the beginning of the conversation, then you haven't convinced him of much.

It's hard to get people to radically change their point of view and adopt yours, especially in a group. So the best approach is to alert others of your view on things and open them up to the idea. Then, on a personal level, it will be easier to convince them and bring them to your side of the ballpark.

5. Fix Problems
Conflict is not a bad thing in itself, as long as it doesn't turn into mayhem. The point of an argument is to settle on an improvement of the current situation. A win-win scenario is preferable, but don't be hardheaded and refuse to comply even if you're sure that you are entirely right. As long as the company profits from the decision, everyone wins.

6. Always Keep Your Cool
Emotions often get intertwined with logical arguments during heated discussions, which seem to blur our sense of clarity. If you feel your blood pressure rising when you disagree on a topic, take a second to breathe and put your emotions aside, as they may clutter your logical train of thought.

If you see that the other person is clearly pushing your buttons in order to make you lose it, then simply walk away and resume the conversation at a later time, but not without telling him what you think. (No need to start with the "mama" jokes.)

7. Don't Be Afraid To Change
A stubborn man will remain so all his life. But nothing says that you can't bend or shift your views a little to smooth things out.

If you're going head to head with your project manager about a specific task, make the most of his comments and listen to what he has to say. Remember that what's best for the company might not necessarily be best for you.

8. There's No "I" In Team
Learn to be a team player if you aren't already, and you will get a lot more done. Compliment others on their good work, and they will likely do the same to you.

This is a good technique for maintaining a positive work environment and maintaining clear communication channels.

9. Be On The Ball
People will always have different opinions about matters, but this doesn't mean that nothing positive can come of them. You have to learn to adapt to people and play with the dynamics of the conversation. Learn to react quickly.

10. Have A Plan
Like with anything in life, you have to be prepared. I don't care how good you are at on-the-spot schmoozing, you must have some general thoughts to guide your thinking process during conversations.

Approach everyone in a different manner, whether it be someone you're meeting for the first time, an old friend, or your boss. There's no need to actually write your plan down, but you must give it some serious consideration beforehand.

unleash your skills The main idea, when it comes to people skills, is that those around you must like you, or at least respect you. If they think you're a schmuck who blows a lot of smoke, then you're a lost cause. So always have something smart to say.

On the other hand, remember that nobody wins from making negative comments to another person, no matter how angry you may be. Like my mother used to say: "If you don't have anything nice to say... shut up!"

Go to: Research findings on what leads to career success

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Armando Gomez


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