The Importance of Developing Effective People Skills
How often have you felt like a misfit or felt alone in a group or social set up while many others seem to be enjoying the company of others? Have you ever been avoided or alienated? How would you feel if no one pays attention to what you say? Learning and using good people skills is the only way to avoid being in such least desirable situations.
A famous proverb says, “Man is a social animal.” Our lives indeed revolve around communicating or interacting with others in one way or another.
All of us have some basic needs like being appreciated, loved and respected and so on. When we meet these needs of others we are able to get along with them better and life becomes much easier.
Description of ‘People Skills’
The ability to mingle with people and getting along well with people of all ages is one way of describing people skills. Being able to interact with others on both personal and professional levels and achieving positive results through these interactions is also called people skills.
In reality you cannot expect to get along with everyone as every individual has his or her own likes and preferences that may or may not be to your liking.
There is bound to be conflict along the way due to the clash of individual tastes and behavior that you may find uneasy or difficult to deal with.
This is where people skills come into play which can be developed through constant effort.
Portland Business Journal describes people skills thus:
- understanding ourselves and moderating our responses
- talking effectively and empathizing accurately
- building relationships of trust, respect and productive interactions
Examples of Good People Skills
Social Life: Respecting other’s feelings and interests and showing genuine interest in their views and trying to understand them with a friendly approach. Try to understand the issues of people from different ethnic, cultural and educational backgrounds and help them overcome their problems with meaningful dialogue and also promoting adjustments wherever necessary.
Workplace Teamwork: Participate actively in group activities and encourage your team members by extending your help and earn their trust through your honesty and abilities. Take responsibility and raise questions on processes or policies without crossing limits.
Managerial: With proper leadership qualities, you can explain your points convincingly and be open to other’s ideas and suggestions. Make the employees feel respected and resolve any conflicts through more interactions and clear explanations of rules and the importance of cooperation towards the ultimate benefit for all.
How to develop People skills
It takes dedication and constant effort to develop people skills as it is an ongoing process. Business and other leaders heading large organizations try and sharpen their people skills on a daily basis.
The following are a few definite ways for anyone to improve people skills:
Be a Listener: Many a time, we just hear and do not listen to what others say. If you really listen to people you can get a few clues about the point the person is trying to get across to you. Note the voice tone and body language which can convey their trust in you or how serious they are about the point of discussion.
Good Communication: Usage of correct and respectful words and avoiding any unpleasant words or actions are the signs of a good communicator. With a better communicator there are no arguments.
Be credible: Always keep you word. It could be returning mail and forwarding a request or being there if you have promised. This shows that you genuinely care for them. Value the time of others and be punctual as it shows how much you respect them. Never talk in a negative way about others and discourage loose talk.
Be Flexible: Never be rigid about your expectations with others in your personal life and expect them always to be on your side. Relationships can flourish only if you allow personal space and respect for individuality at all times.
Self Help Books: Last but not the least, there are a slew of Self Help Books on developing people skills that are written after extensive research and experience. “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie is a great book that has relevance even today.