Simple Ways to Build Your Personal Skills
By Sandy Schroeder
We all know people skills count wherever we are, but sometimes we forget to use them. When projects surge and deadlines multiply, we sometimes forget to focus on the people part of the job to make everything work.
The better connections that you have with the people around you the better you will do. As I look back over a lot of different projects, I see how people who understood people made the difference. When people feel valued, and they share daily jokes, coffee and complaints, they grow to understand each other. Out of that understanding comes the solid support that every project needs.
Forbes talked about the value of people skills recently, citing Dave Kerpen, author of The Art of People: 11 Simple People Skills That Will Get You Everything You Want.
Here are a few of his tips for building relationships and making richer connections.
Ask really smart questions - When you meet someone new, ask probing questions like, “What is your most exciting project and how did it come about?” Going right to the heart of the matter often gets people to talk about themselves as you quickly get to know them better.
Take the time to share coffee - When someone offers you a glass of water, tea or coffee, accept it and take a few minutes to just sit and talk. By graciously accepting their offer you put everyone at ease and start off on the right foot.
Establish some personal trademarks - Pick something that you really enjoy, a special color, hat, or glasses that really says who you are. Use your trademarks to stand out as you meet people, and remember to watch for their trademarks to remember what was special about them.
Be authentic online and off - Wherever you can, strive to project who you really are. Being real online and off builds trust. When all of the messages match, people begin to feel they really know you and can believe what you say. In contrast, if you have a lot of different messages out there, people may not know what to make of them and which to believe.
Always follow up - When you meet someone important, or have a great interaction in a meeting, follow up with a note or small gift to let them know that you thought it was special. A small hardy green plant or paperweight might be a good reminder of the connection.
Try a few of these people skill tips. If they work, keep using them to support all of your other efforts on the job.
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