Someone asked me yesterday about people skills. They asked, “What I would do to improve my people skills?” Really there is only one answer to this question. Get off your ass and go meet new people. Life is a bunch of trails and errors, we just need to master the art of never giving up. The only way to improve on anything is to take action. Get out of your house and go meet people, shake hands, laugh, talk. Do not be afraid of what people think about you. There are enough people in this world that will like you, do not harp on those who don’t.
The key to talking to people and getting them to like you is being yourself. Do not fake being you, it can be very dangerous. I call it the social media effect. If you were to go to your facebook wall or your twitter wall you would probably think you’re perfect. Don;t make that mistake when out meeting and talking to people. Do not set unrealistic expectations to live up to. Be you, that way you’re always comfortable. I know it sounds cliche to say “be yourself”, but that really is the only and best solution. People will respond to a good honest person better than a person they sense cannot be trusted. Remember this the next time you are out and about.
To get you started, there a few tips I want to share about people skills that I have learned.
- Learn to listen: This is very important because it allows us to assess what has been said and form a reasonable and educated response. People love a good listener.
- Pacing is important: This goes hand and hand with listening. Control the pace of the conversation and you will never feel overwhelmed. There is nothing worse than feeling lost in a conversation.
- Be engaged: Give the person you are talking to your undivided attention. Make eye contact, show some form of engagement that you are actively listening to them, do not let any distractions get in the way of your conversation. If you do need to answer your phone, politely excuse yourself from the conversation.
This should get you started on the right foot. The number one issue holding most people back is fear. Take some time to practice with family members, in the mirror. Every opportunity you get to work on your skills. Take it! Go be you!