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Having Good People Skills Will Enhance Your Career
By Mercedes Alfaro, President, First Impression Management

When you master your people skills you will discover the benefits of building rapport with others.

Let's be honest, no one is born knowing how to relate to others.  If we are lucky, we somehow learn these skills as we group, but then maybe not.  But if you are in business, your technical skills got you through the door; your "people skills" will determine the level of your success.  

When you master your people skills you will discover the benefits of building rapport with others.  Here are some of the basics:

Smile: A smile shows that you are confident and you like yourself, you like your current place in the world and you're happy with the people you're interacting with.  No one will say you're crabby if you're smiling.

This seems very simple, but it's amazing how people's moods and words are misjudged because they look too serious.

Be a good listener: Encourage others to talk about themselves.  When you are nervous, you think you can hide it by talking incessantly about ourselves. People interpret this as being arrogant.  When you listen to the others you make them feel important, that you like them.  As a result they like you in turn.

Therefore, if you want to develop people skills, you really don't have to say much at all.  Ask open-ended questions and let the other person begin talking.  Look them in the eye, nod your head periodically, say "uh huh" a few times, and suddenly you'll find you're the best conversationalist.

Look co-workers in the eye:  Every time a person begins talking to you, look them in the eye and smile first, then get on with the conversation. Also, when you enter a meeting room smile and look around at everyone. If you want to start talking to one person ? or even a group ? come up to them and smile.

Call people by their name: A person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language. You can never say someone's name too much. In fact, mention their name at least three times during your conversation.  

Keep in mind that the proper rule of etiquette is not to call a person by their first name until they ask you to.  This is a sign of respect and they will remember you in a positive light.  

These are just a few ideas to get you off to a good start. Try them, and you'll be getting along with your co-workers in no time.



Mercedes Alfaro is president and founder of First Impression Management, a national business etiquette training and consulting firm, helping individuals to excel in all aspects of their professional presence, online at www.firstimpressionmanagement.com or at 561-395-0256

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