Polish Your People Skills

Polish Your People Skills

You prefer working with things rather than with people. You like to be alone in your corner doing your job. You work well autonomously. While you score points for these, you’ll get more points for the essential skill of relating to others or for your people skills. Did you know that 85% of your career success depends upon your people skills, while only 15% of your technical skills account for the rest of your success? Yes, employers value people who relate and communicate well with others. The only difference between people who communicate well and readily and those who don’t, is practice. You can do something to better your people skills–read on…

  1. If you’re shy, consider joining a public speaking club such as Toastmasters.
  2. If you’re looking for ways to practice, get out there and network with others.
  3. If you’re not interested in small-talk, notch it up a bit during conversations: ask relevant open questions to find common ground with the other person.
  4. If you’re simply the quiet type, get out of your comfort zone and be more verbal.
  5. If you’re unsure how to begin, learn and apply active listening skills.


If you’re an introvert, you may need to refuel before going gangbusters in social situations. Take frequent breaks from the group and come back ready. Smile more. Make eye contact. Shake hands firmly. Use peoples’ names more often. Be curious–take an interest in other people. Build your presence. It will pay off because you’ll feel more comfortable in social situations, people will feel at ease around you and you’ll reap the benefits of greater credibility and trust in the workplace.

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