When my children were young and we were talking about what they should do for a living, I said there are many options but gravitate towards careers that require great people skills. They will pay the best and be the most rewarding.
Interacting with people is so simple but most of us are not very good at it. By applying the following skills you can increase your people skills and maximize your business and personal relationships.
People love to hear their name. Use your friends, colleagues and customers’ names when you are speaking with them. When in a group and relating a story don’t say “He was out in Vegas last week too” while talking to your friend Jim and Bill and referring to Bill. Say “Bill was out in Vegas last week too” This may sound like a minor item, but it’s powerful. You are being so much more personable using Bill’s name and not the generic He.Try it this week.
Eye Contact is Paramount.Most people are uncomfortable looking others in the eye, especially for an extended period of time. Good eye contact endears others to you and allows them to “connect” with you. There is only one way to get rid of this uncomfortable feeling. You have to do it over and over again. After you practice this long enough the uncomfortable feeling will go away. Start doing this when you are at the Mall or a sporting event. Don’t look away until the other guy or girl does. It helps if you have a friendly look on your face of course. People will remember you and notice you if you can deliver great eye contact.
Get others talking about themselves. There is no better way to make a new friend then to ask them questions about their children, work, hobbies and interests. The trick is you actually have to be interested in them. Fake attention here will rarely work. How many people do you know that don’t even listen to others conversations? They sit there and wait for an opportunity to say something they want to say or turn the conversation toward them? This is a very irritating quality and will alienate the group you are with. Remember, if you want to master your people skills; Make it all about them, not you!
Asking others for their opinion.People who have their people skills mastered will draw others in by asking for their opinions. This shows that you care about them enough to want to know what they think.
Be Positive! People want to do business with and hang out with positive people. Everyone can feel the energy and excitement from a person who is positive and having fun. I have a very difficult time being around a negative person. The negativity saps my energy and I need to get away and do other things. Negative comments are never going to take you where you want to go. But how can you be positive all the time? Let’s say you are at a fine restaurant with two other couples and the steak you ordered is overcooked and tastes bad. You may be inclined to rip the waiter, express your disappointment with the horrible chef and demand to speak with the manager. I would suggest a calm low tone, ask the waiter to recommend something else you would like that does not take long to prepare. In a group outing like this it’s more about the enjoyment of the group and the evening out and not about you. You will be much more respected for your calm and cool demeanor. This is especially important in a business dinner.
If you can master these aspects of dealing with people you will not only have a more fun and engaging personal life, but your sales skills and customer relations will soar.
Here are the action steps I recommend we all concentrate on and practice. Yes, this stuff takes practice, especially when you are tired or not feeling your best. Let me know how this is working for you.
Take action on this today.
+ Use people’s names as much as possible. That includes getting waiters, bartenders and secretary’s names. If you have a difficult time remembering peoples names associate the new person you meet with someone you already know. It works great!
+ Use eye contact. Be friendly, but stay on those eyes longer than you think you should. Practice this. If you get a negative response say something like “I’m sorry I thought you were someone else”
+ Get others talking about themselves. Ask them questions along with follow up questions.
+ Ask others for their opinion. People love to add value and express their point of view. Many people will not take this step without your first asking. They will appreciate the fact that you did.
+ Be Positive. Good positive energy is addicting to most people. Bring it to every get together and business meeting. You will energize the whole group and they will be glad you did.