People Skills For Success

by Lesley

mconnors 2It’s great to see Forbes writer Jacquelyn Smith highlight the social skills recognition we need in a modern, working environment in her post “The 20 People Skills You Need To Succeed At Work” – I couldn’t agree more!

You’d expect that we all possess those skills, simple as they sound – and inherently I believe we do – but for many reasons they’re often battered and bruised beyond recognition and we’re forced to re-learn them – or stay stuck in the traumas which caused them.

Here’s the Forbes list of 20 social skills for success;

  • The ability to relate to others
  • Strong communication skills
  • Patience with others
  • The ability to trust others
  • Knowing how and when to show empathy
  • Active listening skills
  • Genuine interest in others
  • Flexibility
  • Good judgement
  • The ability to persuade others
  • Negotiation skills
  • The ability to keep an open mind
  • A great sense of humour
  • Knowing your audience
  • Honesty
  • Awareness of body language
  • Proactive problem solving
  • Leadership skills
  • Good manners
  • The ability to be supportive and motivate others

I’m delighted to see the profile of personal development being raised; and I’m certain that Social Media interaction, has influenced this. On reflection I thought of a few more skills which would be on my list, so will add them later.

After ten years in Personal Development on the Human Potential side of things, it’s only now that I see these highly valued skills being openly identified and actively promoted. These are the softer skills which don’t appear on the surface, to have any return – but it’s being shown now how far out, that opinion has been. Until recent times, there has been little promotion of inter-personal skills – or how to find and build those talents. Sure there are those who motivate well like Tony Robbins, but not every business can afford to buy in his workshops, to develop their team.

Team building isn’t just about bonding your staff members, it’s investing in your people; it’s about helping them to help themselves be the best they can be, in business and in life.

Most of the skills on the above list are directly related and linked to trust; trusting others, relating to others, good judgement and problem solving, – but that’s assuming that everyone has the same, or similar value-set and outlook or vision – and no agenda to abuse power, when in fact we know that many internal disputes are caused by bullying and /or personality clashes.

These things also have to be clearly identified and worked upon, to help you succeed with your team and in general, in business.

Everyone of us is acting from our own set of experiences and beliefs – some will have worked through the issues, others won’t. Some will have become rigid in their mind-set, while still more don’t even trust themselves, so are incapable of trusting others.

Combining the skills of active listening, interest in others, keeping an open mind, negotiating, persuading and encouraging, are inextricably linked to having compassion – which is sometimes emphasised by its absence in the business world.

To gain fresh perspectives and new ideas, we must look at how we actively promote generative or divergent thinking – and look into creating environments where it’s safe to experiment and learn.

The only criticism I have for the list is that it loosely presumes that people are balanced – sorry to say though, that’s not always the case.

Balance comes from working on the self from the inside out – finding out what triggers our trauma or what makes us tick – discovering more about ourselves and where our motivations come from. It arises from a need to deeply know the self.

Balance comes from leveling out the negatives and positives; to find an equilibrium for life.

The ability to honestly reflect on our actions and the impacts they cause, is something we must also trust ourselves to do.

That means being confident and authentic in our every thought, word and action.

To achieve all of this sounds like a lot of investment both in time and energy – but it’s time well spent.

Transformational Training geared to your team’s needs can be simplified and easily experienced by having team building days designed to develop your team. Experiential personal development lasts a whole life through – transforming old beliefs, negative thinking and ‘bad’ habits, with new and positive experiences to reflect upon, for the rest of our lives.

So what would I add to the Forbes list for Success?

  • Respect
  • Authenticity
  • Self-awareness
  • Mindfulness
  • Accountability
  • A clear conscience
  • Promote & encourage generative thinkers

Success is defined by many but I like to keep it simple. Success in my book is measured in mastering myself; to be the best that I can be in any situation, to know my limitations, to be confident and accountable in my choices and decisions.

Having a clear conscience is a symptom of our growth.

Confidence arises from having skills and the knowledge of self-capability – or self-efficacy, as its becoming more commonly known. True self-confidence comes from integrating all of the list above and becoming fully you; the person you are happy to be – that’s success.

All of this and more can be found in Spiritual First Aid – Finding Balance on Amazon

Breakthrough sessions for professionals are regularly held in the Glasgow area or can be arranged for your team at a specified location.

About Lesley

Lesley Rodgers has written 146 posts on this blog.

Personal Development Consultant and Confidence Coach. Lesley is also a committed Human Rights Activist with her heart firmly lodged in 'community' and collaboration.


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