People Skills: the Secret to Success

We all have those friends. You know, the ones that make you feel like a million bucks when you’re around them. You always leave the conversation feeling better about yourself and thinking better of them. And you’re not the only one. It seems as though everyone thinks highly of them.

There is a certain skill set not taught in schools that can be the difference between a picture of success and a dead-end job. These skills are called people skills. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t come with a certain personality type. People aren’t born with them, although they come more naturally to some people than others. They are skills that become mastered with practice.

So below are some of the most important skills to master. They are easy to do, but so easy that many people don’t do them. It’s a shame. Because here’s the thing: these are some things that could be the difference between becoming a millionaire and becoming another face of the masses.

1. Smile. I cannot stress just how important this is. When you’re meeting someone, greeting someone, or even just making eye contact from a distance, smile. This is subconsciously telling that person that you mean well. You are not a threat. This lowers their walls and allows them to open up to you more. And you know what happens about 95% of the time? They smile back. Smiling can release endorphins that can cause feelings of happiness. They now associate feelings of happiness whenever they see your face.

2. Use their name. People like to hear their own name. It sounds like they’re full of themselves, but it’s the truth. Use someone’s name when you’re talking to them. As long as it’s not awkward, try to use it three times throughout a conversation. You’ll be more likely to remember their name next time you see them.

3. Make eye contact. Okay, so don’t stare at them like you’re having a contest to see who will blink first. Just make enough eye contact to where they know that they have your attention. People like to know that they’re being heard. Most conflicts that turn into heated arguments come from people feeling as though they opinion is not being heard. Don’t keep checking your phone or staring off over their shoulder.

4. Ask them questions about themselves. Don’t just talk about yourself. Show that person you are interested in them. Find out where they’re from, what they do, about their family, etc. This tells them that you think they are worth getting to know, and most likely they will reciprocate and want to learn more about you. Most the time, people will come away from they conversation with a high opinion of you, even though they did most of the talking.

5. Compliment them. But don’t be fake about it. People can smell insincerity from a mile away. Find some quality about them that you can genuinely complement them on, whether it’s their personality (“Wow, you’re so personable!”), something they’re wearing (“Those earrings are so cute!”), or an inference you can make about something they’ve told you about themselves (“You must be so organized to do that job!”). 

So there you go. If you aren’t already doing these 5 things, start doing them today. In today’s day and age, a friend can be the difference between overwhelming success and mediocrity. You’ll be amazing where those people skills can get you in life.

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Credit: benwhitephotography.com