Strong People Skills = Career Success

Having trouble getting ahead at work? Research reveals that the higher you go on the career ladder the greater the likelihood that obstacles standing in the way of your performance, productivity and advancement are your own problematic behaviors and bad habits. In fact, it is estimated that 80% of those fired from their jobs are let go because of an absence of strong interpersonal skill rather than a lack of technical skill. Therefore, the higher a person goes in an organization, the more significant it is that their people skills (or lack thereof) will ultimately determine how far they will go in their career.

Below is a partial list of people skills that can help you achieve greater success at home and work. Invest in yourself, your relationships and your career by identifying the skills that may represent areas of growth for you!

Understanding others – It can be a challenge to slow down and take the time to better know and understand your coworkers, but it’s worthwhile.

Personal awareness – Knowing your own strengths, limitations, blind spots, communication style, etc., can help you become more aware of how you impact or influence others in both positive and potentially negative ways.

Identifying and resolving conflict – Knowing how to manage your emotions, stay focused on a specific challenge, seek mutual understanding, and brainstorming possible solutions in an effort to achieve a win-win outcome can significantly increase your value to an organization.

Communication – Some of the most important communication skills involve knowing how to actively and reflectively listen, refrain from dominating discussions, and speaking in a clear and concise fashion.  These skills can go a long way in decreasing misunderstandings and improving trust and respect among colleagues.

Empathizing – Seeing things from another person’s perspective promotes good communication and conflict resolution. Put yourself in their shoes in order to fully understand their needs and what it takes to work with them effectively.

Influencing – Instead of demanding certain behaviors, try setting the example and showing people the benefits of a particular method of accomplishing projects and promoting teamwork.

Expressing thoughts and feelings – Differentiating between what you think and how you feel is critical to maintaining professionalism. Transparency and appropriate sharing of your thoughts and feelings makes you approachable.

Mediating – Maintaining objectivity will help you succeed, especially if you can be a calming and rational voice of reason during disagreement or conflict.

Delegating – Not only does this skill relieve you of some work, but it gives others an opportunity to step up and contribute. Giving responsibility to others shows confidence and trust in their ability. It’s a compliment.

Assertiveness – Being able to make yourself heard and understood in a respectful way is a big step toward success. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need.

Live, Work & Relate Well!

Dr. Todd


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