The Secret of Effective People Skills
You have the talent. You have the education. Getting your first job or freelance assignment is exciting, indeed. But do you have strong people skills?
Consider this scenario. Cynthia is an accomplished graphic artist. She undoubtedly has talent that is rare. Projects seem to always come her way. But as the months go by, her clientele starts to drop off dramatically. Instead, they go to her competitor, Alice.
Why? Alice understands that doing the work is only part of the equation; she knows it also takes strong people skills.
While Cynthia argues with her clients over concepts, and the logistics of how things should be done, Alice listens to what her customers want and works with them, not against them.
She builds a reputation as a dependable and friendly professional, while Cynthia angers most of her clients by being obstinate, and condescending.
"I make progress by having people around who are smarter than I am and listening to them. And I assume that everyone is smarter about something than I am."
--Henry J. Kaiser, American Industrialist and Shipbuilder
As successful as Kaiser was, he knew he had limitations on business knowledge. He was open to ideas and opinions outside of his own, and gladly accepted advice and counseling. If a multimillionaire like Kaiser understood this basic principle, how much more should we take this to heart?
Whether you are a freelancer or part of a firm, the simple rule of getting along with people can make a difference in your work environment or business.
Some experts refer to people skills as emotional intelligence, and believe that these set of attributes are inherent in people who posses strong qualities of EI:
- Social Skills
Conducting a business does require a personal touch. The next time you meet with a client offer a friendly handshake, a smile, and an open ear as well as your abilities and talent.