Are you book smart or people smart? Do you have a higher IQ or PQ? People skills are also known as soft skills, interpersonal skills, or social skills are one of the most underappreciated aspects of your career success. So in this article, I decided to go through my research and outline the ten essential people skills I think every professional should know.
Now before I teach you the skills I want you to first test yourself in each skill. I want you to know where you stand before hearing all the skills. So pause reading and go to the link to find your strongest and weakest people skills.
People Skill #1. Socially Assertive
Do you stand up for yourself in social situations? Are you assertive with your social needs? Social assertiveness is essential for conserving social energy. We only have so much social energy to spare. If you are socially assertive you’re able to save and spend your social energy in the right ways. If you lack social assertiveness your energy is wasted on the wrong people in awkward situations or not aligned with your social goals.
People with high social assertiveness have more focused on social energy and have more clarity in their interactions.
People with low social assertiveness…
Feel out of control in social situations
Are addicted to people-pleasing
Have more toxic people in their lives
People with high social assertiveness…
Are able to set up boundaries
Stand up for their needs
Are able to say no.
People Skill #2. Craft a Memorable Presence
Are you memorable do you make a strong first impression? Do people remember your name after meeting you? People with a great presence have an easy time making lasting connections and are extremely good at rapport building. Your presence has a direct relationship with your ability to create lasting personal relationships and build a network. If you have a strong presence people gravitate towards you. Remember you better and are more likely to want to work with you.
People with a weak presence…
Struggle to get clients or make friends
Frequently deal with people forgetting their name
Feel awkward in many social interactions
People with a memorable presence…
Leave a lasting first impression
Have a robust network
Quickly build rapport.
People Skill #3. Be a Master Communicator
Do you enjoy public speaking and presenting? Specifically, are you comfortable communicating your ideas to large groups? Master communicators know how to present themselves and effectively get their message across.
Tend to think they’re unworthy of attention
Avoid sharing their ideas
Cannot get by in on their opinions
Are underappreciated for their hard work
Master communicators excel at…
Communicating big ideas to big groups
People Skill #4. Sustain Lasting Confidence
Do you ever feel socially anxious? Everyone feels a little bit of nervousness in some social situations but the question is can you overcome your social anxiety? People who can sustain lasting confidence are able to conquer their shyness and avoid awkwardness. They might have internal strategies or mantras to get them through their anxiety or they have socialized enough to overcome any nervous tendencies.
People with high social anxiety…
Avoid social situations even if they would be beneficial for career goals
Feel awkward and trapped
Get stuck in their own head during interactions and conversations
People who can sustain social confidence…
Are able to excel in most social situations
Feel awkward and are able to overcome it
Feel more excited than anxious when socializing
People Skill #5. Be an Excellent Conversationalist
How do you get small talk in my book captivate? I talked about the idea of Big Talk, this is when you level up boring predictable small talk into a deep memorable conversation. I believe that most interactions happen on three levels…
The first five minutes.
This is your first impression and when you decide if someone is worth getting to know it can happen professionally, romantically, or socially. This level is the front door can you get invited inside someone’s inner circle.
The first five hours.
Once you’ve made it past the first level you get to have a first meeting, first phone call, or first date. This is when you move past first impressions into rapport building.
The first five days.
This is the final level you want people on this level. He would be happy to do a weekend road trip with. It’s the ultimate level of trust and connection. This could be romantic with a partner but it could also be with a long-term business partner or best friend.
Conversation is the key to moving up these three levels.
People who struggle with conversation…
Run out of things to say
Do not know how to open a conversation with someone
Have lots of awkward silences
Know how to engage in memorable conversation and keep it going
Can easily get past small talk into Big Talk
Use conversation as a tool for everything from a poor building to socializing to flirting to sales.
We have a free, yes free course, on the three steps to an amazing conversation to get you started, visit https://www.scienceofpeople.com/conversationalist to grab your copy.
People Skill #6. Highly Likeable
Would people describe you as likable? Is it easy for you to get people on your teams or influence others to your point of view? Likeability is an important facet of trust we like people who we feel are showing us their true selves. Psychologist Carl Rogers described a concept called self-actualization, which speaks to how closely people show their real selves compared to their ideal selves.
People who are not likable have…
Trouble getting people to listen to their ideas
Feel they have lots of potentials but rarely act as their ideal self
Frequently feel left out or like the odd man out
Highly likable people…
Are highly respected and often asked to join in on team’s social engagements and groups
Feel their ideal self and real self are closely aligned
Are asked their opinions by others
People Skill #7. Exceptional at Decoding Emotions
Would you consider yourself highly perceptive? People who are good at reading people are exceptionally strong at knowing how others think and feel. Decoding people having a strong sense of intuition and being very empathetic are the emotional intelligence aspects of interpersonal intelligence. When we look at interpersonal intelligence or people skills. There are three main branches emotional intelligence is how intuitive or empathetic you are, social intelligence is how you translate your emotions when around others as well as how responsive you are to their emotions, intrapersonal intelligence is how well you know yourself your social needs and your boundaries everyone has different strengths and weaknesses.
In different aspects of interpersonal intelligence people who struggle with decoding struggle with empathy have…
Trouble reading and interpreting body language and facial expressions
Often miss social cues
People with exceptional decoding abilities…
Can speed read people and their intentions
Are very good at interpreting body language and facial expressions
Are very intuitive
People Skill #8. Pitch your ideas
When people ask you what do you do, do you know exactly how to pitch yourself well? When you have to pitch yourself or your ideas, can you do so confidently? Pitching is a very important skill for professionals because it happens all the time. Not just at networking events with your elevator pitch, but also during every meeting when you’re asked your opinion, in emails when you introduce yourself, and even on conference calls.
Now I know it is never easy to brag about yourself but you should be able to generate excitement around your ideas. Here’s the big question when you talk about yourself, can you get people excited to work with you?
People who struggle with pitching themselves and their ideas…
Feel anxious when talking about themselves
Undersell or minimize their successes
Miss opportunities because they feel undeserving or afraid to speak up
People who are great at pitching themselves…
Can get people to adopt their ideas
Feel confident pitching themselves without bragging
People Skill #9. Be Charismatic
What is charisma? Most people think that you have to be born charismatic. I couldn’t disagree more while I was doing research for our flagship course, People School, I found that charisma is the perfect blend of two essential people skills traits, warmth, and competence. We talk about this more in the course, but here are the basics.
People who are highly charismatic…
Are seen as highly warm they are approachable trustworthy and likable
Are seen as highly competent — they’re seen as dependable capable and knowledgeable
People who are not charismatic…
Are seen as cold or intimidating people — have trouble opening up trusting and getting to know them
Are seen as flaky or shallow people do not depend on them easily
Are only warm or only competent without both, you’re not considered charismatic
My team and I developed a charisma quiz based on charisma research. See where you fall on our charisma spectrum with our free charisma quiz https://www.scienceofpeople.com/charisma
People Skill #10. Be an Influential Leader
You do not have to be leading a company or president of an organization to be considered a leader. Leaders in both work, life and social life are able to get by in rally teams and generate camaraderie. I do not believe the opposite of a leader is a follower. In fact, sometimes it’s great to be a follower. When you’re learning something new or to be taken on an adventure. It’s almost impossible to be a leader if you struggle with one of the three As.
Do you love your life? Do you wake up to the day excited? Apathy is when we have a lack of enthusiasm or interest in our lives or the things we do. Leaders fight apathy by choosing to be around people or do activities that truly excite them.
Ambivalence kills relationships. If you’re ambivalent about the people in your life or the activities in your life you will never be able to be a leader. I believe that ambivalence is the root cause of frenemies.
Leaders have a direction, they have goals plans and strategic paths. This guides their actions making them more purposeful and helps others to follow.
Leaders dight the three A’s.
Leaders harness and build on excitement. They save their energy for people and tasks that truly matter to them.
Leaders know who’s on their team and who isn’t. They pick people to have in their lives they truly enjoy leaders make plans.
Leaders are driven in their thoughts and action and encourage others to follow.
Begin to fight the three A’s in your life. Start with the ones that most resonate with you. Do you need to get rid of some ambivalent relationships? Do you just set a plan for yourself? Do you need to find activities that truly excite you? This is how you can become a leader.
Bonus People Skill: Be Productive.
I have one bonus people skill for you. I simply had to include this skill because it has come up over and over again for our students. When our students join People School, we ask them a simple question, “What skills are you currently missing that are preventing you from achieving your goals?” Over and over again, our students give us specific interpersonal skills like the ones above, charisma, communication, confidence. But our fourth most popular answer, productivity.
Specifically, our students say…
balancing time management
I realize this is a bonus people skill because interpersonal intelligence takes determination, motivation, and follow-through to hone. Developing your PQ or people skills is just as important as your IQ. We need a systematic way to practice our people skills to be more successful and achieve our goals. This is why I develop People School for you.
People School is an intensive 12-step program to advance your people skills. This is a completely online training geared towards high achieving professionals who want to level up their career success. Learn more about the program right now at the science of https://www.scienceofpeople.com/Pschool. I personally read every single application and I would love to meet you and have you in class. I hope to see you there.