People Skills – Dealing With People: The Good and the Bad

Unless you have decided to never leave your house for the rest of your life, everybody needs to learn at least some form of people skills. Because most of us do leave our homes and must come in contact with people every day of our lives, the development of proper people skills is essential to living a more enjoyable life. As soon as you walk outside your house you are bound to come in contact with at least one person; it’s just a fact of life and learning to live harmoniously with all the people you meet is extremely important.

There are those in the world whom need to develop and practice people skills more than others. Any person who works with the public will not make it far I that job unless they understand the benefits of how to deal with people skillfully; anybody who works in an office with co-workers also need to learn the essentials of developing good people skills.

To some this very important skill comes naturally; they don’t have to think about it; they just act upon it. To others, however, it’s not always that easy; it is something that has to be fine tuned and practiced daily. The fact that some people in this world are just not so friendly is not an excuse to set aside your people skills and treat those people unprofessionally or rudely. It can be a challenge but it can also be a blessing in disguise.

Having worked with the public for most of my adult life, I became acutely aware of how some people are just naturally not very nice people. I learned very quickly that these types of people feed on negative feedback. One of the many people skills I developed was to always look them in the eye when I spoke to them; I put myself on their level and often times this would give them a different perspective. Another trick I learned was to put myself in their position; see myself on the other side of the counter; I learned to be empathetic and sympathetic to their needs and complaints.

It is somewhat of an art fine tuning your people skills; it takes practice and patience and often you find yourself biting your tongue in the process. It’s not only how you speak to people, but how you interact with them as well. Basic manners and etiquette play a key role in developing the art of people skills. These skills have to become natural as there is nothing more irritating than coming in contact with somebody who is faking a smile or gesture.

We learn people skills, if we are lucky enough, from our parents and teachers. We develop those skills as we come in contact with more people on a daily basis. It is, in fact, an ongoing process and one never really masters the art; they just improve it as life goes on.

The key element in perfecting your people skills is learning how to listen to whom you are in contact with. You can’t just listen; you must hear what they are trying to say. Allow them to voice their thoughts and then you can reply calmly and logically without having a heated confrontation. Life, in all its dimensions, is so much more enjoyable if you can perfect your people skills in everything you do.



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