People Skills – The Deal Maker/Breaker

Through good times or bad, you don’t have to look far to see the importance of Behavioral Intelligence or people skills. In good economies your people skills can contribute to greater proportional opportunities, and in slower economies, having superior people skills may prevent you from being the first to be let go. In fact, even in good economic times some people who were hired for their technical skills are fired for their inability to get along with others.

Whether it be getting along with team members or customers, those with better people skills will be better off in this economic climate. Some research suggests that in terms of financial and career, 85% of your success is based on how well you interact with others, and only 15% is technical knowledge.

I know of a dentist who had hired a very experienced receptionist/ administrator after receiving many resumes and interviewing a number of candidates. Unfortunately, she was “de-hired” five months later after many long-term patients complained that they found her to be rude and abrupt.

Two Main factors for Superior People Skills

  1. Seek to understand others first. Folks who are great with people interactions seem to have the understanding that their success ultimately depends on their interactions with others. As a result, they practice one of the habits Steve Covey refers to as “Seek first to understand before seeking to be understood.” Plainly said, they listen actively first, before communicating their own wishes.
  2. Speak the correct style language. Demonstrating superior people skills means recognizing that when interacting with team members, customers, or your manager, each person will be different with unique interests and communication styles. Your approach to each individual should be tailored based on your awareness of their style preference.

communicting with styleIf you have ever participated with one of our facilitators in Communicating for Team Success or RealTime Coaching, you received your own Excel Group Behavioural and Interests profile. You also became familiar with the different DISC/Colour styles, as well as motivating interests. (If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend a session or experience the profiles you can familiarize yourself with the profiles, here.) Now that you have the knowledge, the question is are you using it to achieve superior team and customer relations with the adaptation of people skills?

Well, here’s a little reminder. Be aware of the styles of your colleagues and manager, then familiarize yourself with the top 3 Do’s and Don’ts for communicating with them. Use and read body language and behavioural cues to be aware of client style preferences as well. For example, they may include a blend of the following:

For D (Red) Style: A person who is ambitious, forceful, decisive and goal-oriented

  •     Be clear, specific and to the point
  •     Come prepared with all documents and be organized
  •     Present facts logically
  •     Don’t speak too slowly or you’ll lose them
  •     Don’t leave loopholes or cloudy issues

For I (Yellow) Style: A person who is magnetic, enthusiastic, friendly

  •     Ask for their opinion
  •     Provide a warm, friendly, stimulating environment
  •     Allow time for relating
  •     Don’t muffle conversation
  •     Don’t be curt or cold

For S (Green) Style: A person who is often patient, reliable, steady

  •     Break the ice before rushing on to facts
  •     Present case in a non-threatening manner
  •     Ask ““How” questions to draw out opinions
  •     Don’t rush them
  •     Don’t be domineering or demanding

For C (Blue) Style: A person who is neat, conservative, a perfectionist

  •     Prepare your case in advance
  •     Be accurate and realistic with facts
  •     Draw up a detailed action plan
  •     Take your time
  •     Don’t be disorganized
  •     Don’t be giddy, too informal or loud

In any economy, people skills and the ability to communicate effectively with team members and clients is a big career asset. Make sure it’s one of yours.