As social beings, we rely on each other for support with our mental, physical, and financial well-being. We are innately hardwired to desire human contact and are constantly seeking it out via in person and virtual interactions. While most of us are equipped to adequately engage with others, there are a few certain people who are exceptionally talented at it. These are the people who seem to effortlessly relate well with those around them or dominate a setting with the vitality of their presence. They are the fortunate ones who have the people skills needed to achieve whatever they want in life.

Good people skills are most often a learned behavior that evolve over time and with the appropriate modeling.


To sharpen your people skills, work on becoming more…

Observant. Being able to interpret people’s attitudes and behaviors by carefully studying them.

Approachable. Assuming a friendly, welcoming, pleasant, and affable manner that encourages others to want to connect with you.

Confident. Possessing the self-assurance required to interact with individuals in diverse and meaningful ways.

Enthusiastic. Showing a keen interest in the people who come into contact with you.

Understanding. Realizing and conveying a sense of compassion for other people’s feelings and needs.

Caring. Demonstrating authentic concern for others and a willingness to lend them a helping hand.

Attentive. Making others feel special by paying attention to their individual desires, comforts, and concerns.

Trustworthy. Conveying to individuals that you are earnest, honest, and dependable…that you won’t let them down.

Respectful. Treating people with a high level of deference and consideration to their well-being.

Genuine. Presenting yourself to others as being sincerely open and legitimate, not phony.

Continue to strengthen your people skills by working through the following steps until they become a natural part of who you are.

(1)  Identify people around you who have exceptional people skills. Learn from them by observing their techniques as they interact with others in distinct situations.

(2)  Adopt the techniques that best fit your needs and role play them until they become a comfortable part of who you are. Despite a certain amount of “acting” during the initial stages, be genuine before revealing them to others. Most people can detect when someone is being insincere.

(3)  Individualize your interactions with others based upon their age, gender, culture, appearance, and nonverbal cues. Given these differences, be sensitive to their demeanor before addressing them. Gauge your initial and consequent approach to impact the likelihood of a positive outcome. The onus is on you to control the exchange.

(4)  Monitor your progress as an essential way to continuously improve. For each significant encounter, evaluate what went well and what did not. Determine what you might have done better and put it into practice for the next opportunity. Make it an ongoing learning experience.

Never underestimate just how much your interplay with others can affect your success. Sharpen your people skills, and you will thrive in all aspects of your life.


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