Four Practices for the Best Professional People Skills

Ever meet someone who is very good with people – all different types of people?  In the workplace you see their professional people skills shine in various situations.    You wonder, “What makes them so successful with diverse people and in widely different situations?”  Look more closely or speak with them and you will find the best professional people skills develop from these four practices.

As you read each point, note one thing you do well and one thing you will do to improve.

Practices: Best Professional People Skills

  1. Know Yourself Very Well. Your social style/personality type. Your hot buttons. Your fears. Your pet peeves. Your odd quirks that bother other people. Your natural talents. Your work ethic. Your definition of a happy life. Your definition of success…
  2. Observe and listen to others. This is the critical step for developing outstanding professional people skills.  Observe and listen in order to constantly learn more about other people.  The data you collect is the fuel and the guidance system for successful interactions.  Those with outstanding professional people skills are always learning about others!
  3. Practice Flexibility. Most people interact with others by treating them the way they, themselves, want to be treated.   Unless the world is full of clones, this will not breed great interactions. 
    The best in professional people skills use the data they have collected about others to adapt to others.   To do this you must believe flexibility is a sign of strength not weakness.  Flexibility is a skill that allows you to work with diverse people in a wide range of situations. 
    Most importantly, do not mistake flexibility for indecisiveness.  The best in professional people skills use flexibility for successful connections with others – and achieve tangible results.
  4. Flexibility & Balance for People Skills Image by:Lady_K

  5. Achieve Balance.
    How balanced are you in your professional people skills?

    • Balance your drive for action with empathy for others’ needs.
    • Balance honesty with diplomacy to communicate your message clearly without brutality.
    • See the details that others focus on while compiling the big picture.
    • Balance your knowledge and expertise with input from others.
    • Know when to push ahead with your thoughts and when to pull back to deliver your thoughts at the right moment.
    • Balance your need for bonding with respect for others’ need for independence.
    • Deliver even the toughest news with respect for the humans involved.
    • Lead change with inspiration and grit.

Think of all the applications of the best professional people skills.  Leaders who can inspire both morale and great results.  Soaring sales when you connect with customers and understand and meet their needs.  Successful, cost effective, and timely completion of projects from clear communication & teamwork.  

Professional people skills build trust and collaboration that deliver results!

I have noted 4 practices above.  Is there a 5th and 6th?  What would you add?

Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach delivers workshops, keynotes, consultations, and DVDs that develop your professional people skills. See this site for more information and what others have said about her sessions.

8 Responses to “Four Practices for the Best Professional People Skills”

  1. Great post Kate with a great list. If I were to add a fifth item it would be that people with great professional people skills genuinely care about other people….and it shows. They demonstrate it in their passion for providing a great product or service, by making the person the are working with feel that they have their full attention and support, and are wiling to share what they have to help someone else be more successful.

    People with great professional people skills make great leaders, team mates and friends because we believe we can count on them and they rarely let us down.

    Thanks for taking the time out of your holidays to share some of your best people skills tips with us.


    • Kate Nasser says:

      Great addition Joan – truly. Genuine caring is the fabric that holds it together. Many thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience. Happy HHOlidays to you and your entire family.

  2. Millie Sigford says:

    Just as you say, I have watched some people easily interact with others at work. Am always challenged by this very thing.

    I never realized that they were collecting information and data that helped them know how to communicate.

    This is something to think about and try. Wonderful post. Thank you.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      So true — and many people are not aware that there are so many cues you can use to then select the right approach to interact. Glad you found this post helpful. I truly appreciate your visit to this blog and your comment.

      Warmest wishes,

  3. John Spence says:

    Kate – a superb post, excellent advice. Actually, Joan above beat me to the punch – if I had added a fifth it would have been around making the other person the center of your universe while you’re talking to them. It is an old and clichéd saying, but the best way to be interesting… is to be interested! I would also suggest that people with great professional people skills learn to quiet the chatter in their mind – they are not thinking of a story to top the other person’s story, or a quick comeback, or how to show the other person how smart they are… The total focus of their attention is on the person they are talking with and what is important to them.

    As always, really good information in your post – anyone who wants to be more effective in their interpersonal communications would do well to study this list carefully. Thank you so much Kate – have wonderful holiday season – my best to you, John Spence

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Sounds like a trend is emerging John. I agree with you and Joan. I wonder if the other readers will agree.

      Many thanks for the kudos on the post. So glad to see it has value in the eyes of others.
      Warmest wishes for a healthy, happy, and peaceful holiday.

  4. Jeanny House says:

    Thanks for this list. It’s a nice snapshot view.

    I might add two things:
    1. Be a person of your word. If you say something, make it true. Assume others are doing the same.

    2. Cultivate your curiosity. Get genuinely interested in other people.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Integrity & curiosity are great contributions to this list Jeanny! Hope you will add to any post of your interest on this Smart SenseAbilities blog.

      Many thanks,

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