People Skills Integrity & Authenticity

People skills can be used for good or for evil. When we use people skills with integrity, we lift everyone to new heights of success and happiness. 

Those who use people skills for purely selfish gain, manipulate instead of influence.  They are egocentric chameleons.

I posed a question on social media: What do you think when you hear the phrase people skills? Answers varied. Yet enough people replied “manipulation, chameleon, fake” that I am inspired to write this post.

People skills are not a synonym for manipulation. The difference lies in:

Integrity & Authenticity

People Skills Integrity Shown as Mountain Spring

People Skills Integrity & Authenticity Image by: MattNJohnson

People Skills Integrity & Authenticity

It is important not to mislabel all people skills as fake. People skills filled with integrity can create possibilities that no other skill can achieve.

Being suspect of all people skills builds a culture of mistrust that demoralizes. The pessimism drains the spirit from life and the possibility out of business success.

People skills with integrity …

  • Are the bridge to understanding
  • Honor others’ ideas without surrendering ours
  • Turn divisive camps into high performing teams
  • Develop customer loyalty
  • Enable collaboration for innovation
  • Ease the pain of change & boost commitment
  • Enhance leadership results
  • Engage employees to maximum contribution

People Skills Authenticity

Authenticity in people skills seems to raise an even greater debate than integrity.

How can we be authentic and still adapt to others? Isn’t that the definition of a chameleon? Don’t you lose yourself in adapting to others?

Nope. Adapting doesn’t mean surrender nor a masquerade.

Adapting is …

  • A pause to understand, not a change in identity
  • A discovery of what is better together, than alone
  • A juncture of common ground not complete capitulation
  • An exploration of self growth not submission to a conqueror
  • A temporary accommodation to each others’ need for mutual gain

Image by: MattNJohnson via Creative Commons License.

When we adapt to customers’ needs, there is mutual gain.
When we accommodate differences in personality types, we live and work better together.
When we seek to understand team members, we lead and collaborate with greater success.
When we explore how others view the world, we grow beyond our existing limitations.

Certainly when we spot scam artists, selfish boors, and egotists that pound our spirit, we can choose not to adapt nor accommodate them. Once burned, twice learned. These folks operate without integrity. Healthy skepticism is warranted.

Yet we needn’t shut down our people skills to guard against these moments. We can combine our people skills with intellect, practical experience, and intuition for magnificent success in work and true happiness in life.

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
People Skills – Showing True Empathy
12 Most Beneficial People Skills for Success When You Have Little Power
What’s So Hot About Humility Anyway?

©2013 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

13 Responses to “People Skills Integrity & Authenticity”

  1. Carl says:

    Kate, thank you for your post
    I honestly had never equated ‘people skills’ with being manipulative or fake – I find it interesting that many of those who responded to your question see it in a negative connotation.
    For me, ‘people skills’ have always been about the ability to visualize a situation from someone else’s perspective. It also carries with it the sense of authentic empathy – to be able to connect with others at their point of need.
    Hopefully your post serves to help others see the positive aspects of being skilled in working with people.

    Best regards,

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Thank you Carl. I too see people skills as you do. The chance to grow from understanding another view has fueled my success and I think many others as well.

      SO pleased you visited here today. I hope you will leave comments on any post that sparks your interest!

      FYI: I love your Twitter handle “SparktheAction”!


  2. This is such an important post Kate. I’m happy you wrote it! : )

    From the professional side of things (when I was working as a nurse and later, as I was providing customer service/support for a software company) my people skills were vital in how I related with patients and customers. With patients who are in pain and not feeling well, it was important to use people skills in such a way that we helped make them more comfortable. So that when we had to take care of their basic needs, or perform dressing changes, etc That we did our best to not unnecessarily agitate them and make things worse, etc. Basically good people skills is good for their health. In the other setting, while yes, we want to use people skills to give customers a good experience all around because we may want repeat business, yet people skills serve so much more then that. Good people skills help us solve problems faster and easier. Which is what the customer wants. Good people skills can help de-escalate situations that could quickly get out of hand. (hot tempers) It’s a combination of using people skills for both the good of the customer and the business all at the same time.

    On the customer end of things, I’ve ran into people who are GREAT at doing business and being salesman, only to find that ‘sales’ was all it was. They didn’t care about me or my needs at all. They just wanted to make a sale. And not only did those experiences hurt me but ultimately, it hurts them and their business.

    And if there is any ‘warning’ I would love to give to people like that? For anyone in business, if you don’t genuinely CARE about other people, all your sales tactics amount to lies and manipulation. People are treated as dollar signs and nothing more.

    The people want to do business and purchase from people who genuinely CARE.

    Thanks again for another great post Kate.


    • Kate Nasser says:

      Dear Samantha,
      Your wonderful illustration through stories creates a vivid image of basic human needs. The medical field examples (which I use when I teach customer service people skills even to non medical staff) are so pertinent. Who can’t picture themselves in the hospital or medical office in pain and in need.

      As you went further and described your reaction to “salesy manipulation” I suddenly thought, I wonder how those people would feel if they were in the hospital and someone treated them that way.

      I think we know the answer to that!

      Many many thanks for your contribution here and the #Peopleskills Twitter chats on Sunday morning. You matter!


  3. Alli Polin says:

    Appreciate this post, Kate! I never thought about People Skills as being manipulative. People who use “people skills” for evil, personal gain, manipulation etc actually don’t have People Skills! Being you, authentically listening, connecting, engaging, helping etc. Those are the heart of People Skills. So glad that you wrote this post. It’s one to share.

  4. Kate! Thank you for getting me the link here..
    I can understand the how and why the responses to your question (“What do you think when you hear the phrase people skills?”) seemed to be negative. 140 characters or less, means you say what what is really important to talk about… and saying that (I know it could have been said better), what I mean is to #bealeader we need to FOCUS on the negative to cure it. Yes, evil exists. Yes, there are manipulative, egocentric, selfish humans in the big world.

    What I have found these last 3 years of being online is that WE ARE MORE. Keep writing, Kate, I will keep sharing and spreading the word!

  5. Kate,

    It has been awhile since we have engaged online. But this is the topic I am researching at the moment and YOU NAILED IT!!! You described great examples of authenticity in communication and people skills. What is often overlooked in being authentic is the value a person places on creating win-win situation and how collaboration is not about weakening personal values and convictions.

    Authentic leaders appreciate. They appreciate feedback, ideas, input, and different points of view.

    Thanks for the great article.


    • Kate Nasser says:

      Thank you so much Brock. Loved the way you put it … collaboration doesn’t weaken personal values!

      Always pleased to connect with you online. I have a new post coming out this Sunday that expands further on this topic. Hope you will add any perspectives to that post as well.

      FYI: I also run a #Peopleskills chat every Sunday morning on Twitter. 10am ET. Different topic each week. Would love your participation there and of course any ideas you have for co-hosting it.


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