People Skills: What Are They And Why Are They So Important?
People skills encompass your Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ) and Soft Skills.
Both of these are essential for building strong personal and professional relationships. Let’s take a look at what they each involve:
Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ)
EQ includes the ability to:
- Identify your own emotions, including understanding what you really feel, and why you feel the way you do.
- Manage your own emotions and mood especially in difficult or stressful circumstances.
- Use emotional information to guide your thinking and behaviour.
- Accurately recognise and evaluate emotions in others and respond appropriately.
In day-to-day life these abilities might translate into the capacity to stay calm under pressure and to maintain a resourceful mood. They also encompass being approachable at any time, recognising stress or upset in another and being able to say how you feel without blaming someone else or your circumstances.
At our very core we are emotional beings
The empathic abilities of your EQ can lead to success in all areas of life. Many studies have been done that show that the world’s best leaders rely on their EQ, rather than their IQ to gain positive results. After all, organisations are made up of us emotional humans. Even if you don’t aspire to leadership, the very same skills will give you the career creds you need to work confidently and effectively in a team or with customers. These are the same skills needed to build and maintain effective personal relationships.
Perhaps it would be useful to explain ‘hard’ skills first!
Hard skills is the common term for the technical aspects of any job, the specific, teachable skills that can be defined and measured. They are often contained within the functional part of a role; accountancy qualifications, fluency in a foreign language, knowledge of particular applications, etc.
Soft skills are less tangible but applicable across a range of functions, activities and roles.
They include the following abilities:
- Good oral and written communication.
- Influence and Persuasion.
- Self motivation.
- Self confidence.
- Relationship management.
- Presentation skills.
- Conflict Management and resolution.
- Taking action.
- Decision Making.
- Learning ability.
- Setting priorities.
- Valuing diversity.
- Sense of humour.
- Teamwork and collaboration.
- Listening skills.
- Integrity and trust.
- Insightful questioning.
- Giving and receiving feedback.
Phew! That’s quite a list!
Why are people skills so important?
Look at the lists above again. These are the skills and traits that make relationships (personal and professional), teams and organisations successful.
Need I say more?
These aren’t all innate abilities
Most people have to learn and then hone these skills, either through training or experience – and making mistakes. The good thing is that they can be learnt. Even better, most of the training I facilitate covers many of the skills listed above.
If you’re interested in developing your people skills and learning more about how you or other people ‘tick’, I’d love you to join me on one of these training courses.
You can also download my free report, How ‘Soft’ Are Your ‘Hard’ Skills – Why REAL People Skills will open doors you didn’t even know were closed.