6 Indispensable People Skills that Will Help You Reach Your Dreams

Part 5 of the 5-part series - How to become the CEO of Your Life

As a recap, we’ve examined some of the qualities that good CEOs possess. We learned that successful CEOs aren’t born – they are developed, and that we can develop the same qualities in our own life to help us unlock more of our personal potential.

So far, we’ve explored 3 of 4 groups of qualities we need to grow in to become the CEO of our own life – Success Mindsets, Personal Character Traits, and Productivity Skills. Now we’re going to look at one of life’s most valuable sets of expertise – People Skills

If you haven’t read the first four articles in this series, you can read them first here:

 

Relationships are the Bedrock of Every Business

Success in life and business is formed around relationships. Building and maintaining strong relationships doesn’t happen by accident – it involves skills we can learn and grow in over a lifetime. Good CEOs don’t get to the top and stay there without becoming masters in the art of people skills.

“Personal relationships are the fertile soil from which all advancement, all success, all achievement in real life grows.Ben Stein

 

When it comes to productivity, you want to make sure you are producing the right things that will take you in the right direction. Many people are busy, which gives them the illusion of being productive, but at the end of the day they aren’t seeing the results they really desire. Having a clear vision helps you eliminate non-productive busyness.

6 Indispensable People Skills:

  • Communicates well

  • Good Listener

  • Great at Negotiating

  • Judging people on strengths, not weaknesses

  • Kind, personable, likeable and approachable

  • Good at fostering partnerships and alliances

1 – Communicates well

Both life and business are filled with different relationships. Every relationship revolves around some form of communication. The better you can communicate, the stronger the relationship, and smoother your interactions will go.  If you want to live like a good CEO, you should strive to excel in the area of communication.

In the last post, we looked at how CEOs are visionaries – their vision won’t go far if they don’t learn how to communicate it so others can catch the vision and do their part in making it come to life.

Here are 7 ingredients good CEOs use to communicate well:

  • Body language – When communicating with someone, your body language speaks volumes! If you want an open exchange, then make sure to keep your body open and relaxed – no arms crossed or foot tapping. You can make the other person more comfortable depending on your own stance. You also want to keep a confident body position – no slouching, fidgeting, looking down, or avoiding eye contact.
 
  • Open-ended questions – Nothing ends a conversation quicker than asking a yes or no question!  If you want to communicate on a deeper level, make sure to ask open-ended questions that give that person room to answer with more detail than a yes or no answer.
 
  • Assesses the relationship – a good communicator can gauge how to share with someone depending on the level of relationship they have. For instance, you can talk differently with a regular customer than you do with a new one.
 
  • Appropriate Tone – You can get your message across using the correct tone based on the situation.  There are times to speak casually and times to speak with a more serious tone of voice so others understand the importance of the situation. This doesn’t mean being loud or aggressive, but serious and assertive.
 
  • Confirms they are understood – When communicating something important, it’s a good idea to get the person you’re talking with to repeat back to you what they think you want. It’s dangerous to assume somebody automatically understands what’s in your head! Don’t forget everyone filters things differently.
 
  • Respect – Good leaders communicate respectfully. They don’t talk down to others and are willing to assess the way they’ve communicated and correct it if the person doesn’t understand them, rather than getting frustrated and belittling them.
  • Good with different methods of communication – Today people need to learn to communicate in many different ways, including public speaking, personal interactions, written forms like text and emails. It’s valuable to become proficient in each area of communication.

2 – A Good Listener

Communication must go both ways – speaking and listening. If CEOs aren’t good listeners, they will miss out on important clues from their team and customers. Also, they will lose the respect of others around them. Here are 3 important listening skills they use:

  • Intention – They listen with the intent to really understand the other person, not just waiting for their chance to speak. They value the relationship and what that person has to say.
 
  • Attention – This is about respect for the speaker.  Creating eye contact, and acknowledging what was said with gestures like nodding or short comments to show understanding or empathy.
 
  • Confirmation – They confirm what they think the other person meant by repeating it back to them in their own words.
 

3 – Great at negotiating

Negotiation is a very important life skill. We are always negotiating, whether at home with our spouse and kids, or while making business deals! In order to negotiate well, you need to:

  • Know the outcome you want and what your bottom line is
 
  • Understand the situation by doing your homework and asking good questions
 
  • Learn what the other party really wants so you know how to motivate them
 
  • Come up with some good trade-offs

Understanding people and their basic desires will carry you far in your relationships and negotiations.

4 -Judging people on strengths, not weaknesses

A good CEO has a keen eye that notices people’s strengths and knows how to place them so those strengths are utilized in the best way. Everyone has weaknesses, but if we focus on those, it doesn’t help anyone. If you encourage people in their strengths, they will be empowered to grow. What we focus on looks larger, so it’s good to acknowledge and assess our deficiencies and do something about them, but not to focus on them.

5 – Kind, personable, likeable and approachable

Let’s face it, nobody likes a jerk!  One of the best people skills to have is a kind and friendly attitude. When you’re easy to get along with people want to be around you and do business with you. A little kindness and thoughtfulness go a long way in life and business. Taking the time to do small things that show you care for those around you will reward you in the long run. No matter how high up the ladder someone is in business, they should remain humble and approachable to everyone.

6 – Good at Fostering Partnerships and Alliances

Good CEOs are savvy at creating strategic partnerships and alliances with others. They understand the power of synergistic relationships and are always open and seeking to collaborate with those that align with their vision. They look for mutually beneficial relationships that can create more success for both parties. They don’t just wait for these partnerships to happen naturally, they proactively seek them out, with the intention to expand their ability to serve more people and offer more value. 

My recommendation to anyone, whether they’re just starting out as entrepreneurs, or have been at it for awhile, is to start actively looking at ways to create synergistic partnerships. They have exponential power when it comes to progress and productivity.

Thank you so much for investing your time with me in this five-part series on How to Become the CEO of Your Life.  In the end, it’s all about taking full responsibility for your own growth and development, because no one else can. You are the one that makes your own choices and decisions. You’re the only one who can take the actions needed to unlock your own potential.

I hope you have found some valuable nuggets in these five blog posts that you will put to good use!

Let’s get it!

Jae Park

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