Improve Your People Skills


7 Tips That Will Boost Your Professional Exchanges

A group of professionals interacting.Accountants are stereotyped as introverted bean counters who don’t feel comfortable interacting with others. Thankfully that image is changing for the better. But some of us still struggle in social situations primed for profitable networking. Your business depends on your ability to put current and potential clients at ease, to communicate in a way that builds stronger professional relationships while getting you the information you need to secure new customers and do the best work you can for current costumers.If your people skills are lacking, here are 7 quick tips that will improve your interactions:

1. SmileNo one needs a smile as much as a person who fails to give one. -UnknownWhen all else fails there’s one thing you can do: smile. Regardless of what the other person does, a smile won’t damage your image or spoil a networking opportunity. This is especially important to remember if you’re feeling a little nervous. Chances are you’ll get lots of smiles in return which will put you at ease and make it easier to connect with others.2. ListenI think the one lesson I have learned is that there is no substitute for paying attention. – Diane SawyerWhile listening you will discover how your services can best fulfill the needs of those you’re talking to. The more you can get them to share about their business the better prepared you’ll be to illustrate how your expertise will improve their profitability.3. Remember namesWhen you remember names you’re communicating that the people they belong to are worth remembering. You should always strive to make the people you speak with feel important; remembering their names is an easy way to accomplish that.4. Remember common talking pointsAt the bottom of things, most people want to be understood and appreciated. – The BuddhaSometimes it’s a matter of knowing what you can talk about when there’s a lull in the conversation or you need to break the ice. Fortunately there are certain topics nearly all individuals love talking about:

  • The traffic
  • The weather
  • New movies
  • Their business
  • Their children
  • Family pets

5. Acknowledge things you have in commonThe more you have in common the more connected you will feel. Pointing out the similarities you share will help strengthen your bond and forge a solid professional relationship.6. Avoid gossipGossip needn’t be false to be evil; there’s a lot of truth that shouldn’t be passed around. – Frank A. ClarkAvoid gossip like the plague. While it may be easy to talk about someone else it certainly puts your character in question and causes the individual(s) you’re talking with to consider what you might say about them when they’re not there.7. Be positiveAttitudes are contagious. Are yours worth catching? – Dennis and Wendy ManneringNegativity will repel more contacts than you can imagine. Whether or not people recognize it they are drawn to individuals who are positive and affirming. Regardless of the topic of conversation, stay positive; it will leave a good and memorable impression.

And above all, remember that it takes time to develop good people skills, especially if it doesn’t come naturally. Just make an effort to work on one thing at a time and soon you’ll recognize an improvement that will not only put you more at ease with others but positively impact your business.

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