People skills - how you interact with others - can improve your personal and professional life
People skills are one of the key soft skills that employers seek in their staff members. Chances are that you will find some mention of people skills in almost every job description out there. That's because all jobs have teams, customers, clients, and managers with whom you'll need to interact daily.
Leveraging strong people skills can enhance personal and professional relationships, increase productivity and job satisfaction, and help you to navigate challenging situations with ease, improving your employability and, ultimately, your career success.
What are some good examples of people skills?
Another word for people skills is interpersonal skills - in other words, how you get along with others. The better your people skills are, the more likely you are to be adept at things like showing empathy, collaborating in teams, being adaptable to change, and exhibiting high emotional intelligence.
Other examples of great people skills include:
Effective communication is the cornerstone of any successful interaction, whether it's with colleagues, clients, or customers. It's also an essential component of any successful organization, as it helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page, goals and expectations are aligned, and misunderstandings are avoided. Communication has several key elements, including clarity, empathy, nonverbal communication, and feedback.
When actively listening, you hear more than just the words being said. You're understanding the speaker's perspective, thoughts, and feelings. Active listening requires giving the speaker your full attention and demonstrating engagement through nonverbal cues such as nodding, maintaining eye contact, and asking clarifying questions. It also involves withholding judgment and avoiding interrupting or talking over the speaker. By actively listening, you can build rapport, deepen understanding, and foster trust in relationships.
Conflict resolution is the ability to address and resolve conflicts in a professional, respectful, and mutually beneficial manner. As a people skill, conflict resolution involves several key elements, including active listening, empathy, problem-solving, and emotional regulation. In other words, you have to pay attention to the other person's issues and manage your own emotions to remain calm.
Leadership is the ability to guide, direct, inspire, and motivate individuals or a group of people toward achieving a common goal or vision. It involves influencing and inspiring others to take action, make decisions, and pursue shared objectives. A leader may hold a formal position of authority, such as a CEO or manager, but leadership can also emerge informally from any group member who displays strong qualities of vision, communication, and decision-making.
Leadership can be characterized by traits such as honesty, integrity, empathy, and a willingness to take risks. Effective leaders often possess strong communication skills and are able to secure trust and respect from their followers. They must be able to identify and articulate a clear vision for the future, and then work to inspire and motivate their team toward that vision. Leadership is a critical component of successful organizations and can be developed and refined through training, education, and experience.
A positive attitude refers to a mindset and outlook that is optimistic, hopeful, and constructive. It involves focusing on the positive aspects of situations and circumstances, rather than dwelling on the negative. People with a positive attitude tend to see the best in themselves, others, and the world around them and are able to maintain a sense of hope and possibility even in difficult or challenging times. It's a valuable trait to cultivate in both personal and professional settings and can be developed through practice and conscious effort.
Networking is a people skill because it involves building and maintaining relationships with other people. It refers to the process of connecting with others in your personal or professional life, in order to exchange information, share resources, and build relationships that can be beneficial for all parties involved. It can lead to new opportunities, help you to learn from others, and provide a sense of community and support.
Relationship building is a crucial people skill in the workplace, as it involves developing positive and productive relationships with colleagues, clients, customers, and other stakeholders. You must actively listen to others, effectively communicate, and exhibit trustworthiness to forge sustained and loyal relationships. Productive relationships help you to achieve goals and contribute to a positive and supportive work culture. Nurturing appropriate relationships also increases your engagement at work, which can lead to improved job satisfaction.
If you're good at reading social cues (e.g., body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions) and can interpret them to communicate and collaborate better, then you probably have high social intelligence. Social intelligence at work is an important skill that can help you to succeed in your career by improving your ability to work well with others, build strong relationships, and communicate effectively.
People with strong social intelligence are typically good at navigating complex social situations, maintaining positive relationships, and communicating effectively with others. They are often seen as empathetic, friendly, and approachable, and they're adept at resolving conflicts and negotiating agreements.
If you possess strong intrapersonal intelligence, you have a deep understanding of your own thoughts and feelings. You're able to reflect on your experiences, analyze your own motivations and behaviors, and use this information to improve your performance and make better decisions. You can also set realistic goals for yourself and monitor your progress toward those goals.
Intrapersonal intelligence is one of the multiple intelligences identified by psychologist Howard Gardner. According to Gardner's theory, individuals possess different combinations of these intelligences, and these combinations can influence their learning preferences, career choices, and overall strengths and weaknesses.
How do you describe people skills during a job search?
When describing people skills in a job application or during an interview, it's important to focus on your ability to interact with others in a positive, effective manner. Here are some tips to help you to effectively communicate your people skills:
Use specific examples: Rather than simply stating that you have good people skills, provide concrete examples of situations where you've successfully interacted with others. For example, you might describe a time when you resolved a conflict with a coworker or helped a customer to feel more comfortable and satisfied.
Highlight communication skills: Be sure to mention your ability to listen actively, convey information clearly and effectively, and respond appropriately to others.
Emphasize empathy and understanding: People with strong people skills can often put themselves in others' shoes and understand their perspectives. Mention your ability to empathize with others, as well as your willingness to take others' needs and concerns into account when making decisions.
Discuss teamwork and collaboration: Describe your ability to collaborate with coworkers, build positive relationships, and contribute to a positive team dynamic.
Show a positive attitude: Demonstrate your enthusiasm for working with others and emphasize your ability to maintain a positive, constructive attitude even in challenging situations.
PRO TIP: Use the STAR method when discussing people skills in your resume or during an interview.
Include people skills in your resume
Since your resume is the first impression you'll make on a prospective employer, it should definitely have some examples of strong people skills. Here's what that could look like:
Strong interpersonal and communication skills, with a proven ability to build positive relationships with coworkers and clients
Excellent problem-solving skills, with a track record of successfully resolving conflicts and addressing concerns in a professional and respectful manner
Adept at active listening and responding to others' needs and concerns
Skilled in collaborating with others to achieve common goals and able to contribute effectively to a team environment
Empathetic and able to understand others' perspectives, with a commitment to providing exceptional customer service
Customer Service Representative, ABC Company
Responded to customer inquiries via phone and email, demonstrating strong communication skills and an ability to convey information clearly and effectively
Consistently received high customer satisfaction ratings for friendliness, professionalism, and problem-solving ability
Resolved customer complaints and concerns in a respectful and effective manner, demonstrating strong conflict-resolution skills and a commitment to customer satisfaction
Worked collaboratively with other members of the customer service team to improve processes and enhance the customer experience
In this example, the candidate highlights specific people skills, such as strong communication and conflict resolution abilities, as well as a commitment to collaboration and customer service. They also provide concrete examples of how they have applied these skills in their previous role.
In today's interconnected world, people skills are more important than ever. With increasing globalization, diverse workplaces, and the rise of remote work, interacting effectively with others is a valuable skill that can help you to succeed in many different contexts. Whether you work in customer service, management, healthcare, education, or any other field, your people skills will likely be critical to your success.
TopResume can help you to ensure that you're including a solid list of good people skills on your resume with a free review from an expert team of professional resume writers.
Develop Your Interpersonal Intelligence to Fuel Career Success