Garima was working on a time-bound project with two of her team members. They had three more days until the deadline, which meant they had to wrap up pretty soon.

One of her team members was struggling with their workload. But this was overlooked by all their teammates, including Garima. The day finally arrived, and they weren’t able to complete their project.

Where do you think they went wrong?

It wasn’t their technical skills or experience that failed them. It was a lack of people skills—communication, interpersonal relationships and empathy—that acted as a roadblock.

  1. What Are People Skills?

  2. Examples Of People Skills

  3. How To Improve Your People Skills

What Are People Skills?

The meaning of people skills, as is evident, is your ability to engage, understand and communicate with others. It’s having good communication skills, an empathetic ear and sympathy for your coworkers. To create a value-driven team, it’s critical that each member has effective people skills. Not only does it help you get along with your coworkers but also allows you to make strong connections and lasting relationships.

Work isn’t just about copy-pasting information or searching for things on Google. It has a lot to do with the people that make an organization what it is. Attributes like job satisfaction and workplace impact are significantly influenced by the people you work with—and your relationship with them.

Some people skills examples are:

  • Being empathetic toward others

  • Ability to resolve conflicts objectively

  • Effectively communicating ideas with others

  • Listening actively to understand the speaker’s intent

  • Being patient, tolerant and understanding of your team members

These may not be exhaustive, but they’re the most essential people skills you need at work. Your behavior and actions can affect others in more ways than one. You have to be careful how you treat your coworkers to make sure there’s no hostility. Otherwise, it can hamper your work on a day-to-day basis.

How To Improve Your People Skills

People skills like effective communication not only help you interact with others but also lets you get your point across with ease. Improving people skills takes a little bit of effort for improved results.

Here’s how to improve people skills:

  1. Practice Speaking With A Clear Purpose

Before you jump into a conversation—or initiate one—you should have a clear purpose in mind. Workplace conversations drive performance, which means that you have to be sure of what you’re trying to achieve. If it’s a presentation, you should be prepared to deliver relevant data, address questions and convey your ideas with clarity.

  1. Communicate Your Ideas

Often, our ideas get lost in translation when there are too many people in the mix. You have to make sure to communicate your ideas with your team. This way they can get a glimpse of your creative process. Each person brings unique skills to the group, and you should be able to throw your hat in the ring.

  1. Learn To Listen Before You Respond

Interrupting others can affect workplace relationships, impacting your bond with your team members. Cultivating a habit of listening well will help you be more attuned to others. Encourage the speaker to finish what they’re saying, ask questions at the end and show that you’re interested.

  1. Pick Up On Nonverbal Cues

Someone’s body language or facial expression can give essential clues about how they’re feeling—or the way they interpret your words. For instance, if you’re making a speech, reading the audience is part of your job. If they appear bored or disinterested, you can turn things around with a story or a limerick!

  1. Think Objectively

Most importantly, essential people skills are all about thinking objectively. If you can learn to overcome your biases—we all have them—and prejudice toward individual differences, you’re more likely to succeed personally and professionally.

You can learn more about ways to improve people skills like communication with Harappa’s Speaking Effectively course. As one of the most critical people skills, speaking well—with impact—can change the game. Not only can you stand out in a crowd but also gain the confidence to turn your dreams into reality. With frameworks like The Three Appeals or Logos, Ethos and Pathos (reason, credibility and pathos), you’ll be able to craft meaningful messages to connect with others. Build your people skills starting with communication to become an effective storyteller and word magician.


Explore topics such as What is CommunicationBusiness CommunicationTypes of CommunicationChannels of Communication & Vertical Communication from Harappa Diaries and learn to effectively perceive, respond and interact with others.

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