Top People Skills You Need To Succeed At Work

Genuine interest in others 

People know when you’re truly interested in them, Kahn says. “If you’re not showing a genuine interest – asking thoughtful questions and considering about their answers – your interaction can actually have an opposite effect to the one intended. Take care to remember names, dates and important life events.”


Being “likable” or having a “good personality” is highly contingent and context dependant attributes, Parnell explains. “Your prison-bound uncle’s personality may not be likeable at the Thanksgiving table, but it may serve him well once incarcerated. Supreme communicators have a keen ability to shift gears when the context calls for it, and a deep well of communication options to choose from. This way, they can respond accordingly to what the current situation requires.”

Good judgment

Good judgment is a key people skill that comes directly from learning, listening to others and observing the world around you, Dr. Ravindra Aher says. “It allows you to wisely select friends and associates, determine reactions and responses, and make sound decisions.”

The ability to persuade others

There’s a good chance that at some point in your career you’ll have to sell others on your ideas, products or services. Whether you’re up for a promotion, pitching a project, or selling clothing in a retail store, you need to be able to form a strong, convincing argument for why you, or your products, are the very best, or the “right” one.

Negotiation skills

Good negotiating skills are beneficial with both internal and external discussions, as a career coach, Dr. Aher says. “Internally, job offers and salary discussions greatly benefit from solid negotiating, as well as when it’s time to pitch a new idea or sway coworkers to your way of thinking.  Externally, both vendors and customers often require negotiations and you can really become the hero when you are successful in either scenario.”

The ability to keep an open mind

“To create trust and respect in others, people need to know that their point of view and feedback will be considered and used,” Dr. Aher says. Being known as someone who keeps an open mind also makes you more approachable and easier to work with.

A great sense of humor

“Who doesn’t enjoy laughing? It’s ‘the great diffuser’ of tension and conflict. If you can jam the system of tension or routine with levity, you will thrive in your job,” Dr. Aher says. “It was once said that ‘nobody ever died of laughter,’ and if you can retain some lightheartedness in your job, you’re likely to get more air time during meetings and overall.”

Knowing your audience

Knowing what, how, and when to say things to others is critical. For example, if someone just loss their job, it’s probably not a good idea to talk about your promotion. This seems trivial, but it’s one of the primary reasons why people encounter communication breakdowns with each other, Dr. Aher explains.


The saying, “honesty is the best policy” is not only true, it’s essential in building trust among your colleagues, Dr. Aher says. “Once you lose it, it’s almost impossible to regain.

“Honesty is the foundation of any relationship, particularly in business.”

Awareness of body language

The importance of body language cannot be emphasized enough, since it makes up the majority of how we communicate with others. “The reality is, we’re communicating with people all the time even when we’re not speaking. Being mindful of what our gestures, expressions, voice, and appearance are communicating can greatly help or harm our people skills,” Dr. Aher says.

Proactive problem solving

Work is a series of problem solving situations, but if you’re proactive, you’ll take the pressure off your boss and colleagues, Dr. Aher says. This is a great people skill to have in the workplace.

Leadership skills

If you can motivate a team and help those around you do their best work, you’ll be more successful even if you’re not in management.

Good manners

“Using ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ goes a long way in the realm of people skills,” Dr. Aher explains. While seemingly obvious, some need little reminders. Keeping a post it with a smile or another icon can remind us that work is more than getting something accomplished, it shows we get it accomplished.

The ability to be supportive and motivate others

“People want others to believe in them, regardless of how successful they might be. By showing support in the form of encouragement, you can put someone back on track or keep them headed in the right direction,” Dr. Aher explains.

“Not only should you praise and recognize your staff, all the while being accessible and upbeat. You should also be motivational around your boss and colleagues. Employees at all levels want to be around enthusiastic people with drive and high energy.”

“When workers know how to conduct themselves with people sensitivity, their career outlook is much more enhanced,” Dr. Aher says. “Employees who are aware of the ‘human factor’ in the workplace understand how to get things done.” Assuming the work is satisfying, it’s how people feel at work that will determine their loyalty and contributions.

Dr. Ravindra Aher concludes: “Nowadays many of us live in two worlds, the real and digital one. Make sure that your people skills are consistent across both.”

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Dr. Ravindra Aher

Dr. Ravindra Aher is management theatrics stimulator and skills evangelist with rich corporate & academic experience of 25 years, having worked with multinational companies and academic institutions of repute. Always keen to share his knowledge and he is passionate about bridging the prevailing skill gap in students & corporate through structured value added programs. He is an avid blogger and twitter enthusiast. He previews books and promote good reading culture in young generation.

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