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10 Simple Ways to Improve Your People Skills Much of your success in life hinges on your ability to understand and interact with people. Use these tips to up your people-skills game.

By Debbie Allen

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Luis Alvarez | Getty Images

The following excerpt is from Debbie Allen's book Success Is Easy. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | IndieBound or click here to buy it directly from us and SAVE 60% on this book when you use code LEAD2021 through 4/10/21.

No matter what new technologies and systems you put in place to grow your business, how to work with people will always matter most. To develop natural charm and innate people skills requires effort along with trial and error. Here are ten simple ways to help improve your natural charm and create real connections to build more powerful people skills:

1. Talk to others about what they want to hear

People often hear only what they want or need. The things potential customers want to hear most are how you can serve their goals, interests, ideas, experiences and aspirations. Talk about that, and you'll get and hold their attention without difficulty.

Related: Using 'Shameless' Self-Promotion to Grow Your Business

2. Take a training course

Invest in learning how to communicate more effectively. This will pay off in every aspect of your business and your personal life. The highest-paid and most powerful people on the planet are all master communicators who have learned how to take control of even the most challenging situations, understand the art of persuasion, and know how to recognize and use persuasive strategies. Good communication leads to success!

3. Show appreciation

Make it a habit to thank others for everything they do to support you. A simple "thank you" makes others feel appreciated. You benefit in return by having good feelings about making others feel good. And you also benefit by making others think better of you, making them want to do more good things for you in return. The more you genuinely show others you care, the easier it will be to make a good impression on them.

4. Give genuine, sincere compliments

When you compliment someone about a trait, skill, accomplishment, or possession, it gives them feelings of recognition and value. The more you pay close attention to customers, the more important they feel. When you pay compliments often, even on small things, it helps build rapport.

5. Act honorably and treat others with respect

Always do the right thing, even when no one's watching. That's how you build a positive business reputation. Reputation isn't purchased; it's earned. We've all heard this: "Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care." This is the Golden Rule in business that should govern your attitudes, thoughts, words, and actions.

6. Identify personal core values

Clarifying your core values highlights what you stand for. Your core values also represent your uniqueness and personal style. They guide your behavior and provide you with a personal code of conduct. When you honor your core values consistently, you experience fulfillment in every part of life. And when you don't, you become incongruent in your business practices.

For example, if one of your core values is to offer high-quality customer service, yet your employees don't show customers the respect they deserve, that's a problem because you're working outside your core business values. To turn it around, you must empower your team to match every area of your core values, including valuing customers.

7. Commit to good business ethics

Practicing good business ethics should go without saying. So why are there still so many unethical businesspeople out there? Ethics are your moral judgment about what's right and what's wrong. Good ethics simply make good business sense!

Success comes easily when you act with honesty and integrity at all times. Good ethics require dealing honestly in your business, backing up your products and services, and treating everyone fairly. A lack of business ethics endangers your future success and jeopardizes your reputation. If you believe that, like karma, what goes around comes around, always practice good ethics.

Related: 5 Beliefs About Success That Are Going to Help You Fail

8. Remain true to your authentic self

Remaining true to your beliefs helps you sincerely connect to others. Pretending to be something you're not makes doing business hard. You can't manipulate your personality to seek approval or avoid disapproval.

Authenticity isn't defined by your title, position, or role. It's all about being true to your heart and your destiny. This requires you to trust yourself, embrace your uniqueness, share your gifts, and learn to be present in the moment.

For example, one of the greatest compliments I get from audience members after giving a speech is, "You're so real and authentic. I felt like you were speaking directly to me." Hearing this always warms my heart. It's my goal to always be in the moment, make a personal connection (no matter how large the audience is), and share my knowledge with the audience. It's about connecting your head and heart to make an impact.

9. Build confidence to make stronger connections

Being confident earns you the respect of others. Confidence shows in many ways, including your mannerisms, appearance, and the way you talk, walk, and listen to people. To become more confident, you must respect and accept yourself as you are right now. You are unique in your own way. Accepting yourself and your flaws without any inner conflict helps build confidence.

Take responsibility for your success by having confidence, which is independent of all external factors, especially the things beyond your control. Confident people talk assertively, strike an assured pose, and use a certain tone of voice. Confidence allows you to be tough in business, but tough doesn't mean you can't still be friendly and approachable. Having true confidence is about being daringly honest and truthful at all times.

10. Tackle problems with a positive mental attitude

Positive thinking allows you to try to solve problems through constructive action. A positive mental attitude lets you build strengths and overcome weaknesses. It helps you realize you're born for greatness because within you is the power to make any dream a reality.

Did you enjoy your book preview? Click here to grab a copy today—now 60% off when you use code LEAD2021 through 4/10/21.

Debbie Allen

Speaker, Business Mentor & Author

Debbie Allen’s decades of entrepreneurial wisdom and business building experience have allowed her to successfully mentor a diverse group of small business owners, entreprenuers and franchise owners in growing their companies.  Her years of expertise comes from building and selling numerous highly successful companies of her own since the age of 19. 

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