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I learned from research conducted many years ago that 85% success in the marketplace is due to having the ability to communicate with people and only 15% due to technical skills. This speaks volumes of how important it is to have good people skills and shows that people are our greatest asset in whatever we do in life.
From my own experience I will share some lessons I picked up when it comes to dealing with people and how to create mutually beneficial relationships. Here we go:
1. Have a genuine interest
One of the biggest lessons I learned from the works of Dr. Edwin Cole on communication is that for it to be genuine it must align in three areas. Communication is in word, gesture and spirit. That is why it’s hard to trust some people because they can say the right things but their gestures or spirit may not feel right.
Even so successful people know that they have to genuinely love others with no ulterior motives. It’s hard to love other people if you don’t have the love of God inside your heart. You can’t give to someone else what you don’t have yourself. Be in a right relationship with God first and experience His love. As you experience His love it becomes difficult not to share it because that’s the nature of God’s love.
When you do this other people will naturally want to be around you and develop meaningful relationships with you.
2. Understand their needs
Success in life pertaining to relationships requires you to understand what makes people tick. One of the best ways of learning other people’s needs is by asking them questions about themselves. Ask about their family, what they do for a living, what they like and don’t like about what they do, what they do for fun, etc.
It will serve you well to remember that most of the time people are thinking about themselves and what they like. So when you ask them these types of questions they will talk and talk indirectly telling you the things that are most important in their lives.
You will find that ideas will start coming to you on how to be of service to them or connect them to people that may be able to serve them better. Allowing someone else to speak and listening to what they are saying builds instant rapport and a basis for a friendship/relationship is formed.
3. Solve their problems
Understanding another person’s problems provides you with the platform to solve them and leave a mark on their lives. Successful people are often seen as cold hearted individuals that walk all over other people to get what they want but that’s far from the truth. They are successful with people because they solve other people’s problems.
Take Mark Zuckerburg for example who is the founder of Facebook. He’s worth billions of dollars today because he understood people’s need for communication especially those separated by geographical area. He went on to build a platform to connect people all over the world and incorporated other tools to allow for easy and affordable communication.
This problem has been solved in a big way hence that’s why he’s so wealthy today at a young age. The bigger the problems you solve the greater your reward will be. You too can achieve success at a high level if you remember this concept in whatever you do.
4. Make them feel special
Sharing kind words and giving encouragement doesn’t cost much but goes a long way in being successful with people. I’m sure you feel good about yourself when you’re praised for doing good things. Surely other people would want to experience the same.
It’s unfortunate that many people go through life being reminded of their shortcomings instead of what they’re good at. That’s how the world is sadly. If you want to stand out be one of the people that do the opposite and give sincere and genuine compliments.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou
The secret to success with people is to remember that they’re not creatures of logic but of emotion. People are generally moved to do things based on emotions or convictions. The kind words and things you do to make the next person feel special is a seed that can change them for the rest of their life.
5. Give first
The law of sowing and reaping teaches us that in order to reap a harvest you must first sow seed into the ground. After sowing the seed you must water it, cultivate it and nurture the produce under the right conditions until it matures. Only after that can you enjoy the fruits of your labour.
The same concept applies to human relations. You may see this principle violated at networking events where amateur networkers dish out their business cards trying to get business from others without first seeking to know them and understanding their needs. For the most part they never get the business they were looking to get.
Add value to other people first in any way you can. It doesn’t have to be expensive at all. Sharing knowledge about how to be more productive, live a healthy lifestyle, and configure an email address or anything of benefit to the other goes a long way. The Bible does tell us as well in the book of Acts that it is more blessed to give than it is to receive.
6. Pray for them
One of the greatest acts of love you can demonstrate to another person is to pray for them and minister to their needs. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective and for His glory God will intervene in their lives.
“First of all, then, I admonish and urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in positions of authority or high responsibility, that [outwardly] we may pass a quiet and undisturbed life [and inwardly] a peaceable one in all godliness and reverence and seriousness in every way.” ~ 1 Timothy 2:1-2
Prayer can bring healing, turn around a dead situation and overcome depression just to name a few things. God commands us to be prayerful always to seek His face and intercede for other people in our lives. You become intimate with the people that you pray for which is a sign of a fruitful relationship.
7. Empower them
Helping other people to become what God has called them to be communicates that you have faith and believe in them and what they are doing with their life. Short sighted people tend to squeeze everything they can out of others for their short term benefit. On the other hand successful people know that investing in people will pay dividends in the future.
“Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.” ~ John C Maxwell
Empowering people also doesn’t have to be complicated. It may be just sharing some knowledge that can lead to their breakthrough, success stories about other people that have gone down a similar path or connecting them with someone that will take them to the next level.
It’s easy to see that organizations or nations that prosper have leaders that empower their people with what they need to achieve success. The opposite is also true in that one of the reasons organizations fail to live up to their potential is due to a lack of empowerment.