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I'm someone who's undergone a complete life/self overhaul. I'm now a professional in my dream job, balancing an amazing relationship, a healthy body, a healthy self image, my passions, my family and surrounding myself with good people. It's hard, not gonna lie. But I'm here to help, to inspire and say "you're not alone."

Me, today. 4.23.12: 5 tips on How to be “Charming” and have People Skills

Today was a day like any other, grateful for the people in my life and for the chance at making a difference. What got me thinking today though, was in pulling people together to train break dancing. I have a 39 year old friend who’s a doctor, a 28 year old classical ballet dancer, and a 15 year old HS student. What’s the common thread here? How does one develop the ability to relate to a wide array of personalities, interests and walks of life? Let’s take a look at what most people feel.

Do you find yourself uncomfortable in some social situations thinking “I totally don’t relate to anyone here. I’m so out of their circle.” Do wish you could be “charming” and able to talk to anyone in any situation? It’s hard to do. Revisiting a previous post ( https://wearesuperwomen.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/me-today-4-12-12-shake-firmly-speak-clearly-and-be-concise/) I posed the question: What are people skills? Here are 5 tips on what I’ve observed that makes for a successfully personable individual.

1. Be fearless. First step is to look at yourself and know that you are someone enjoyable to talk to. If you don’t feel that way then ask yourself why not. Don’t feel interesting? Don’t feel like you have much to talk about? That’s fine, you don’t have to output in conversation. You can be a great listener, a good second opinion, someone that can connect people. Know that what you have to say is just as valid as everyone else. What’s most likely to happen when talking to new people? It being awkward and uncomfortable, you don’t know what to say or how they’ll react to what you do say. Yep, that can definitely happen. So what? Looking like a fool is a judgement on their part, and you can’t stop it. But you can let it not be important to you. Stop letting your fear control your life and actions. (and by the way, think about why it’s so important to you to not look foolish)

2. Awareness. Listen, really listen. Don’t be thinking about what you want to say in response, where you have to be in 40 minutes or if you remembered to TiVo that episode of America’s Top Model. People drop hints about things that are important to them all the time. What are those hints – tone and body language. If they suddenly talk louder, faster or change their inflection, it is a sign that they are speaking about something of significance. Body language. If they look directly at you, start to use hand gestures or their eyes widen – again signs that something important is being said.Take note of these topics and its context in the whole conversation. Chances are when you follow the other person’s train of thought it helps you understand them better. Giving someone the feeling of being understood is the key to being charming, and being able to talk to anyone.

3. Think Why – When you take note of those important topics in the context of the conversation, then in context of their life. Think about WHY that particular topic is important to them. For example. Someone often talks about the amazing sale and cool stuff they bought. It’s probably important to them they they appear smart with their money, and able to purchase A, B, and C items. OR they think it will interest you.

4. Be aware of how people want to appear to you. Think about it, just like you are aware of how you come across to others and adjust what you say to your audience, so do the people that are talking to you. You wouldn’t swear or talk about the latest Brangalina scandal to your grandmother, but you would to a girlfriend. You adjust to your audience according to what you think is appropriate to say to them. What people say to you is a clear sign of how they perceive you and how they want to appear to you. Pay attention and take lessons from this. It is a clue in to what the other person thinks of your relationship.

5. Be genuine and talk to anything. Speak genuinely about what you do love, and what you don’t know. People can always see through a facade so if you don’t know about something say so. Start to collect a little knowledge about a lot of things, that way no matter who you are talking to you can at least speak to it. You don’t need to be a walking encyclopedia, but at least know a little about the main stream stuff. How do you do that? Easy. People love to talk about themselves and what they’re interested in. So, start asking and paying attention. Don’t ask questions with a one word answer, ask open ended questions that lead to uncovering more about that person. Ask questions like, ” Why do you like _______ and what do you get out of it?” Instead of, “Cool, how often do you get to do that?” After paying attention to the answers you will then get a quick lesson on what that interest is. Refer back to it if you forget details when talking to someone else. “Yea, I met a guy the other day that likes _________ too. I can’t remember what exactly his experience was with it, what is yours?” BAM. You didn’t even have to know anything, just express that you know OF that activity. Do this with several people and guess what, you’ll start to know a little about a lot.

The key to being charming is not about you, it’s about how you treat other people and make them feel. Do people feel good and uplifted, encouraged and inspired after talking to you? Cultivate your self love, listening skills and knowledge so that you can be that support and inspiration for others and people will want to be around you. This is what makes “charm” and people skills.

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