28 Apr Young Entrepreneurs Share Their People Skills Secrets
After launching The Art of People: 11 Simple People Skills That Will Get You Everything You Want yesterday, I hope I know a thing or two about people skills. But we can certainly always learn more!
I find it always helps to try and gather as many perspectives on a topic as possible to truly understand it. With this in mind, I asked my friends at the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs, about their people skills secrets. This is what they shared:
1. Find Out How Each Person Wants to Be Known
We all have a natural craving to be known. If you pay attention, people will give you clues that reveal how they want to be known or who they want to become. Once you’ve figured that out, start treating them as though they are already that person (or at least that person in the making). As humans, few things are as endearing as someone who understands us and genuinely believes in our potential.
– Jesse Lear, Co-Owner, V.I.P. Waste Services, LLC
2. Pay Attention to Your Surroundings
Amid answering emails, running to meetings and overall just trying to keep your wits about you, there’s another thing business leaders need to add to their to-do list: listen. Listening can be the most valuable thing you do all day. Listening can help you gain insight into who is happy, unhappy, the positive in each day, and what attributes within the workplace need improvement.
– Erin Meagher, Founder and Chief Coconut, Beneficial Blends, LLC dba Kelapo
3. Be Real
I try to be real — whether it’s at work or outside of work. Having honest relationships sustains mutual respect, especially when it’s time for the hard conversations. I also take the time to observe and understand what makes each person I interact with tick. Knowing and honoring my colleagues and clients’ strengths and weaknesses cultivates partnerships and ensures that everyone shares common goals.
– Peggy Shell, CEO & Founder, Creative Alignments
4. Find Mutual Connections
Finding and talking about mutual connections not only provides for an easy engaging conversation but more importantly, allows for immediate trust building. The barriers come down significantly and you feel more comfortable due to the implied screening through the mutual connection.
– Pratham Mittal, Co-Founder, VenturePact
5. Put Yourself First
If you are looking for the secret to get other people like you, then you are doing it wrong. Being good with people starts with yourself. If you haven’t taken care of yourself first, then there is no way you can be present with others. People want you to care about them but they know if you are doing it from a genuine place or not. Spend time on yourself before you can spend time on others.
– Matt Wilson, Co-founder and Adventurer, Under30Experiences
6. Solicit Honest Feedback
People love when you ask them their opinion. It means you respect what they think. It highlights your unique relationship and their status in your life. Surely, you don’t ask just anybody for feedback. You’ve chosen them. In addition to getting valuable feedback from the people you trust, you will also get avid supporters because they will feel invested in what they advised you do.
– Matthew Capala, Founder and Managing Director, Alphametic
7. Emphasize the Importance of Purpose
Purpose is a key player in the workplace. The ability to gain transparency on a task illuminates the overall vision and goal of the project. Purpose not only aligns your employees with the bigger picture, but encourages them to make valuable contributions in an effort to achieve desired results. Granting purpose to tasks can increase employee morale, decrease turnover and improve quality of work.
– Andy Eastes, CEO, SkuVault
8. Pick Up on Details
When meeting new people I try to pick up on clues about a person. Notice what they’re drinking, for example, to spark conversation. Noticing that someone favors red wine can lead to a discussion about a favorite local winery, which can then lead to a much more personal and memorable conversation. A personal connection will get you much farther than simply discussing the weather. – Christof Chartier, CEO, C.M. Chartier Contracting
One of the ways I’ve best found to connect with others is to show some empathy. Most people just want to be felt like someone is hearing and understanding them. Be a good listener and put yourself in their shoes. Show you are actively engaging, processing, and caring about what they are saying. It brings a much tighter connection right away.
– Sean Ogle, Founder, Location 180, LLC
10. Adopt Their Language
Pay attention to the language that the other person is using, and adopt it into your own speech as much as possible. Familiarity breeds trust and this sort of ‘lingual mirroring’ can often help establish common ground between two parties. Naturally, you’ll want to avoid inappropriate cultural colloquialism, but ensure general verbiage is the same.
– Ross Beyeler, CEO, Growth Spark
11. Be Intentional and Open
In a world where we move through conversations (and people) with a simple swipe of a finger, there’s nothing more valuable than being completely in the moment when you sit down with someone, and making them feel like they’re the only thing on your mind. Any openness and transparency you can bring to the conversation will only help them open up and create a deeper conversation and connection. – Fan Bi, CEO, Blank Label
12. Be a Connector
Author Glennon Melton says it best: “The most revolutionary thing you can do is introduce people to each other.” I was connected to some extraordinary people early in my career and I never forgot how grateful I felt toward the connector. Introducing people to each other is the best way to work a room and the easiest way to build a network — and people never forget.
– Jennifer Mellon, Co-Founder & Vice President, Trustify
Want to better understand your people skills? Take my free quiz here.
Want to improve your own people skills? Check out my new book, The Art of People: 11 Simple People Skills That Will Get You Everything You Want, for 53 simple yet surprisingly effective tools for improving your relationships in and out of work! I’ll personally give you a money-back guarantee!