There are some basics in getting along, communicating and relating, and people with these skills generally do well — though, for anyone who studies the personality traits connected with great salespeople, there are some other qualities that are essential — a certain hunger, drive, or focus on success.
We live with these concepts every day in our household. Our adopted son (now 18) has a very different personality from me and my wife. He isn’t an academic super-star, but has incredible abilities in social/human relationships. Within seconds, sometimes at great distance, he can recognize a person, remember the individual’s name and then (most impressively) recall or correlate other details about the person’s family, interests, and values.
Not surprisingly, these skills are undeniably useful in group/peer and work settings. I envy him because, in many ways, my personality is the polar opposite. (At times, although undiagnosed, I think I have traits in the autism spectrum — there are times when someone who I really should recognize/know approaches me directly, and I cannot even remember the slightest thing about the person.)
The solution to my weaknesses: Work as hard as possible to mitigate them while recognizing that some activities are more suited for my personality than others. So, in social settings, I try to listen and really get into the mood and spirit of the people near me.
Here are some other social success ideas, related in 5 Ways to Raise Your Social IQ by Jennie Friedman.
- Always create a win-win situation with others. Especially in inter-personal relationships, there has to be something in it for the other person. Being aware of your needs is only half of the equation;
- Learn to understand an opposing view. If you watch liberal television, listen to conservative radio. If you read the Washington Post, also check out The Times. Watch all of the Presidential debates and determine why each candidate has their viewpoint. It’s not about agreeing or disagreeing; it’s about learning to think critically.
- Don’t insist on all or nothing. Arguments happen until reaching a compromise. Be the first to make that compromise.
- Hold the other person in high regard. Not everyone will be your cup of tea, so you may have to get creative with this one. But when you see the best in someone you automatically value them and their contributions.
- Give first. Don’t always worry about what’s in it for you. Develop the attitude that what goes around comes around and leave it at that. Not only is it true, but it also impresses the heck out of everyone that knows you.
These ideas are rather straightforward. Obviously, it helps if you can surround yourself with employees and ideally clients with the same values and perceptions. And, if not, you can still apply the concepts here to function more effectively interpersonally and in business.