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“People Skills Matter; Without Them Inappropriate People Become Your Companions”

There are people who love God, but can’t stand God’s people. Some are very comfortable in the presence of God but uncomfortable in the presence of humans. But if your passion is to fulfil the purpose of God for your life, you will have to study how to get along with people. Nobody succeeds alone. People will have to be involved in your success. God has hidden paths to our successes in different individuals. Therefore, in order to assess the divine deposits in others, we have to know how we can get on with them. That is why people skills matter immensely.

If you possess excellent people skills, quality people get attracted to you and reward you for your interpersonal intelligence. But with poor people skills, exceptional people are repelled, while others with poor people skills become drawn towards you. Let me take a few moments to explain the make-up of people skills.

People skills embroil three main human interpersonal fields; emotional intelligence (EI), communication skills and protocol. To simply put, emotional intelligence is the mindfulness of one’s emotions and how they affect others. Communication skills involve clarity in verbal expressions, active listening, and appropriate body language (such as eye contact, smiling, head nodding, open posture etc.), while protocol is the behaviour, manner or procedure expected in a specific environment which conveys respect, humility and sensitivity to the preferences and the uniqueness of that environment.

While all the three elements are very important, regarding success with people, emotional intelligence remains the most significant, but the least mastered among the three. You may be ignorant in terms of communication skills and protocol, but if you are sound regarding emotional intelligence, you will still do very well with people.

 If you can manage your emotions in such a way that it does not create discomfort to another, you have mastered life (Proverbs 16:32). Likewise, if you can develop the capability to feel how others feel and see things from their own perspectives; you have mastered one of the most essential qualities for building healthy relationships.

Emotional intelligence (EI) is so called because it describes our capably to recognise, understand and manage effectively our emotions in order to ensure positive effects on others. There are 2 key qualities of emotional intelligence – self-awareness and empathy.

Self-awareness

Self-awareness is simply to know closely your emotions, what triggers them, their potential consequences on others, how not to let them rule you and of course, how you can become a better person. Self-awareness is the mother of other great interpersonal assets. For example, if you knew that you are susceptible to misinterpreting other people’s statements when stressed or tired, you would be willing to seek clarity regarding what has just been said to you. As a result of the awareness of your susceptibility, you begin to consciously develop patience, self-control and active listening.

Empathy

Empathy is the capacity to be in synch emotionally with another person. This is to emotionally put yourself in the shoes of the other person, stand where he stands, until you see through his own view points and feel exactly how he feels. This, in my opinion, is the most productive element of emotional intelligence regarding influencing others and building a credible and genuine relationship.

The bible describes empathy this way; “Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tender-hearted, and keep a humble attitude” (1Peter 3:8).

Self-awareness produces self- evaluation. Self-evaluation gives birth to self-regulation, and self-regulation develops empathy – which I personally call – neighbour-centred mentality.  You cannot show empathy to others if you do not know your emotional self. As I said earlier, Self-awareness is the birthing agent for empathy. Your ability to empathise with others is always proportionate to the quality of your self-discovery.

Bringing It Home

Your people skills are powerful conversations. They clearly explain to others your mentality regarding honour, caring, empathy and protocol. Your interpersonal skills are so crucial that they simply can be the difference between your success and failure. When you have time read Acts chapter 26 and pay careful attention to how Paul addressed Agrippa. Notice His tone of voice, observing of protocol, and his sensitivity to the beliefs and traditions of king Agrippa and the Jews.

Good people skills prioritise the feelings, needs and the comfort of the other person. Those with outstanding people skills celebrate others. They basically take themselves out of the equation and focus on others. They show genuine interest in people by listening attentively, using affirmative body language, and asking meaningful questions. They listen for a sound of pain, discouragement, showing empathy and being generous in their commendation.

Exceptional people skills can take you further than your natural abilities or gifting. Emotional intelligence, good communication skills and observing protocol are all seeds of honour. When you show treat people good in your approach, you show honour to them.  And where there is honour, there is favour, and where there is favour, there is a future. Your future will be determined by the person you choose to honour.

Joseph showed honour to the Butler and the Baker in the prison when he detected their sad countenances caused by their mysterious dreams (Genesis 40). He asked compassionates questions and showed great empathy for their traumas. Eventually, he was able to influence them with his gifting, having firstly built credibility through his excellent people skills. Two years later, one of these prisoners became Joseph’s golden link to the throne of Pharaoh.

Cultivating sound people skills is your responsibility. It starts with reminding yourself constantly the divine order for human priorities – God first, others second and you last. In other words, after God, the needs of others take precedence. So, you are a divine agent who should be constantly scanning the countenances of others, looking for how you can better them and help them get ahead in life. You were created to make a difference in your world. You are a divine gift to your generation.

Maintaining Good people skills will cost you of your selfishness and pride. You can no longer make your own needs, feelings and focus the centre of discussion. You can no longer blow your own trumpet so loudly that every other person is left feeling inadequate. You are now a celebrator of others’ distinctive difference.

Jesus was our perfect example. He made others His focus. He was always moved with compassion. He healed people, fed others, raise the dead, and brought eternal life and peace into the world. He served even to the point of death. He was a glorious people person. He served His generation and still serving the world today. He is our servant King! Halleluiah (Matthew 20:28)!!

When you talk with people, make them your focal point. Give them your full attention. Ask questions that reflect your caring nature. Speak slowly and clearly so that you can be understood. Show honour through your choice of words. Exercise self-control regarding your emotions. Refuse to allow your emotions to dictate your words. Be patient with their weaknesses. Let them know you understand how they feel. Demonstrate empathy.

Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with His fruit for the service of humanity. Every conversation is an invitation to empathy. Your unwillingness to ignore the feelings of others qualifies you for influence. When you prioritise developing your people skills, people are drawn towards you, creating an amazing opportunity to bless others and also be blessed. Through your kindness, the love of God is revealed to the dying world.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

Remain a blessing

Wale

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