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The Ten Commandments of People Skills in the Workplace

We use "people skills" each day during every interaction with others.  Interactions in the workplace generally have a professional manner, and are typically analyzed and scrutinized. Look no further if you desire to boost your personal skills, be confident in the office, connect with others to establish rapport, and understand your reasoning for miscommunication. Follow these Ten Commandments for People Skills in the Workplace.

1. Thou Shall Not Complain
Don't complain! The workplace will be a stressful environment at times. Complaining at work takes away from productivity and invites negativity to take over. At least half of the people you complain to at work will not care, and some could even think that you got what you had coming. If you're frustrated with something while at work, save it for personal time.

2. Thou Shall Smile
Smile and say cheese! Smiling is part of the foundation for outstanding people skills. It shows the world that you are friendly and approachable. Additionally, a little known trick is to smile when you are talking on the phone, especially when making sales calls. Although the person on the other end cannot see the smile, they can hear it through your tone of voice and how you speak.

3. Thou Shall Actively Listen
Be an active listener! Listening is an important part in conversing with others. While one party speaks, the other is listening. While you may hear what others are saying, it does not mean you are actively listening. Hear words, process the information, and react. This is especially important in the workplace. Receiving orders from the bosses requires active listening. You don't want to miss out on any important information!

4. Thou Shall Show Appreciation for Others
Show that you appreciate others! In the workplace, many people typically handle one project. In this scenario, people skills play a major role when dealing with others to achieve a common goal. When a co-worker gives extra effort in a project or piece of work which you have benefited from, it is respectful and important to let them know you appreciate their work. A simple "Thank You" or "Hey great job there" will work. If you want to go above and beyond, inform your superior of his or her work, or take your co-worker out to lunch.

5. Thou Shall Not Forget Names
Don't forget names! Remembering names is important in all aspects of business. When you are trying to close a sale, using the customer's name is a way to remind them that you are paying attention to detail, and them specifically. Name recognition at work is important to make others feel appreciated, wanted, and involved.

6. Thou Shall Go Above and Beyond
Go above and beyond! Have you made any sacrifices for others (customers, clients, or co-workers) lately? Going the extra mile for others in your workplace will not only get more done, but add extra value for your work. Spending an extra five to ten minutes on a project for some extra added touches, or extending a courtesy phone call will show appreciation and your kindness.

7. Thou Shall Never Gossip
Don't gossip! Gossip is a killer in the workplace. Spreading treacherous rumors about a co-worker in order to get ahead or bond with another is detrimental to all. Gossiping tarnishes others' reputations, and separates the cohesiveness of your workforce. Avoid gossip at all costs. You never know who is listening.

8. Thou Shall Not Interrupt
Don't interrupt! In the workplace, many ideas are shared and exchanged between multiple co-workers. Regardless if you believe an idea is excellent or poor, hold your tongue. Interrupting shows very little respect for others. Be polite and allow others to finish their train of thought before commenting on others. Remember, be helpful and do not attack when providing constructive criticism.

9. Thou Shall Be Confident
Be confident! Confidence is key when it comes to interacting with people, especially in the workplace. Meeting with superiors about a big project will get your nerves going, but it is important to not let it show. Be confident in your actions and around people. Hold your head high and be prepared for any and all situations that could be presented to you. Heed this warning: Too much confidence is frowned upon. Be confident, not cocky.

10. Thou Shall Self Assess Thy People Skills
Always evaluate yourself first! Do you know how strong your people skills are? Or how weak? Self assessments help judge your progress with knowing what you can do and how you can relate with others. Additionally, self assessments gauge your skills at the workplace. If you find yourself struggling with your people skills, reflect on these commandments to find out ways to improve.

Use these guidelines when communicating, relating, and speaking with others in the workplace. Mastering your people skills will help with miscommunication or misunderstandings at the workplace. You'll connect with others, establish rapport, handle confrontation professionally, and learn to give constructive criticism effectively. Do you have any pointers on personal skills?

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