As I began my entrepreneurial journey, I received a lot of praise from various people in my life. They made comments like:
“You are so good with people. You’re going to be a so successful”
“You’re such a people person; you’ll do great in sales.”
If you’re like me, words of affirmation are one of your love languages, so you were very grateful for the kind words but did not stop to ask the question – WHY am I good with people and HOW will that help me be successful in life and at work. What you did do was bust out your phone to call or text someone to brag about what so-and-so just said about you.
This is why books like The Art of People: 11 Simple People Skill That Will Get You Everything You Want by Dave Kerpen, a New York Times Best Selling Author, are essential for entrepreneurs to have in their tool kit.
Dave separates these 11 simple skills into 53 short, easy to read chapters. And each one is full of immediately executable tips to help us master The Art of People. In fact, one of the most helpful parts of the book are the FAST (First Action Steps to Take) tips at the end of each chapter.
There are so many awesome truths in the book – too many to share here – so you’ll just have to buy it.
But here are 9 areas that resonated with me:
- “To thine own self be true,” William Shakespeare.
One of the most important steps in mastering The Art of People is taking time to become more selfaware. Dave equips readers with a centuries old tool, called the Enneagram, to aid in that endeavor. As a result, this increased self awareness will empower those who put the results into practice to make better choices and elevates the potential wield greater influence.
- 10x your life by forming your own advisory board.
I have benefited personally from inviting coaches and mentors from a variety of areas to speak into my life as a husband, father, friend and entrepreneur. But I have never invited these people to collectively become my advisory board. What a brilliant idea! There are a multitude of potential benefits to this strategy – increased network, a bunch of smart people – but the most important component are the deep, authentic relationships that can be built.
- Shut up and listen.
As you know, I recently launched a podcast. Prior to the launch, there were a couple occasions where I was so focused on the next question that I completely tuned out what my guest was saying. One even called me out. I apologized and we started over. Here is the lesson I learned: listening can be the deciding factor on whether someone chooses to continue building a relationship with you…and the lifetime value of that relationship is priceless.
- Water? Yes, please.
I typically meet my clients at their offices. Without fail, they offer me a glass of water, a cup of coffee. Whatever. More often than not, I accepted the offer but there are times when I passed. Well, no more. I never took a moment to consider the fact that the client is hosting me and accepting their kind offer will likely place both of us at ease, enhance our conversation and generate a potentially better outcome.
- Accountability sucks (unless you have a partner).
I’ve been a part of several mastermind groups. We meet on a regular basis to talk about what’s working or not working on our lives. Generally, we commit to doing something different and hold ourselves accountable. It’s no wonder we never say the dial move significantly. Having a friend or colleague you know, like and trust be your accountability partner is a game changer because neither of you will want to let the other down.
- How are you doing?
FANTASTIC! OUTSTANDING! My attitude – good or bad – is contagious. If I have a super positive response to a basic question like, “How are you doing?” people will likely be attracted to that energy and see something different in or about me. Another way I’ve generated this feeling is by giving people a High Five. I mean, really, when was the last time you high fived someone and didn’t smile afterward? I’ll bet never.
- I am not the hero.
Maybe it’s our product or maybe it’s the value we know we’re capable of providing, but far to often we get caught up in our own high self esteem. We have to remember that whatever we are doing is not about us; it’s about them. They are the heroes, we are merely the guide.
- Stand upon the shoulders of giants.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of inspirational people who have come before us and let a tremendous impact in the world. Do not be afraid to weave their stories into the way you communicate with others. People will see you as being thoughtful.
- Connect people.
I’ve always had a passion of introducing and connecting other entrepreneurs with each other. It’s fun to watch (without expectation) the amazing things that can happen as a result. Again, I do so without expectation of anything in return because I am confident that my generosity will returned tenfold.
Life is super busy for all of us, but imagine how much more we could all get done if we just PAUSED and took a moment to better understand ourselves, how we relate to each other on a meaningful level and actively listened to each others stories.
If we lived life with that kind of intention, the world would be a much different place. For now, we will start small and dream big.
Question: What is an example of where you’ve benefited from intentionally focusing on someone else’s needs and desires? Comment below and be sure to subscribe to the blog and the podcast.