Being a good people person is essential. This is true no matter what you want to do or where you want your life to go.
Impressions matter. Whether you’re interviewing for a job or trying to close a big business deal, you want to make sure you give off the best impression possible.
The good news is that it doesn’t take as much as you might think. There are actually some surprisingly simple things you can do to wow other people.
1. Do What You Say You Will
It’s amazing how often people say they will do something, but never actually do it.
This is a common complaint I hear a lot. It’s reached a point to where most of us fully expect people won’t follow through on what they say.
So it’s always a wonderful surprise when someone actually does.
It’s such a simple way to stand out from the crowd. It also makes you seem like a reliable and trustworthy person.
It can be something simple like dropping off a book or calling when you say you will.
All too often people say they will do something but never actually follow through. Be that person who actually does.
2. Remember People’s Names (And Use Them)
We attach special importance to our own name. It’s part of our identity and helps us differentiate ourselves.
When you remember someone’s name and use it with them, you make them feel important. By using their name, you’re acknowledging that you thought they were special enough to get their name down.
Remembering names can be hard. That’s especially true if you are introduced to new people on a regular basis.
But it really means a lot to the other person if you do remember it.
You don’t want to fake your way through it or use a generic term like “guy”. I knew someone who would do that so he didn’t have to remember names. Not surprisingly, he didn’t make many friends.
3. Show Genuine Interest
I used to have an employer who would routinely ask his employees about their day. Before they could adequately respond, he would walk away. His interest in his employees was about as shallow as you can get.
He might be an extreme example, but a lot of people are like this.
People get wrapped up in their own lives so much that we forget to ask people about what’s going on in theirs.
Showing genuine interest in another person demonstrates that they matter to you. If you go beyond the superficial aspects of their day and dig deeper, you’re making them feel important to you.
4. Go Above and Beyond
Too many people will do the bare minimum. If they have an obligation to meet, they do just enough to get by. In some circumstances, they do it inadequately.
Instead of being like most people, you can go above and beyond. If you know the minimum amount of work you need to accomplish, do more.
Just recently, I got an email from someone asking for blogging advice. I could easily have sent back 3-4 sentences and called it good. But by the end of my email, I realized I had written 5 paragraphs of detailed information.
Needless to say, the person was extremely surprised and grateful for my notes.
5. Make someone feel good
There are endless opportunities throughout the day to make another person feel good. Honestly even little comments can often brighten up someone’s day.
It can be as simple as telling someone that you like what they’re wearing. Or maybe saying that you appreciate what they do.
If you see that they’re down, your words can bring them up. It can let them know just how much they mean to you.
6. Be empathetic
Empathy is when you recognize the emotions experienced by another person. It’s when you understand what another person is feeling and thinking.
The problem is that too few people have this ability.
A friend might listen to your problem and even understand how it can be a difficult situation, but they might not understand how it’s impacting you on the inside.
It’s worse when people don’t acknowledge what you’re going through. They might try to relate your problems with their own.
There’s a difference between hearing and listening. Hearing is when you let someone speak, but you only take in information superficially. Listening is when you hear what they say, comprehend their viewpoint and understand their position.
Being a good listener is important for being empathetic.
When you can show that you are actually listening and empathizing with another person, you build a connection with them. You can become someone they go to for help. That can really make you stand out from all those other people who will only hear them.
7. Let them know they’re important
If there’s a common theme to most of these points, it’s this: make the other person feel important.
There are a lot more ways to do that than the ones listed here. These are just the more common ways to do it.
Think of how your actions could make someone feel important. You could remember their birthday and circulate a birthday card for them. Or you could write something nice on their Facebook wall.
The possibilities are endless. If you just keep the idea of making people feel important in mind, you’ll notice them.
photo credit: Pierre Andrews