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The Top 5 Characteristics of Strong People Skills

Jul 19, 2008
In the competitive financial industry, how can you differentiate yourself from your peers? Many of them have solid financial background and qualifications, just like you. If you and your peers offer similar level of value to the organization, how do you rise above the competition to get the promotion during the good times and keep your job during cutbacks? Having superior social skills will distinguish you from your peers. It is not a skill you can develop overnight and neither are good connections. Here are five attributes to help your colleagues better know you, like you and trust you.

Positive attitude - Would you prefer to work with someone who is enthusiastic than one who whines often? Your colleagues would feel the same way too. Do you take initiatives or act helpless when some negative events happen? Are you a proactive action taker? Do you see challenges as opportunities or threats? Do you embrace new responsibilities or do you grumble about having too much work? Be sure that you are part of the solution and not part of the problem. Be willing to exceed expectations of your colleagues.

Emotional maturity - Stress builds up under the intense work of a financial analyst. Take responsibilities for your own feelings and don?t let it get out of control in the workplace. Be honest. Are you quick tempered? Do you often act on impulses? Find healthy ways to express your emotions and vent out your frustrations. Exercise, rest and relaxation are just a few simple ways you can release tension. Taking your frustrations out at work certainly won?t take you far in your career.

Empathy - This is a basic quality of an excellent leader and is the foundation for developing strong people relationships. It is the ability to identify and understand the wants, needs and perspective of others. It's easy to forget that your fellow co-workers are under work pressure just like you and it's not obvious that some may even have their personal struggles to deal with. Be more understanding of their seemingly unfriendly behavior. Being a good listener can help you recognize the underlying wants and needs of others.

Team player - It may be counter-intuitive to help your co-workers when some, like you, may be vying for the same position that will open up. Although you will be evaluated based on your individual performance, you belong to a team. Be generous and share your knowledge with your team. Helping your colleagues achieve their goals will earn you their support and respect. When you help to give solutions to your team members, they will also reciprocate the support when you are in need.

Network - The more people you connect with, the wider your network for information, ideas and potential opportunities. Do you have any regular networking meetings? Do many people know about your quality work and great work attitude? Does anyone know about your work achievements? Be authentic but do not brag. Networking is the opportunity to apply the people skills that you have developed.

A good place to start developing your people skills is to know yourself first. Observe and see how you currently interact with people. Do you notice any patterns? Are you well-liked? What are the qualities that people like about you? Keep them up. Do you co-workers always exclude you from their events? Are you unfriendly, impatient or grouchy? Where do you have room for improvement?

Your strong people skills will differentiate you from you peer financial analysts. You'll be among the first candidates to be considered when a position opens if you are a positive team player and who can understand the wants and needs of others. Your chances will increase the more people know about these valuable qualities of yours. You can be sure the tactless unfriendly individual player will be among the first on the hit list when the time comes for cutbacks.
About the Author
Corinne Lor is a success coach with Financial Analysts , visit her website if you are a FA or Business Analyst
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