Your People Skills Matter More than Your Smarts


My friend Kay has superb people skills. She knows just what to do to make people feel at ease. She instinctively reads the “currents” of power and rules in a room full of folks. And she knows herself too. Kay pays attention to what she’s feeling in the moment and recognizes the connection between her feelings to what she’s thinking, doing and saying.

Kay has social and emotional intelligence. In fact it’s her number one signature strength. Aside from being a nice attribute is significant part of why she is successful. That’s not just my opinion. Research backs it up.

Smarts Matter, But Not As Much As You Think

Some researchers, including Laura Belsten, PhD founder of the Institute for Social + Emotional Intelligence©, believe that your success in work and life is driven more by your social and emotional intelligence than by your smarts (IQ), or your technical abilities, like “strategic thinking” or being able to write an impressive quarterly report.

Unfortunately you most often see social and emotional intelligence when it is missing.

  • The micromanaging supervisor you used to work for (or maybe still do)
  • A friend who can’t handle stress or accept feedback
  • Your co-worker whom no one trusts

Their lack of social and emotional Intelligence limits their degree of success

Here is the good news.

People Skills Lead to Meaningful Results

Cultivating social and emotional Intelligence is a smart thing for anyone to do, and it’s vital if you’re a solo entrepreneur, a corporate team leader, a business owner with employees or an individual who wants to . . .

  • Manage emotional responses more effectively in the moment, shaping them to be productive (versus operating from knee-jerk reactions unlikely to get your desired results)
  • Develop more rewarding relationships personally and professionally
  • Enhance your ability to have the difficult conversations in life
  • Operate from a mindset of success, not fear of failure
  • Stay composed and positive even in trying times

Social and emotional intelligence encompasses 26 skills including interpersonal communication skills, stress management, intentionality, powerful influencing skills, teamwork, trust building and many more. Social and emotional intelligence skills can be learned and strengthened throughout your life.

Effectively Operate in Today’s Workplace

The more robust your social and emotional intelligence is the better able you are to effectively operate in today’s workplace.

“Cultivating a culture where leaders have high social and emotional intelligence creates proven results in increased productivity, increased sales and profits, reduced healthcare costs, increased employee satisfaction and improved employee engagement to name a few,” says Belsten.

She goes on to say, “Managers with high scores in the relevant relationship management competencies of communication, building bonds, building trust, and inspirational leadership, are better equipped to manage their employees in a manner that brings out the best in individuals and teams.”

Cultivate Your People Skills

I’m pleased to announce I recently completed an intensive certification program in coaching social and emotional intelligence, and am now a Social + Emotional Intelligence Certified Coach ® through the Institute for Social + Emotional Intelligence®. What this means is that I’ve added new services to my portfolio including Social and Emotional Intelligence Assessment, Coaching and Training. You can read about them here ((Insert link)). I have an array of tools and materials available for you that are designed to help all of us be more successful in work and in life.

I’d love to share more information with you about Social and Emotional Intelligence, just email me and we will connect.


Do Fewer Things This Summer

Phew! Do you feel like you’ve been running at top speed over the past few weeks?

May was a busy month here too. My husband and I both celebrated birthdays and a big wedding anniversary, ten years is a milestone. He wrapped up the Spring Semester and participated in five graduation ceremonies at the college.

I completed an intensive certification program in social and emotional intelligence, and I am now a Social + Emotional Intelligence Certified Coach® (more on that soon).

And I started as co-chair of a Leadership program (more about that in the future too).

Summer is for Simplifying
So when a colleague of mine remarked “The gift of summer is to take time to simplify what you are doing.” struck a chord. Well, it was more like a gong.

Think of this as streamlining what you are doing so that you can keep a steady gentle momentum while building up energy and ideas for the busy times that come in the fall.

I know when I simplify I get more done. And what I do is better in every sense of the word: focused, productive, a pleasure, interesting, satisfying. At least one of those descriptors apply.

Try This
My colleague, Isabel, posed two questions that get at the heart of deciding where to start simplifying.

  1. What small change could I make in my work to be able to focus more on what I most enjoy or am most interested in?
  2. What small change could I make in my personal life to be able to focus more on what I most enjoy or restores me?

Yes, you might have total control over what you do at work or at home, but you do some amount of control. And there is something small you can do. Maybe you decide to stop spending an extra 20 throughout the day minute gossiping at the coffee machine so that you can leave the office on time.

I’ve got some ideas on what I could do to simply. How about you? I’d love to hear your ideas,just put them in the comment section.