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.


Gratitude Leads to Success And Pleasure (and that’s no turkey)


Thanksgiving is around the corner and I’m musing about gratitude.

Gratitude is a feeling in response to an act or gift. Be that act a warm ray of sunlight warming your back on a cold morning, the embrace of your beloved or getting your first big career break. Gratitude is a transcendent moment of grace, in which you know you have benefit from something.

But that is one half of gratitude the other half is expressing a deep sense of thankfulness. Offering sincere thanks doesn’t happen independently or automatically. You have to use your noggin to purposefully express your appreciation in concrete terms.

Which has more impact for you?

“Thanks, Amy!”

“Thanks, Amy for helping me practice my talk. I was able to weed out the extra words which improve it.”

Gratitude Leads to Success And Pleasure

Being actively grateful leads to being more open to experiences, ideas, being extroverted and agreeable. It opens the door to your ability to use other strengths and skills, like curiosity or perspective.

Research shows that grateful people:

  • Enjoy their work more than others
  • Are more likely to achieve goals
  • Focus less on materials goods and more on what matters most to them
  • Are more likely to feel connected to people and life
  • Enjoy life-  they are happy
  • Have better moods, exercise habits, and sleep well

If you never learned the lesson of thankfulness, begin now. Sum up your mercies; see what provision God has made for your happiness, what opportunities for your usefulness, and what advantages for your success. – Ida S. Taylor

But Don’t Be Too Grateful

People say you can be too grateful.  You can.

Overuse of gratitude is ingratiation. Yuck. Profusely saying thanks can make people uncomfortable and less likely to extend their help to you again. Paying to attention to the words you use you say thanks, when you say it and how you do, given the situation.

And not being grateful enough can be just as counterproductive.

At the extreme it’s a complete inward focus and “I don’t need anyone” attitude. You can overlook moment express thanks to your sibling, spouse or colleague. You can lose perspective of an event, a success, a relationship, etc.  Or you may not have the whole picture of what it takes to keep a business going and the pressures that result. Isolation and misunderstandings can be the end result.

For gratitude to work for you – and everyone else – you need to strike the right cord with your words and delivery. And you need find the sweet spot between too much and too little.

3 Ways to Be Grateful Without Groveling.

  1. Pick one small, important thing that you have taken for granted.  For the next 5 days pay attention to it and see what you discover.
  2. Pay attention to when and how often you genuinely say thank you. Speak honestly, simply or not at all.
  3. Jot down 3-5 good things that happened each day and WHY they matter to you.

Thank you, for reading this email. It matters to me that you take time to spend with me.

Do you have a story about gratitude? If you have a minute I’d love to hear about it