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Compelling People Skills


by Karla Brandau, CSP


In my pursuit to become more effective in my work and personal relationships, I studied people who had 'compelling personas' around them and discovered four important characteristics that must be developed to be a person of influence, a person who improves the atmosphere in the organization or at home and helps people get along with each other. Those four main qualities are:
Purpose Integrity Charisma Collaboration

The Purpose People

Purpose People act as catalytic forces, the organizing principle for everything that is done. One night shortly after we were married, my husband and I were watching a TV movie about Vince Lombardi, the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers. I will never forget one scene.

Lombardi had just taken over as the coach of the downtrodden Packers and was in a press conference. The reporters were anything but kind as they made jokes about Lombardi's purpose: to win!

One reporter, with a sneer in his voice, said, "Oh, when you say you will win, does that mean you will win 2 games this year?"

In controlled rage, Lombardi said, "Let me tell you about winning, mister. Winning means that you are willing to give more and play harder than anyone else. If you're smaller, you better run faster. If you're slower, you better hit harder. If you'd put that to practice in your life, you'd be winning Pulitzer Prizes instead of sitting here in a snow storm asking stupid questions."

Lombardi ignited fires. The Greenbay Packers won Super Bowls I and II.

You can apply principle of purpose by assessing the dynamics of the group you are working with and deciding if people need a push to get a project completed. If they do, help them organize the project, give them mini-deadlines for completion, and hold them to a final deadline. Urge them to give the project 110% effort and to finish on time. You will fill them with purpose.

The Integrity-based Bunch

The Integrity-based Bunch is the moral conscience of us all, much like the little boy in the grocery store who wanted some grapes. His mother tasted a grape, found them to be sweet, put two big bunches in her cart and continued her shopping.

They reached the checkout counter and after the mother had written a check for the groceries, her young son tugged on her jacket and in anything but a timid voice said, "But Mommy, you didn't pay for the grape you ate."

The mother looked at him, dug through her purse, found a penny, laid it on the counter and said, "That is for the grape I ate."

There are times when members of groups wait for someone to speak up and voice an opinion on the side of integrity and honor. If you do this, you will gain respect and you will be applauded.

The other benefit of living honestly and having integrity is that people will know they can trust you. This is perhaps the greatest people skill of all and you will be able to influence everyone around you.

The Charismatic Crowd

Susanna Clark said,

"You've got to sing like you don't need the money.
You've got to love Like you'll never get hurt.
You've got to dance like there's nobody watching.
You've got to come from the heart If you want it to work."

Susanna Clark has just described how the Charismatic Crowd lives life. They give life 110% and fill the world with sunshine.

Nobody likes to be around a negative person. To increase your people skills, put on a smile and when you are asked how you are doing, reply with "Terrific!" not, "Well, I guess I'll live." Be enthusiastic and optimistic about life and your rating as a people person will go sky high.

The Collaborative Collection

A Kikuyu proverb states: "When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers." Individuals from the Collaborative Collection seek to build win-win solutions for everyone so the grass, or the organization, does not suffer.

They have a gentle touch about them much like Clint Eastwood developed as a director. John Balzar in the Los Angeles Times reports that Eastwood doesn't yell, "ACTION" when he is ready to start a scene. Instead he says a casual, "Okay." Eastwood explains he learned when filming Rawhide that when you yell "ACTION," it sends adrenaline not only through the actors, but through the horses as well who end up jumping out of the shot, making you start over.

This is the final way to increase your people skills: be calm and have a gentle touch. Accept people as they are. Listen to their concerns and problems. This is all it takes to have them view you as a hero.

Be More Effective

If you want to be more effective, choose one trait to develop more fully in the next month. One word of caution: don't choose the one that comes the most naturally to you, but choose the one that will stretch you the most.

Karla's keynotes spread infectious enthusiasm for life as she speaks on personal growth, mental toughness, and achievement. She is the author of "Wake Up The Winner Inside." Visit her website at www.karlaspeaks.com  and pick a topic to make your next meeting memorable.

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