New York Times reports People skills are the “Bedrock” of survival

fred and barney New York Times reports People skills are the Bedrock of survivalOur very existence maybe predicated on working in groups.  A recent New York Times story hypothesizes that the ability to work together is an evolutionary survival mechanism, “…our long nomadic prehistory as tightly knit bands living by… team-building rules: the belief in fairness and reciprocity,  a capacity for empathy and impulse control, and a willingness to work cooperatively in ways that even our smartest primate kin cannot match.”

Technical people, with their ultra-focus, are often socially-impaired. So, what do you do if you’re not inherently a people person?  Learning and practicing people skills is a pretty good start and people skills can  be learned.  Started by noticing those around you.  What are people doing? Is the woman on the cell phone at Starbucks angry or amorous?  Becoming aware of the feelings and behaviors of others through simple observation is a good starting point for learning about social skills.  Here are a few basic people skills:

  • Understanding people
  • Listening
  • Giving constructive feedback
  • Expressing thoughts clearly
  • Accepting feedback
  • Resolving conflicts
  • Collaborating
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