According to the Portland Business Journal, people skills are often described as (a) understanding ourselves and moderating our responses, (b) talking effectively and empathizing accurately, (c) building relationships of trust, respect and productive interactions.
Types of skills
People skills encompass a range of interpersonal and intrapersonal communication competencies. In business and organizational human relations, the emphasis is on social-emotional awareness, self-presentation, management, getting along with others, negotiation, conflict resolution and decision-making.
Interpersonal communication skills include effective prosocial interaction, empathy, understanding personalities and ability to work cooperatively as part of a group or team. Influential components are cultural awareness, conversational language and non-verbal communication.
The single greatest cause of difficulties in global business transactions is not lack of technical expertise, hard work, or good intentions. It is a lack of “people skills” for relating successfully with counterparts from other countries and cultures. The number of people involved with global business has increased dramatically over the past decade, and now, with the advent of virtual teams, global people skills are becoming almost a daily necessity in many professions. Areas where cross-border friction tends to emerge are relatively consistent and predictable, and are based on underlying cultural differences.
It may be satisfying to memorize the list of dos and don’ts for a particular destination, but one quickly realizes after arriving in the country that such a list only goes so far – there are many things that are not on the list at all, or which even contradict it. Without a deeper understanding of the country and its culture, the list itself is likely to turn into an obstacle, encouraging a false confidence and a sense of knowing more than we actually do.
In this white paper, we explored practical... [continues]
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