It’s the office Christmas party and you’re hiding in the bathroom. Not a people a person? Fear not! A good coach and a bit of coaching will have you mingling in no time.
- Being a people-person does not come naturally to everyone, but it is necessary to get ahead.
- Coaching can help you overcome the obstacles you face when trying to connect with others.
- The journey of coaching naturally leads to a positive change in behaviour and self-awareness.
- It is not necessary to be a people-person 100% of the time but being able to connect with others will help you grow your relationships and your career.
Being a people-person may come naturally to a social butterfly, but for those of us introverts developing people skills can be tricky, overwhelming and down-right unpleasant. The sad truth is, however, that even if you’re amazing at your job, without good interpersonal skills, you aren’t going anywhere.
The ability to be a people-person, at least some of the time, is essential to getting ahead in your career and, well, almost anywhere. It’s unlikely that you’ll find yourself being promoted to lead a team if your people management skills are non-existent. So, what do you do if you’re the one hiding behind the water cooler at the office party, obsessively avoiding eye contact and chitchat? Fear not! A life coach and a bit of coaching can seriously improve your communication and interpersonal skills thus improving your people-person credibility. How do they do it? Here are five reasons in which coaching can help you be a people-person.
1. Goodbye comfort zone
To get the best out of coaching you need to allow yourself and your behaviour to be challenged. Sometimes we don’t do things simply because we never have. We are not used to them and, as a result, they make us feel uncomfortable. When stuck in your comfort zone it is not always easy to see what you’re missing out on and how ‘stepping out’ might improve your personal skills and change your career and your life for the better. For those of us that struggle to build relationships, it is much easier to skip Friday post-work drinks than it is to show up. A good coach will encourage you to see the benefits of being a people-person and they will work with you on improving your communication skills. Coaching forces you to leave your comfort zone in order to grow and develop. Soon you’ll find that your usual excuses for not showing up just don’t cut it anymore.
2. Boost that confidence
Social anxiety and low self-esteem can greatly hinder one’s ability to build relationships and be a people-person. It’s no good being at the party if you’re too afraid to talk to anyone. By nature, we are incredibly hard on ourselves. We measure our success against impossible standards and in our eyes, we simply don’t meet the grade. If you’re doubting whether you have anything to offer chances are you’re not going to have much to say. Coaching is an excellent way to boost one’s confidence and self-esteem. A good coach will help you evaluate your standards and your feelings of worth. They will work with you on how to manage anxiety, increase your confidence and improve your people skills. They will show you that you really do have something worthwhile to say and they will help you to say it.
3. Watch your tone and body language
There is more too being a people-person than just conversation. Tone and body language have a huge impact on what and how you communicate with others. For example, people don’t warm to an aggressive tone or closed body language. Often, we are not always aware of the image we project. An anxious person may cross their arms to ‘hide’ and feel safe whereas to an outsider they just look closed off and unfriendly. Coaching will help you to exam your tone and your body language as well as look at ways to improve them. And, as a bonus, studies have actually proven that people who display confident body language actually end-up feeling more confident in themselves!
4. Start with yourself
Coaching teaches you more about yourself. It encourages you to look at your beliefs, emotions, thoughts and behaviour. This increased self-awareness will help you to connect with others. In a study recently published in the journal of Cognitive Enhancement, researchers established a close link between greater self-awareness and social intelligence. Wurzburg University professor, Ann Bockler, explains this when saying, “Expanding our knowledge about internal dynamics such as our thoughts, beliefs or emotional patterns, allows for a better understanding of these processes in others.” The ability to express empathy is vital to connecting and developing relationships with others. In order to experience empathy however you must be able to view things, without judgement, from another’s perspective. The self-awareness fostered in coaching will help you to do just that.
5. Put your ego aside
The more you grow in self-awareness, confidence and acceptance (all benefits of coaching) the less likely you will be governed by your ego. Coaching will help you realise that you don’t have to prove your worth or your ability. This will change the way you interact with others. It will allow you to really listen to what they are saying rather than focussing on how you can one-up-them. Being heard is a fundamental desire of all people and you’ll find that a good listener is generally a people-person.
Even if you have the best coach in the world you are not going to transform from introvert to social butterfly overnight. It takes practise and patience and chances are you’ll always prefer smaller gatherings or being alone. That’s okay. You don’t need to be a people-person 100% of the time, but with some communication skills training you will see that being able to connect with others, when necessary, will open doors to new friendships and opportunities.
Interested in learning more about coaching? SACAP offers a range of courses, including part-time and full-time as well as distance learning options. For more information, enquire now.