25 January 2007

How To Get To the Top of Your Profession

If you desire to reach the top of your profession, and perhaps have amibition of being a senior manager, associate director or indeed a director of your company, then you need to develop your people skills.

This is so key, Les Giblin, author of Skills with People, wrote: 'people skills are the key to life.' From the beginning of time, man has always been interested in himself/herself, and it will remain that way to the end of time. You do not need to be embarrased about realising this fact, it is just how it is.

You need to realise that man's actions are governed by self thought and self interest, you might have heard the 'WIIFM' - What Is In It For Me. Whenever you buy something, that is what goes through your mind, you say how can this be good for me, how can this benefit me and so on...
This trait is so strong in man that in charity the dominant thought is the feeling of goodness that the giver gets from giving, and not the gift, that comes second. So once you understand this principle, you can become better at talking with people, knowing how to set people's mood, knowing how to make people feel good, making a good first impression, knowing how to criticise people, knowing how to convince people is all part of people skills and if you have wishes of climbing the ladder of success you will need to know how to deal with people.

In your career and in life these are the same skills that you need. Think about it, the most high profile job on the planet earth is perhaps most will say being the president of the USA, the most powerful nation on earth. But, when you analyse the role for the presidency, what skills does he/she need, i mean there is no course in being a president is there, maybe we should have one, but there is none. It is the same skills we have been talking about all along, i.e. knowing how to communicate, being able to lead, being to sell your ideas, good organisational skills, good time management skills, and so on and so forth...And so you see if you want to reach the top you need to keep on improving your people skills, this is not something you pick up overnight, so you have to keep on learning. Most successful people are perpertual learners, so why not join them. They say a prudent person will profit from personal experience, but a wise will from others.

To wrap up this article, i will tell you the story of the swallows of Capistrano. Caspistrano is a small town in southern california. These tiny birds annually travelled 6000 miles from Buenos Aires in Argentina to San Juan Capistrano. For many years researches were baffled how these tiny birds could fly non-stop over open ocean, it was impossible they thought. Later, they discoverved that the swallows on their flight of migration, the birds carried tiny twigs in their beaks and would drop the twigs into the water and rest for a while before resuming their flight until they got to their destination.

So what does this mean? Basically, like the twigs are to swallows, so is people skills to people, a life raft in an ocean of constant change called life. You see, as human beings, we are all on a journey, migration called life. Therefore you need the people skills to keep you afloat, otherwise, you will may find yourself sinking.

There is plenty of room at the top, and it is the people skills which differentiates those climbing up and those hovering at the bottom.

How do you improve your people skills. Well i could go on and on about what you can do, but i will say essentially, you need to read motivational material and attend seminars as much as you can each year. Millions of people have read 'think and grow rich' by Napolean Hill, the wisdom is timeless, and what, for less than a £tenner, you get to learn about the life of a multi millionaire. There is a chinese proverb which says: 'if you wish to get to the top of the mountain, you need to learn from those coming back.' So keep an open mind and be teachable, a willingness to learn from your own experiences as well as others.

See you soon.

Femi Yusoof


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