It takes more than experience, talent or enthusiasm to succeed in business or at your job. You also need people’s skill. When you’re able to effectively communicate, understand and empathise with colleagues,  including interacting with others with respect, then everyone in the team will find it easier to work together.


The way you interact with people determines how they treat you. The ability to communicate information accurately and clearly will benefit your verbal and nonverbal interactions. You can develop these skills by practising active listening. Active listening involves paying attention to what the other person is saying, asking them for clarity and being able to rephrase what they said to ensure that you understand so you can respond appropriately. No one likes one-sided conversations, so learn to listen to people when they are talking.


Being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, embody their emotions and to understand their experiences will give you the good people skill you need. As a person who is empathetic, you can be sensitive to people and their situations. By doing so you are providing a safe space for people to share their experiences, including grievances.

Conflict Resolution

Knowing how to resolve conflict and disputes in the work environment is important to help manage interactions between your colleagues and/or clients. In order to resolve conflict, listen to both sides of the story without being biased or judgmental. You can then suggest solutions on how both can reach a compromise. By doing so, you will be able to keep peace in the work environment and allow people to express themselves freely.


Patience is a great people skill to have. To be patient means that you can control your anger and temper even when you have been pushed to the end. You are also able to cater to those who don’t find it easy to understand you and need you to repeat what you said for clarity. Patience is especially important to those who work really close with customers.


When you walk into the workspace, you are bound to meet people with different personalities. Tolerance will help you understand and to deal with the different personalities. This people skill will benefit the business in the long run as you are able to accept everyone with their multiple traits. Aspects of culture, religion and ethnic differences will come up in the business, but having tolerance, will help you to work with everyone despite their differences.

This article is part of the ABSA ReadytoWork programme aimed at empowering young people with key people, money, work and entrepreneurial skills. The programme also offers on and offline courses, including on digital marketing skills. Register here to benefit to access courses.