Tuesday, April 19, 2011

People Skills

For the A to Z Challenge, I’m posting promo and other tips for writers. Today it’s people skills.

Of all the topics, this one is my favorite! It’s one of the Five Keys to success in my Overcoming Obstacles with SPUNK book. It’s vital to our success. And it’s one of the first things I tell writers at my promoting seminar they need.

Why? Because you’re going to have to deal with people if you hope to succeed! You will deal with editors, publishers, other writers, the media, fans, store employees, etc. Basically, anyplace online or in real life that you encounter other human beings will require you to use people skills. And we’ve all seen what happens when authors and writers fail to use people skills!

Developing people skills takes two things - research (reading people skill & relationship books) and practice (interacting with others.) You must understand the basic truths (i.e. - everyone’s favorite topic is themselves), learn to listen (and ask questions), making good impressions (which are made by letting the other person know he is impressing YOU), and how to properly criticize (only in private) and praise (preferably in public.)

You probably own many ‘how-to’ books on writing - do you also own several people skills books?

15 comments:

welcome to my world of poetry said...

As always very helpful.

Yvonne.

Karen Walker said...

Yes, several as a matter of fact. People skills are crucial in life, period, not just to being successful writers. You are so good, Diane.
Karen

Laura Marcella said...

I have no books on people skills, but I'm positive my parents taught me well. :)

theoldsilly.com said...

Oooh yeah, I amassed a whole library of People Skills books and tapes back in the day ... I did a long stint with network marketing and developed into a much better communicator, salesperson, speaker, and eventually ... trainer of all the above.

Good choice for you, Spunkster, for a "P" post during the challenge! :)

Marvin D Wilson

Eric W. Trant said...

I don't own too many self-help books. I already know everything so they're redundant.

My people skills are hit-n-miss. I usually do all right, mainly because I don't think about it too much. I simply walk up and stick out my hand and go from there.

Over-thinking it makes people nervous.


- Eric

notesfromnadir said...

You summarized it very well. Writing does involve people skills as you're writing for people! & quite a variety!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's why I try to focus on others, not myself.

Gregg said...

Great advice, even for those of us who are not aspiring writers.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Thanks for the comment Diane, Yes Sheba was a sweet natured dog, we had her for 16 yrs, My poem about Sheba was my first poem 6yrs before I wrote all my other poems.
Yvonne.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Karen, good for you.

Marvin, that's great! Bet we had some similar training, too.

Eric, I teach seminars on the topic and I'm still learning new things. Learning people skills is a lifelong quest.

Yvonne, Sheba lived a long life!

Tony Eldridge said...

Diane, this is one of my favorite of the challenges too. It many ways, you can trace so much success back to people skills. Luckily, I love to interact with people, so I enjoy the process of continually learning new and better people skills. This is good, because even though I enjoy interacting with people, I'm not always a natural at it.

Holly Ruggiero said...

Argh. I'm one of those people who gets tongue-tied. I tend to be on the shy side too, especially in terms of promoting myself.

Cool Overcoming Obstacles with Spunk is only 1.95 on Kindle. SCORE!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

This is a tough one for me, as it probably is for many writers. Good tip to study up on people skills!

Prill said...

Speaking of the importance of listening, I was on a book tour in November of 2004 and ended up in San Francisco the day before the Bush/Gore vote and in Dallas on Election Day itself. Hoping to sell books and not wanting to alienate anyone, I kept my political views to myself. Everywhere I went, though, people were talking about the election. I just listened. Because I didn't speak up, the people in San Francisco thought I was an ardent Gore supporter and the people in Dallas thought I was a true Bush lover. I learned a valuable lesson in those two days of keeping quiet: If you want to know what people really think, keep your mouth shut.

DEZMOND said...

but it's also interesting that the biggest writers, especially the classic ones, didn't have people skills :) They were usually reclusive, reserved and socially weird :)