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The Top 4 People Skills That Every Entrepreneur Needs to Succeed

In becoming an entrepreneur, there are all kinds of skills one must possess. For some entrepreneurs, they learn everything they know in business school. But not all entrepreneurs can afford to go to business school. They learn everything they know about running a business in the “school of hard knocks.” Nonetheless, everyone’s entrepreneurial journey will be different but the remaining constant, whether you go to business school or not, has and always will be devising effective strategies to sell your products or services.

Whether you have a product or service, or both, as an entrepreneur, the art of “selling” is something that comes naturally for some and not so much for others. 

Can you take a wild guess as to why selling is easier for some than it is for others? Well, there’s this thing called people skills that some people have and some don’t, and if you don’t at least try to improve your people skills, your business will not succeed.

People skills are so important because it doesn’t just encompass customers… it’s for every person you come in contact with. As an entrepreneur, you can have the smarts to manage your time well, protect your business with general liability insurance, and know when to hire and when to outsource, but if you don’t have the people skills to establish positive working relationships, no one is going to want to work with you.

You want to at least try and see where your strengths and weaknesses are because when running a business, you’re going to be working with all kinds of people with all kinds of different personalities. And because people have different personalities, it’s important that you know know how to adjust your tone and demeanor to build a positive relationship. 

That’s not saying to change who you are as a business person, that’s just saying that people are more willing to work with people who are more pleasant in demeanor than people who come off as rude or indecisive. 

From a customer standpoint, they’re not going to support a business that they feel doesn’t care about their concerns, or that doesn’t appreciate them for simply being a customer.

In knowing that, take a step back for a moment and re-evaluate your people skills from a customer standpoint and from a vendor/supplier standpoint. Here are the top four people skills every entrepreneur needs to succeed.

People Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs to Run a Successful Business

People Skill 1: Knowing How to Effectively Communicate

Effective communication is probably a people skill that you’re thinking probably isn’t worth mentioning because it should be understood, but the reality is that it is. Effective communication isn’t like typical communication. With effective communication, you’re speaking with intent.

To be able to effectively communicate means that you’re speaking to someone in a way that they’re able to understand the idea and message you’re conveying and feel motivated about what you’ve just told them. 

You want to get the main idea across and refrain from unnecessary details until you know you’ve grabbed their attention. This should make them want to know more from you giving them the “big picture.” 

According to Forbes, effective communication should consist of the five C’s: clear, concise, curious, compelling, and compassionate

People Skill 2: Being a Good Listener

It’s just as important to be as good of a listener as it is to be an effective communicator. Being a good listener helps you to better understand what the person speaking needs, plus it lets them know that you are invested in the conversation. 

This is what you would call active listening, and it’s very different from just hearing someone talk. Active listening should also prompt you to ask questions just to make sure you understand what they’re saying correctly.

People Skill 3: The Ability to Empathize

Empathizing with people is having the ability to relate to them. Whether it’s a customer or an employee, being able to understand the issues they’re facing from their perspective is what’s going to make people feel more comfortable opening up to you.

Sometimes you have to go back and think of how you looked at the bosses you’ve had before you became a boss yourself. Did you feel comfortable opening up to them? Did they instill a little fear in you? They probably did, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

As an entrepreneur, there need to be boundaries between employers and employees, but there isn’t anything wrong with being relatable to people, regardless of their position. 

You’re human just like everyone else, and sometimes when you can connect with people on a deeper level, they’ll have a deeper respect for you. For employees, you’ll be able to see it in their work, and for customers, you’ll be able to see it in your sales. 

People Skill 4: Exercising Patience

As an entrepreneur, you understand the concept that literally, time is money, especially if you have hourly employees! Your daily routine of running a business might be fast-paced because you have deadlines to meet, but for some of your employees, they’re not under the same pressures as you and may not move as fast as you. 

That doesn’t give them the green light to move at an unproductive pace, by any means, but you need to practice patience in the sense of understanding that there are different levels of learning. Just because one employee picked up on a task faster than another employee, that doesn’t mean that the slower employee is bad, it just means that they learn at a different pace. You might need to implement some one-on-one training.


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