Research suggests (Center for Creative Leadership) that eighty-five percent of success in life is determined by one's ability to effectively interact and work well with others.
Additionally, according to psychologist Sidney Jourard, most of our happiness in life is derived from our capacity to build and maintain successful relationships. Conversely, most of our unhappiness is a result of the inability to get along with people.
Equally interesting, in a study appearing in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B and conducted at Trinity College Dublin, scientists discovered proof that humans started to evolve more complex brains when they engaged in cooperation and teamwork; that is, getting along and working well with others.
Fortunately, to our benefit and overall well being, we can all improve our 'people skills' and in the process boost our emotional intelligence.
Once there is an atmosphere of ease, it sets up any interaction to be more smooth and agreeable.
2. Be interested and attentive. Nothing derails interaction or communication with someone more than behaving in a distracted or uninterested manner. It sends the message that the other person is unimportant to you, or that you have better things to do than be with them.
It is very difficult to connect or collaborate with someone when you are not present or paying attention.
3. Be open-minded and flexible. In our increasingly diverse culture it is more important than ever to be open-minded.
If we approach an interaction with narrow, preconceived notions it puts the other person on the defensive, which in turn, prevents us from getting along or working cooperatively with that person.
Likewise, being flexible with your time, activities, and willingness to have new experiences, makes you easy to work or play with.
4. Avoid being judgmental (of people or their opinions). "Be curious, not judgmental." Walt Whitman wrote.
When we meet someone and make judgements about them based on their looks or demeanor, we tend to label them and therefore thwart the possibility of learning new and interesting aspects about who they are.
We also make it difficult to understand and relate to them which are key elements for getting along.
5. Be pleasant. Everyone loves to be around a pleasant person. Pleasant people are polite, agreeable, genuine and sincere.
A pleasant person engenders trust in others and makes it easy for people to share ideas, opinions and information – all of which are paramount for meaningful interactions.
6. Avoid complaining or unloading your problems on others. We all need input and advice from our friends or mentors occasionally, however, it is inadvisable to make it a practice.
Complaining regularly makes you seem self-centered, negative and unable to resolve your own problems. All of us prefer to be around positive, optimistic people who contribute to our world view rather than bring us down.
If you acquire a reputation as a complainer, people will run when they see you, not want to engage with you.
7. Be considerate. Being warm and considerate of others encourages them let their guard down and/or let go of any barriers that might get in the way of a good quality social exchange.
Showing consideration for others has the added benefit of elevating the feel good chemicals of dopamine, oxytocin and other endorphins for both you and the recipient.
How can you not have a powerful exchange under such circumstances!
8. Maintain good character and integrity. The best qualities you can bring to any relationship, business or personal, are good character and integrity. Nothing sets a more solid foundation for continued growth, trust and cooperation.
In the workplace, character and integrity promote a positive culture of open communication, exchange of creative ideas, and good decision making.
Moreover, not only does possessing good character make you an excellent team player, it engenders togetherness and cooperation, which in turn, raises the level of accomplishment on any project.
On a personal level, character and integrity foster trust, intimacy and the longevity of the relationship. Getting along with people is highly important both on a personal, or workplace, level.
When you have the social skills and emotional intelligence to relate to a wide range of people your success is certain in any endeavor of life.
As Theodore Roosevelt said;"The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people."