People are beautiful, challenging, caring, complex, giving and needy. You are dealing with people all the time from your referrers to your suppliers, your customers to your employees. You have to understand people to succeed in both life and business. Before you can understand other people you have to understand yourself.

You are an action taker, a trend setter, a leader not a follower. You also have to look after yourself first so you can spread your ideas and make an effective contribution. Being in that position means leading by example, building trust and confidence, remaining adaptable and willing to let go of the obsolete.

You need clarity within yourself to establish clear communication, rules and boundaries with everyone you work with. It is essential that everyone you deal with understands their duties and responsibilities. Good listening is an essential skill for establishing how you can help each individual and build the kind of rapport that will create trust in you.

Everyone has needs from the basic biological up to self-fulfilment and spiritual. Change removes certainty and this is the basis of the greatest fear, that of the unknown. You can alter how people view change by putting it in terms of their growth, something which supports their goal towards fulfilment.

In business, people run the systems upon which your business depends. It is imporatant to look after your employees well by offering them a good working environment and conditions. Being appreciative of your staff creates a positive atmosphere and is often valued by them more than material rewards. Make training courses available to give your staff the opportunity to develop professionally, empower them by giving them appropriate responsibilities. Encourage them to develop improvements in the system, new products and services. A great leader delegates the day-to-day running of the business.

For customers, giving genuine added value will encourage their loyalty, leading them to make you their preferred supplier in a good long term relationship.

Be reliable, trustworthy and discreet. Allow people to get on with tasks you have asked of them without interference, assist only if asked and give praise and gratitude when due.

Maintaining your integrity makes you resilient, you will demonstrate transparent core values. People learn they can rely on you to deal with issues calmly, looking for solutions rather than wasting time on blame. You will build a reputation for trustworthiness which can withstand attacks by unscrupulous competitors and build your self-confidence.

Always treat everyone you meet with respect, don’t judge people on the basis of their appearance, you never know who you might meet or what their circumstances might be. It is also important to listen to the other person’s point of view whether you agree with them or not; avoid the temptation to try to prove yourself right. In business, it is about them.

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