People skills

People skills are the ability to communicate effectively with people in a friendly way, especially in business. In other words, people skills are about understanding, communicating and generally being good with people. These skills could include:

  • Empathy putting yourself in someone else's shoes to understand how they're feeling
  • Teamwork getting on and working well with those around you
  • Assertiveness making sure you're heard without being aggressive

Know your skills

Explain what you mean clearly by writhing or speaking Communication and literacy
Using computers and electronic equipment IT
Be keen to do well and think for yourself Enthusiasm and initiative
Express your own ideas, take on board what others think and use the facts to help your judgement Negotiation and decision-making
Work well with other people, be fair and share the workload Teamwork
Use maths to solve problems ? and be able to understand tables and charts Numeracy
Dress appropriately and behave in the right way Personal presentation
Be truthful and do the right thing Integrity (honesty)
Ask questions to understand a problem and help by coming up with new ideas Problem-solving and creativity
Plan your work and what you will need to get it done on time Time management and organising

What employers are looking for?

Potential employers are looking for more than just good grades. Brushing up on these important skills you're already using can help give you the edge when it comes to making a good impression.

Notice how many are tied to people skills you can practice in and out of the Academy.

Time management and organisation

  • What does it mean? You can plan your work, finish on time and show attention to detail.
  • You've got it! Most importantly, get to the interview on time. Then you could talk about how you plan your day, get your school assignments in on time, and manage more than one thing at a time (this could be at school, volunteering, at work experience?).

Communication and literacy

  • What does it mean? You can speak and write clearly, and interpret information correctly, whether you're listening or reading.
  • You've got it! From your application to your interview, express yourself clearly, get your message across and concentrate on giving the right answers to any questions you're asked.

Numeracy skills

  • What does it mean? You can use maths to solve everyday problems and communicate with others.
  • You've got it! Understanding things like graphs, spreadsheets and percentages is really important at work. After all, a business succeeds or fails because of money. So make sure you show that you understand that point, and don't say that maths isn't your thing?

Enthusiasm & initiative

  • What does it mean? You're willing to work hard, learn as you go, and continue to develop.
  • You've got it! Think of times when you've responded to feedback and changed your behaviour, or done something yourself without anyone asking you to, or put loads of energy into getting something done.

Personal presentation

  • What does it mean? You look, talk and behave in the right way at work.
  • You?ve got it! First impressions really count. So dress smartly and make sure you show respect to whomever you meet at your interview, just as you?d want them to behave towards you.

Adding more skills to your toolbox


How your skills are hidden in your interests

How do you find your skills?

A good place to start is to look at your interests. Let?s suppose you?re interested in helping the homeless by volunteering at a shelter. This might develop your:?

  • communication skills
  • ability to work with others
  • caring abilities
  • awareness of social issues.

Your Academy day

An equally good way of thinking about skills is by looking at your average Academy day:

  • by arriving on time, you show you're punctual
  • by submitting your homework, you show you can deliver
  • by working closely with your classmates, you show you?re good at teamwork
  • by listening closely to your teachers, you?re showing great attention skills.

Ladder to success


Know Your Skills

Make yourself aware of the skills you possess by looking at how you use them overcome life's little challenges. Match the skills with the scenario to solve the problems you face.

Rate Your Skills

Understanding where your strengths lie is a great way to help your skills develop. Move the slider left and right to rate yourself ? find out what you're good at and where you can improve.


The workplace challenge

Once you're in the workplace it's time to start demonstrating your skills. A great way to learn how to cope with pressure is by overcoming the challenges you face at work. Show you know how to handle yourself by working through each scenario.

* In order to complete the activity you will need to register on the LifeSkills created with Barclays website.