WHETHER you are running your own business or working with other employees, you have to deal with and relate to other people. And you will meet people who often get on your nerves or who don’t think like you.

Former American president Theodore Roosevelt said: “The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” So what does “getting along” look like?

Here are five skills you can cultivate to improve your relationships with others:

1. Listen

In a conversation, it is easy to think about what you are going to say next or let your mind drift away. If you actually listen to the other person with sincere interest, you will stand out as someone who is good to “do business with” because you care and are interested in solving their problems.

Above all, don’t interrupt. There is nothing that says “I don’t care!” more than interrupting the person when he is talking.

2. See the other person’s perspective

“If there is any one secret of success,” said legendary car maker Henry Ford, “it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.”

Imagine what a boring world you would live in if everyone thinks like you. This doesn’t mean that some ideas are not superior to others, but in dealing with other people, you must remember to take every idea into consideration and make the other person feel validated.

3. Remember names

Who doesn’t like to hear the sound of their own name or see their name in print? Think about that the next time you visit the Washington Monument or see an advertisement for a business named after the founder.

Self-development author and lecturer Dale Carnegie said: “We should be aware of the magic contained in a name and realise that this single item is wholly and completely owned by the person with whom we are dealing ... and nobody else. The name sets the individual apart; it makes him or her unique among all others. The information we are imparting or the request we are making takes on a special importance when we approach the situation with the name of the individual. From the waitress to the senior executive, the name will work magic as we deal with others.”

4. Encourage

Most people don’t like to be criticised and will stay away from people who come across as condescending or critical. So, be careful of the ways your body language, speech and tone of voice are being perceived by people you interact with.

If you aren’t sure, ask someone you trust and encourage those around you with your humour. The famous comedian Victor Borge once said: “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”

5. Be humble

All of the above can be summarised in simple suggestion: be humble. How many people do you know who talk about themselves all the time or always seem to find a way to let you know how well they are doing? Strive to curb this character flaw in yourself. Respect others and you are sure to find success in all that you do.