Maybe you’re working with colleagues most of the time, or maybe you’re out and about seeing clients or meeting with people from other organisations. If you work on your own, you probably meet up with people at networking events or even online. The fact is, people are part of our working lives and friendliness paves the way for positive professional relationships with them.

Think of colleagues, clients or professional acquantances you know – I’m guessing that the ones you enjoy talking to, and probably doing business with, are friendly. I’ve been impressed by a few role models of mine who don’t feel that they’re too important to be interested in me and what I’m doing.

I know it’s a very simple thing – but it’s one that’s easily forgotten when we’re focussed on what we have to do, what we need to say, what we must achieve. The strange thing is, when we remember to think of others and reach out to them with friendship, we often find that it benefits ourselves too.

Being friendly isn’t expensive or difficult, but it is about making a deliberate effort to put other people at ease, think of their concerns and speak pleasantly to them. In fact, it’s a very important interpersonal skill.