The Definitive Guide to Business

CEO of a multimillion-dollar company shares 7 ways be a great people person

Jessica Dilullo Herrin, CEO and founder of Stella & Dot, shares her best business advice.
Source: © Brook Todd
Jessica Dilullo Herrin, CEO and founder of Stella & Dot, shares her best business advice.

In the age of Google Chat, Slack and email, it can be easy to get lost in the endless cycle of electronic communication.

But according to one CEO, whose company has generated $300 million in revenue and $1 billion in product sales, to succeed in business, you have to be a great people person.

"Making a conscious choice to lift others up is an essential part of being a great leader," Stella + Dot founder Jessica Dilullo Herrin writes in her new book "Find Your Extraordinary."

Here are this CEO's top tips for communicating with people:

1. Listen

"Be present in the moment you are in," Herrin writes. "Listen. More than you talk."

2. Clear the air

"If you're uncomfortable in a situation, candidly and kindly voice your thoughts," she writes.

She suggests saying something along the lines of "You know, I feel funny even saying this but I left that conversation with a strange feeling. The story I am telling myself is [blank] but what are your thoughts?"

3. Don't gossip

"Talk to people, not about people," she writes.

4. Pause after you make a point

"When you make your point, pause and wait," she writes. "Too often people keep going, nervously chattering away."

"Often, if you pause and listen, someone will ask you a question or reveal an insight that takes the conversation in a more useful and interesting direction."

5. Don't be quick to judge

"Judge people on their intentions, not only on their actions," the CEO writes. "If you do this, you'll be more kind and forgiving. And the more you are forgiving and understanding, the more people will return the favor when you need it."

6. Recognize others

"Catch someone doing something good and acknowledge it out loud, and even better, in front of others," she writes. "Conversely, if you catch someone doing something bad, do not call it out in front of others. Doing that may be quicker and more efficient, but it is not harmless."

7. Speak your mind

"If you speak your mind, not everyone will love you — and that is okay," she writes. "If you are aiming for universal affection, you'll be plain vanilla, not the real you."