Communication is an important ingredient in every kind of relationship – partner, family, friends and work. To be able to communicate and build relationships with others effectively, you need a skill known as interpersonal or people skills. They are traits you rely on when you interact and communicate with others.
You tend to incorporate both your innate personality traits and how you have learned to handle certain social situations. At the workplace, interpersonal skills is more important when you work with teams or members of the public. Effective interpersonal skills can help you have a positive impact on your career advancement.
The way you interact with coworkers and clients makes all the difference; it can be a game changer that will positively impact your career and your organization. Every employee looking to become a leader in their company or organization in the near future must see developing their interpersonal skills as key to be able to reach that goal. Interpersonal skills are vital in today’s growing and innovative business environment. By developing these skills, they have an advantage of helping with growing a unique company culture and growing your future business talent into influential leaders.
Educba states that the mastering of good communication skills is perhaps the most important aspect of interpersonal skills, which is to convey your message effectively and to do so without creating any conflict in the best manner possible will do the job. There are, basically, two types of interpersonal skills namely, verbal and nonverbal communicational skills. The very basic aspect of communicating effectively is listening properly. You need to listen very thoughtfully.
“A good communicator is always a good and thoughtful listener,” a very old saying nails it right. Before giving your opinion if you have listened thoughtfully, you will know what you are saying and what the conversation is all about. The very general idea about this aspect of interpersonal skill is that you may not avoid it at any cost because it is necessary for any profession. If you learn the art of communication properly, then you are avoiding the conflicts, and you also increase your productivity with effective communication. Be it verbal or non-verbal communication, both communications are important.
Verbal Communication: Verbal communication encompasses any form of communication, which involves words, be it spoken or written. The conversations, which we, generally, have with our co-workers, clients or bosses at the lunch, in a meeting. Verbal communication is a major aspect of the communication when it comes to interpersonal skills. You should not just only communicate, but you should also know the importance of communicating verbally very effectively and learn the art of conveying your message properly because to convey what you mean in the best possible manner is the best thing you can do to your professional as well as personal life.
Non-verbal Communication: It exists parallel along with the verbal communication. These two are the very powerful tools, and together they can change the whole lot of conception and perceptions. Non-verbal communication according to fact includes almost 60% of the total communication, which you have with anyone.
Non-verbal communication includes many things like your body language, your face expressions, your posture and the way you make gestures while communicating. The sound of your voice and the tone in which you are speaking also tell a lot about your mode. So, you should also keep in mind these aspects. The clothes you wear and the way you carry yourself is also a part of non-verbal communication. Non-verbal communication includes following:
- Eye contact
- The sound of voice and tone
- Dressing sense
- Body language
Every effective leader possess the ability to understand and interact with each employee as well as understand their skills and weaknesses. As every skill can be learnt, I encourage you to get a role model among your leaders with great interpersonal skills in the workplace, and learn from them – how they interact with employees, their teams, clients, and their peers; how they compose themselves in conflict settings, how they respond instead of reacting in confrontational situations, and how they practice the art of listening actively.
This will bring benefit to you in terms of your future career prospects, and the business, company or organization you work for, in terms of productivity. Employers value interpersonal skills because they contribute to positive work environments and help maintain an efficient workflow.
To build and maintain your interpersonal skills in the workplace, here are 4 points to help you on your journey:
- CREATE A SPECIAL LOVE FOR BOOKS
Whether they are hardcover books or eBooks, I always encourage my coachees to read wide and not just feed themselves with only information from their fields because, books add to their knowledge, apart from helping them gain proficiency in a particular language; and it helps them develop better concentration and agility when they are able to make it a habit of reading regularly.
They are also able to gain knowledge on diverse fields, meaning that, they get the advantage of gaining knowledge in different subjects that may be discussed in the workplace, and will be able to contribute meaningfully to it. The strong contribution books make when it comes to interpersonal skills, makes it key to not just love buying them but actually making the time to read them. Having knowledge on varied topics will cause your coworkers, teammates and your leaders take note of such immense knowledge and you will gain their respect for that.
- ENHANCE YOUR CONFIDENCE
After gaining knowledge from books, the next step is to enhance your confidence. Confidence as I explain to my clients, audience and people I interact on a daily basis is simply the willingness to try. Knowing or being aware of the best ways to communicate is not a guarantee for you to be able to bring that knowledge to life unless you are confident. It may seem difficult when you have a low self-image or self-esteem due to the experience of series of failures.
I have been on that journey and can understand perfectly well. However, what took me out of that negative season and is still helping me on my journey is the willingness to try or the confidence that I started and keep demonstrating. I have come to learn over the years that failure is part of the process and not a dead-end, and no great person has reached the heights we see and admire without going through failure.
The difference is to get back up again, start from the lessons learnt from the failure and keep engaging with the new knowledge to improve on your interpersonal skills. This means that you glean the positive side of things and build upon that to your advancement.
- LEARN TO BE MORE APPRECIATIVE
To develop your interpersonal skills to a higher level, it is key to become a bit more appreciative towards your coworkers, team members and colleagues. You gain two sides of positivity when you learn to step up expressing your gratitude towards the people who you work with. Firstly, you are perceived as someone who truly identifies the hard work done by people, welcomes contributions and applauds people for their effort when you appreciate a helping hand a coworker lends you or a finished work someone has done excellently.
This opens up an enabling avenue for them to gladly offer help to you in the near future when the need arises. Secondly, by expressing words of appreciation, you add to the confidence of another coworker as well as boost your own personal skills, adding up to the positivity around you.
It is of utmost importance to self-regulate due to the nature of the workplace where people from different backgrounds, having different belief systems and cultures meet to work for a common goal. Being mindful and in charge of your own emotions can become a powerful interpersonal skill in the workplace. Remaining calm in conflict situations or assisting frustrated clients helps the situations or clients feel the calm as well, and engage more productively in dialogue.
There are so many situations where I have had to, and still teach clients in my coaching sessions how to self-regulate and the results are always positive. I explore mindfulness strategies to help them to become more aware of their thoughts and feelings by selecting the strategy that suits their peculiar situations. Self-regulation is all about demonstrating your emotional resilience when it comes to workplace relationships and even in your personal ones as well.
In any contemporary work setting, interpersonal skills is key because team effort is greatly relied on. Any employee looking to get to the leadership level in the company or organization they work for but lacks interpersonal skills will find it difficult to get to that desired level, as such workers are unable to grow. You can never make a great team player if you lack the ability to interact with the people you work with. Draw from within you the willingness to try, and work on your interpersonal skills because you can!
To learn more about interpersonal skills in a practical way, grab my new book “The Essentials of Image Leadership” where you will have a workbook to always refer to on your journey.
Read my book: “The Essentials of Image Leadership”.
Designed with practical exercises for home or office,
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It also touches on dining etiquette,
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