Interpersonal skills are often underestimated and even neglected although they are one of those things that must be developed and improved everyday. Communication is such a complicated process that sometimes it is hard to remember all the aspects to make it the most effective. That is why we strongly recommend you to read our article and recollect or learn everything you need to know about interpersonal communication.
Interpersonal communication is an integral part of each person’s life. Interpersonal communication can bring both joy and negative experiences. It is an interaction of at least two people, in which they take turns acting as speakers and listeners.
Importance and benefits of interpersonal skills
Communication with other people is an activity that consists of a chain of continuous actions, such as speaking, listening, partner's perception, participation in the conversation, analysing, and so on. All these actions are aimed at achieving a goal. And having particular interpersonal skills, it becomes possible to determine whether the intended target has been achieved and if it has not, we can conclude to what stage it has been approached.
If you listen attentively to what your interlocutor says, watch what he does, think about what you see and hear, then you will feel that you understand him as a result. If you realise that your goal is not succeeded (that is, you do not understand the person), you should try to change something in your actions, try to take a closer look at him, ask him some questions, and try to see with your reasoning something that you have not mentioned before.
Sometimes a sense of understanding turns out to be deceptive, and after some time, some unexpected and unforeseen actions of the interlocutor will prompt you to correct your ways of interacting with him. This impulse can also be dissatisfaction with the quality of the connection. It is easy to see that a person learns various actions that facilitate his communication with others. Sometimes his efforts are very successful, and sometimes not that much.
Therefore, we can talk about the existence of skills that play an essential role in shaping the nature of interpersonal relationships, as well as that their importance in interpersonal communication is undoubted. Each person can develop and improve their skills for interpersonal interaction. And although many people consider them very important, no less important than, for example, driving a car or knowing a foreign language. But few people systematically and purposefully try to improve these skills.
Developing and using each interpersonal skill in the right way can help you experience loads of benefits from communication with people. And what is more important, you will be the person, having a connection with whom, other people will take advantage as well.
Having strong interpersonal skills creates more favourable interaction in any environment. Developing relationships with people includes a strong relationship with others, a demonstration of moral behaviour, perfect communication skills and effective teamwork.
What do you need for perfect interpersonal communication?
The interpersonal skill list may include both features, which can characterise you as a communicable person, and attains, which can help you achieve particular goals in the process of communication. It is not unthinkable that the last ones might be a short description of the first. So, what are they?
There are some features which are typical of interpersonal skills and will be very useful for your CVs:
- Conflict management
- Constructive criticism
And here is the list of skills themselves:
- To be able to speak not for the sake of speaking, but to pursue a specific goal, for example, to convince the interlocutor, find a compromise, increase trust, and so on.
- Ability to conduct a dialogue so as to know precisely to what result it will lead, and specifically to the desired one.
- To be able to easily make the transition from one style of conversation to another, confidently holding oneself, having charisma, and finding different topics for discussion quickly.
- The ability to communicate with interlocutors of any age, class, and nationality, being capable of finding an approach for interesting communication both with a problem teenager and a professor of declining years.
- The ability to conduct a dialogue in such a way that both parties of communication get the benefits and maximum advantages from it, and most importantly the ability to make such a conversation interesting, and not just idle talk.
- The ability to conduct a dialogue, not a monologue, motivating the interlocutor for mutual communication and exchange of information in every possible way.
- The ability to understand communication as a creative process using improvisation.
- To be ready to speak in front of a large audience without preparation, and to find the appropriate tone and style of speech in accordance with the type of audience.
- To be tolerant, cosmopolitan, and also to avoid radicalism.
- To be able to control the attention of listeners and create comfortable conditions for conversation.
Any specialist in all the diversity of his work has to possess a wide variety of interpersonal skills. However, the skill alone is not enough. A person with well-developed interpersonal communication skills necessarily displays such qualities as humanity and attention towards other people. So, it is time to review some examples of these skills more detailed.
Examples of interpersonal skills
Interpersonal skills are used by everyone everyday, one way or another. We might not notice them as most of them are the elements of everyday conversations with colleagues or friends, and naturally, all the people who know us well and do not pay attention to how and what we say.
But when it comes to new acquaintances or business relationships, it is necessary to hold face and be moderate and particular in your speech in order to make the best impression and make the conversation itself the most advantageous for both parties. That is why we are going to present to you some example which will show you the general use and influence of interpersonal skills.
There are many examples, which can be used to describe interpersonal skills. And one of the most obvious and regular ones is the use of verbal communication. It involves communicating with other people, which is an integral part of our social interaction both in the workplace and outside it. Do you sometimes find yourself incoherent or unsure of what to say? It is good to take a moment and put your thoughts in order before you speak.
Interpersonal communication skills can be difficult to master. When someone asks you a question, you may feel the need to respond quickly, but it does not mean that you need to provide any response, the thing is about giving the right answer, the one that is probably expected from you. Here is a nice trick, if you feel like you need some extra time to make your mind concentrated and find proper words.
You can kindly ask your interlocutor to repeat the question or even repeat it yourself. Do not be afraid that you will look stupid. It is an ordinary situation familiar to everyone. On the contrary, such reaction and taking time for consideration is absolutely acceptable. It might even show you as a reliable person, and you will be taken more seriously if people consider you a person who likes to discuss essential questions or projects.
Always keep calm and express politeness, avoid excessive familiarity as it only breeds contempt. Some jokes are acceptable, but only for those, you know well. Spend time building interpersonal relationships, showing respect, learn to listen to others and become an expert in interpersonal communication.
People can listen to what you have to say, but do you give the right messages while you say it? Non-verbal interpersonal communication requires a high level of assurance, balance, and self-confidence. These are the good qualities that would be useful in the abstract and as a matter of practice. This also applies to how you react when listening to others. Excellent interpersonal skills allow you to be a sympathetic and understanding person.
Never neglect the opinions or feelings of another person. Put yourself in the position of your interlocutor and imagine how you would feel if you were not taken seriously? Experts in body language tell us that our facial expressions, a pitch of voice, the way we stand and what you do with our own hands, can influence how we are perceived.
For example, humpіng one's back while you are making an important presentation looks unprofessional and lazy. And not looking at someone else when they speak to you, makes you look disinterested and indifferent as if you prefer to be somewhere else.
Sit in front of the person you are listening to. You need to see the person, and the person must see you to really listen to each other. Also, try to be open in gestures. Crossed arms and legs often imply a defensive position. It is best to get comfortable and take a relaxed position, "without crossing".
Try to lightly lean towards the person you are listening to as well. Such an action is usually perceived as a manifestation of friendliness and interest. And try to maintain constant eye contact. Looking in interlocutor's eyes is an essential element of interpersonal communication.
Ability to listen attentively
Some people are so involved trying to understand what they are told that they are losing sight of what the conversation really is about. Listening to is just as important when it comes to interpersonal effectiveness skills. How can you understand the situation and respond to it if you have not taken the time to listen?
Being a perfect listener can do half of the work when it comes to interpersonal communication. People tend to speak more than listen. And while listening to others, make sure you actually hear them and can give them what they need to get what you need later.
Do not be afraid to ask questions
Misunderstanding cannot be avoided. That is why it is essential to ask questions to get the conversation out of the deadlock. If some aspects of the conversation are obscure to you, it is a good idea to get clarification. The ability to ask relevant questions is a critical interpersonal skill. For example, speaking of interpersonal skills, we can ask questions to make sure that we fully understand, what interpersonal communication is and what interpersonal interaction is.
It also matters who you ask a question. If you have a problem with a specific subject, find the person who is most suitable to answer it. Asking questions is also a great way to fill an awkward silence or get to know someone better. Interpersonal, which means to be sociable, is communication with others.
Try asking questions that provoke your interlocutors to answers something else rather than just regular "yes" or "no". Do not ask "Have you heard of..." Ask "What do you think about..." or "What can you tell me about..." instead. This will make conversation develop and be more lively.
Texts, e-mails and other types of written communication
Development of technologies promotes the appearance of different new ways to communicate. One of them, which has occurred really not so long ago, is written communication via text messages, e-mails, etc. They have become quite familiar and usual for everyone. And interpersonal skills are changing as well as ways of connection. In the modern technological world, the norms of writing seem to be neglected and violated.
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People are more likely to send text or email if they want to connect quickly. However, analyse and check your message before sending it. Make sure that it is composed correctly and do not have any mistakes, as it can present you not in the best light. Grammar and language skills are useful and think about the structure of your sentence. Always take the time to read your message, even that you are in a hurry.
Positivity in a relationship
In the framework of interpersonal relationships, "warmth" means the ability to be accessible and open to the person. Warmth in relationships is both a particular style of thinking and skill. The skill is manifested in the form of the ability to be honest with yourself, treating another person as an even one, and in readiness to be open to other people. If you provide someone with professional help, you must show warmth towards that person. However, you should not count on the same attitude in response.
Nevertheless, our relationships with other people are based on the principle of feedback: getting into contact with a person, we assume what impression we will make on him, and in accordance with this we build our behaviour. This ability to control one’s behaviour and one’s relations with other people is an integral part of the development of communication and counselling skills.
Sincerity is another critical interpersonal skill. A true professional sincerely wishes to help another person and takes care of him. Forging professional interest is almost impossible. Openness is directly related to the interest of a specialist in establishing good relations between two people.
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Any means should be used to foster such relationships. Nothing prevents you from being sincere and at the same time fully aware of what is happening and at the same time recording the growth of your competence in the field of interpersonal relations. A good specialist is a person who can be truly sincere and at the same time demonstrate this quality to other people.
Warm-heartedness and sincerity can be developed if a person is aware of them as qualities in general and makes certain efforts to discard insincerity and "demonstration of professionalism." If you really want to help other people, you need to know that you cannot do this, being too hard and cold in professional communication.
To understand other people, we need the ability to empathise. Empathy is the ability to learn the perception of the world of another person. That is, to see the world from someone else's perspective. To empathise does not mean sympathising. Showing empathy, we try to imagine what it means to be a different person.
In order to truly understand another person, you need to become that person. Listening to the interlocutor, paying him your attention and in no way condemning, yo strive to get closer to his world. You can learn to forget for a while about yourself and, as far as possible, give your attention to another one.
This concept can be described as the ability to recognise the values of another person or as merely to accept another person. A client is a person with dignity, and his human existence is valuable. It is necessary that the feelings arising from the specialist towards the client do not depend on the expectations or requirements of mutuality. The ability to show a good attitude towards another person is a core of people skills and is a valuable quality of all social professions.
Now, you can make a plan of what is needed to be learned and improved and become the best interlocutor ever. No matter what environment you will use these interpersonal skills in, you will always succeed in communication and develop them further and further, making them an integral part of your character and becoming a better version of yourself everyday.
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