Interpersonal skills are what people use every day to communicate with others, both individually or in group settings. Those who have worked on developing strong interpersonal skills are the most likely to succeed in their personal and professional lives.
Employers in any kind of business setting generally seek to hire employees with good interpersonal skills. This is because these people work well in teams and can have effective communications with colleagues and customers.
What Are Interpersonal Skills?
The most effective of all life skills to humankind is the ability to communicate. Communication can be defined as simply the act of transferring information from one depository to another.
You can communicate using your voice, the written word (e.g. books, articles, white papers, emails), visual props (charts, graphs, maps) and body language. Your ability to transmit this information efficiently will play a large part in how well you can interact with other people. Because this life skill is critical for advancement in your adult life, it should not be overlooked. It is never too late to improve your communication skills.
What Are Interpersonal Skills in Verbal Communication?
Verbal communication skills are ranked first among the must have skills for anyone who is part of a business team. Verbal communication is how and what you say to those you are trying to communicate with. The words you choose and your tone of voice are a large part of getting your message across.
If verbal communication is defined as the explicit message conveyed, non-verbal communication is the implicit side of the same coin. Non-verbal communications include your facial expressions, the tone and the pitch of your voice, your gestures and stance and the physical distance between you and those you are communicating with. Non-verbal communication helps you reinforce or clarify what you are trying to say with your words. As an example, a vigorous nod of the head when answering yes to another person signifies wholehearted agreement. On the other hand, a more subdued response demonstrates reserve or displeasure at what was just said.
What Are Interpersonal Skills, and How to Know if You Have Them
Most people have significantly less conscious control over their non-verbal communications than their spoken words. This is because non-verbal cues are rooted in the emotions and are therefore more instinctive than rational. If you notice a discrepancy between a person’s words and their non-verbal messages, trust the non-verbal cues rather than what you hear. If you notice a lack of non-verbal cues, realize that the person may be trying to hide their true feelings and emotions by controlling their body language.
Listening skills are also extremely important in the world of interpersonal skills. If you cannot listen to others, you will come across as extremely arrogant. Your ability to accurately receive and interpret messages will also be severely compromised. Listening is, in fact, the key to all effective communication skills. If there is a single skill you wish to master in communicating with others, listening is the one.
How Interpersonal Skills Can Help Your Business?
Listening skills are so important that employers in certain fields will provide classes to help their employees perfect their abilities in this area. Improved listening skills can lead to:
- Better customer satisfaction;
- Greater productivity;
- Fewer errors;
- Improved sharing of information.
These will, in turn, result in greater benefits to the company. Many successful business people credit their listening skills as one of the main factors in their ability to achieve their goals.
Listening is more than just receiving sound waves through your ears. It also involves verbal and non-verbal messages. You should be as engaged in the listening process as the speaker is in talking to you. Did you know that adults spend an average of 70 percent of their time engaged in some sort of communication? Out of this 70 percent, 45 percent is spent in listening. This means that nearly half of your time is spent in listening to other people. With this in mind, it makes sense that you would want to hone this skill to ensure that you are listening effectively.
4 Methods to Quickly Learn What Are Interpersonal Skills
- Negociate: While working with other people, conflict and disagreement are certain to arise at some point. Negotiation is the process by which such conflicts are acknowledged and resolved between individuals and groups of people. Without negotiation, conflicts can result in arguments, resentment and splits in the business workforce. Negotiation aims at reaching an agreement that satisfies each of the involved parties. Negotiation skills are closely intertwined with mediation and conflict resolution. If you are competent at all three of these skills, you will be a valuable asset to your team.
- See Your EI: Although emotional intelligence may sound like it is something for counselors and therapists alone, it is actually a very important aspect of interpersonal communication. Emotional intelligence can be defined as the measure of a person’s ability to recognize and manage their own emotions and the emotions of others.
- Embrace Empathy: Those with high emotional intelligence will be able to fit seamlessly into group situations and will find it easier to maintain interpersonal relationships with individuals. Empathy plays a large part in emotional intelligence as the ability to understand things from another person’s point of view and to experience what they are feeling.
- Increase Your EI: Emotional intelligence (EI) has nothing to do with your intelligence quotient (IQ). Some people who have a high IQ have a low EI, and vice versa. Emotional intelligence cannot be measured with a standardized testing formula and is only realized by how an individual responds and behaves in real-life situations. Even if you have a low EI, emotional intelligence can be learned and improved upon.
To the Words
Interpersonal communication skills are vital for any business to ensure the success of your enterprise. Communication skills between employers and employees will help make sure that your wishes and expectations are fully understood and met. Effective communication between your employees and your clients or customers will ensure customer satisfaction and repeat business.
Consider giving your employees a course in interpersonal skills to help them improve how they communicate and relate to others. Ask yourself the following questions. What are interpersonal skills good for? How do they improve your chances of success? Could you or your business benefit from improving in this area? The results just might surprise you.