You have to communicate with others eventually, even if you work for yourself. No person is an island. And interpersonal skills are crucial for anyone’s success.
Unfortunately, few business schools teach interpersonal skills. In fact, most people learn how to relate to others in the business world through trial and error. This approach may eventually work. In fact, too many errors can ruin your reputation. And halt your company’s productivity.
Do you know when you need to do an interpersonal skills tune-up? Are you ready for some new ideas to relate to others better?
The Following Four Interpersonal Skills Enable You to Work Better with Others
Interpersonal Skill #1: Be an Active Listener.
True listening goes way beyond just hearing the words someone else is saying. Additionally, when you’re an active listener, you don’t interrupt or judge the other person. Above all, even if you disagree with the person’s opinion, you’re able to understand his or her point of view.
Besides this, listening also involves prompting the other person to tell you more by asking open-ended questions.
Simple statements like, “Tell me more,” or “How interesting,” show people that you are actively listening.
Finally, take some time to summarize the person’s main points. This helps reinforce what you just heard. And alerts the speaker to any potential misunderstandings.
Interpersonal Skill #2: Support the Speaker
Just because you support someone doesn’t mean you completely agree with him or her. You need to accept what others say without putting your own bias in the picture. As a result, trying to manipulate the person’s ideas will only lead to mistrust.
Therefore, always assume the other person has a useful idea and avoid unnecessary criticism. The goal is simply to let the person know you’re listening and that you value his or her contributions.
Interpersonal Skills #3: Constructively Differ With the Person.
If you disagree with what the person said, focus on the problem-solving process rather than the problem. Simply stating, “That’s dumb,” or “I don’t agree with you,” doesn’t help move the conversation it only fuels an argument.
Instead, question assumptions, deal with discrepancies of ideas (not personalities). And reflect on what it would take to move the team or the issue forward.
Interpersonal Skill #4: Actively Participate with Others.
Face any situation that affects the group. Encourage others to join in the discussion. In addition to this, get everyone’s buy-in on the current status. And the best course of action.
Finally, be aware of the less talkative members. They often have great ideas. For this reason, they need some prompting to voice their thoughts. By focusing on the group as a whole, others will view you as a leader and follow your role.
Having above-average interpersonal skills will set you apart in today’s marketplace. People will want to be around you. As a consequence, this will position you for leadership positions. So sharpen your interpersonal skills today. It’ll pay off handsomely later.
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Joyce Weiss: The HR Professional’s Partner. She coaches employees and managers so they feel heard and respected. Which means they feel comfortable using their voice without losing their cool.
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