Interpersonal Skills aka People Skills is something that we already have. Well, we have been interacting with people, learning to get along every day, all these years, since the time we were born! However, both in our professional and personal lives, our day to day interactions - be it positive or negative are not left up to chance. Driving your conversation to get the desired response can be tricky at times, especially if you don’t “bond” well or don’t “get along” with people.
For the above and several other valid reasons, strong interpersonal skills in a professional environment are as essential as your domain knowledge or technical skills, irrespective of the designation that you have been hired for. Good interpersonal skills and interpersonal communication skills are the keys to creating a healthy work environment both for you and your co-workers. It creates a positive space, helps managing conflicts, increases productivity, team bonding, teamwork, promoting effective networking and a happy place to explore creativity.
Your interpersonal skills do more than just giving you the ability to communicate, it, in fact, lets you communicate effectively and build strong working relationships with your peers, supervisors, subordinates, and customers (both internal and external). It may also determine the success you enjoy at the workplace.
Here is our list of top 4 must-have Interpersonal Skills for any working professional:
- Effective Interpersonal Communication: Communication is an integral part of both our professional and personal relationship. Very often, being able to communicate effectively determines success in the workplace. Understanding that in organizations, communication takes place in different ways. It becomes imperative to know when to use which style of communication and how to choose a particular style based on the outcome required and its effectiveness. It is important to have a clear understanding and knowledge of what to watch out for and ensuring the right kind of preparation and context is set for any communication. Being able to assertively communicate helps build and maintain effective relationships through communication.
- Self-Awareness: More often than not, we associate self-awareness with a person’s ability to express and tell what they are feeling and why they are feeling a certain way. Being cognizant of your emotions and feelings will certainly help you be aware of what you convey and how you convey your responses or messages to others. A strong sense of self-awareness also helps you understand not just your state of mind but helps you understand and empathize with your co-workers as well. In addition to this, learning how to use emotional intelligence as an instrument for greater interpersonal effectiveness and exploring effective ways of conveying negative news to co-workers and clients.
- Practice Active Listening: Being fully engaged while listening to others speak can occasionally be a difficult task. However, there are simple verbal and non-verbal ways of communicating to let the speaker feel like they are being heard and have your undivided attention. Make eye contact, nod in agreement or disagreement, ask questions to clarify things that you don’t understand, or even paraphrasing will give the speaker a clear indication that you are listing to them and not distracted by your mobile, computer or notepad doodling. Give it a try and see how well you are able to understand the speaker and remember things much better minus all your distractions.
- Non-Verbal Communication: Irrespective of how good a strategy of communication is, if communicators are unaware of their non-verbal communication it is more likely to fail in the workplace. It is imperative that we understand what you say is as important as how you say it and convey it. Non-verbal communication clubbed with verbal communication conveys the message in a clear and more significant manner and reinforces your communication with others. A few non-verbal cue and communication methods that one should be aware of is Facial expression, body language, eye contact, posture, hand gestures, the tone of voice and grooming.