Tag Archives: interpersonal skills

may 6

Your Interpersonal Best

What would you do to improve your interpersonal skills? Last time we looked at what interpersonal skills are, and why having strong ones leads to success.

Now it’s time to get down to work!

Here are four activities you can do to improve your relationships and boost your professional and personal sociability. Trust me, it’s worth the effort!

Activity 1: Improving Existing Relationships

Create a chart with four columns with these headings: Person’s Name, Quality of Relationship (1-5 scale), Goals for Improving Relationship, and Due Date.

Now list the people with whom you work regularly. Fill in the chart, evaluating your relationship with each person (on a scale of 1-5 in which 1 is the best and 5 is the worst) and setting goals toward improving your relationships with these individuals. Make sure you list something positive you can do for everyone, including people you already get along very well with.

Be sure to set dates for all your goals, and then hold yourself accountable!

Activity 2: Ask for Honest Feedback

Ask several people you trust for their feedback on your leadership style. Choose people at a variety of levels of your organization such as, management, peers or employees.

Make an appointment with each person to talk formally. Use the following questions as a guide to your discussion. Remember to be open and not defensive.

  • How would you describe my leadership style?
  • What do I do well in my role as a leader?
  • What do others do better? How could I improve my skills?
  • Am I people oriented?
  • Are there any specific situations you thought I handled particularly well?
  • Are there any specific situations you thought I could have handled better? What did you think I should have done?
  • Do I seem assertive but not overbearing, or am I too forceful in stating my desires and plans?

Activity 3: Review of Your Skills

Ask someone you trust to observe you as you present a new idea or project to others. Have the person take notes and give you feedback on how you handled the following:

  • Presenting yourself
  • Presenting your ideas
  • Sounding enthusiastic and positive about your plans
  • Persuading others that your idea would benefit them or those they serve
  • Politely fielding questions and managing disagreement
  • Being assertive but not aggressive
  • Other areas observed during your attempt to persuade someone of the merits of your idea or plan

Activity 4: Observing Others

Make a point of observing people in your organization who are particularly good at gaining support and agreement from others. Answer these questions:

  • What technique does each person use to persuade people?
  • How do they present themselves?
  • How do they present their ideas?
  • How do they handle disagreements and conflict?
  • What do you like best about how they present new ideas or programs?

Remember, communicating effectively, building rapport, and relating well to all kinds of people are essential skills for any successful person. And, one can never stop getting better at them! So I challenge you today to get going on these activities – you, your organization, your circle of acquaintances and family, all will be happier for it!

Your Coach,



Time to Get Personal!

Do you connect with people? You may have brilliant ideas. You may work incredibly hard.

But if you can’t communicate well and build rapport with others – well, we need to work that on that!

Someone with strong interpersonal skills is viewed by superiors and peers as a valuable resource — something we all want to be. They’re happier, too!

What do we mean by interpersonal skills? Communicating, building rapport, and relating to all kinds of people.

We’re not just talking about touchy-feely stuff here. There’s a bottom-line aspect to having strong interpersonal skills. It actually increases productivity in the organization. And in the midst of a tense situation, people with these skills can respond appropriately and make good judgments.

How do you relate?

Check this list and see how you measure up. Someone who has strong interpersonal skills:

  • Strives for self-awareness.
  • Demonstrates sincere interest in others.
  • Treats all people with respect, courtesy and consideration.
  • Respects differences in the attitudes and perspectives of others.
  • Listens, observes and strives to gain an understanding of others.
  • Communicates effectively.
  • Is sensitive to diverse issues.
  • Develops and maintains relationships with many different kinds of people, regardless of cultural differences.

I know this is a lot to chew on. But strong interpersonal skills can mean the difference between things as minor as your day-to-day happiness at the office and as major as the future of your career!

How to develop these skills?

  •  Listen and pay attention both to what other people say and what other people do.
  •  Be tolerant of others and their unique points of view. It is critical to establishing rewarding interpersonal
    relationships. Recognize that others’ viewpoints are as important to them as yours are to you!
  • Smile often. Maintain a positive, cheerful attitude about work and about life. The positive energy you radiate will draw others to you.
  • Be appreciative. Find one positive thing about everyone you work with and let them hear it. Be generous with praise and kind words of encouragement.
  • Pay attention to others. Observe what is going on in other people’s lives. Acknowledge their happy milestones and express concern and sympathy for difficult situations.
  • Resolve conflicts. Take a step beyond simply bringing people together and become someone who resolves conflicts when they arise. By taking on a leadership role, you will garner respect and admiration from those around you.
  • Communicate clearly. Pay close attention to what you say and how you say it. A clear and effective communicator avoids misunderstandings with coworkers, colleagues and associates.
  • Use humor. Don’t be afraid to be funny or clever. Most people are drawn to a person that can make them laugh. Use your sense of humor as an effective tool to lower barriers and gain people’s affection. However, never use humor at someone else’s expense.
  • Share personal information about your likes, dislikes and interests. You can’t expect other people to share information if you don’t.
  • Constantly monitor the other person’s reactions to ensure that your message is on target and being received in the way you want it to be perceived.
  • Use appropriate non-verbal communication. Make eye contact, have a serious expression, and speak clearly and firmly.
  • Be optimistic and positive about eventual outcomes. Celebrate small successes and reward people for their cooperation.

In our next blog post, we’re going to look at some fun activities anyone can do to develop or to strength specific interpersonal skills. So check back, and be ready to learn!

Your Coach,