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!