Interpersonal skills are capabilities to effectively communicate, socialize, connect, and cooperate with people in life, whether it be an individual or a group. Some people naturally have great interpersonal skills. Others have to learn and practice interpersonal skills in order to master them. One thing's for sure: taking the time and effort to become proficient in this skill set can tremendously benefit your relationships in life and may improve your professional success! There are many different types of interpersonal skills
- Conflict Resolution
This is a complex process involving compromise, negotiation, and the ability to calmly solve a problem;
- Active Listening
This involves listening fully and intently to what the speaker has said. It may also involve paraphrasing the content or feelings back to the speaker to ensure you've understood them correctly and to make the other person feel heard and understood;
- Effective Listening Skills: Socially intelligent persons are great listeners. As a result, others come away from an interaction with an SI person feeling as if they had a good “connection” with him or her;
This is another important interpersonal skill. Questioning involves the ability to ask effective, open-ended questions to gather more detailed information, explore an idea, or delve into someone's thoughts;
This goes beyond sympathizing. It involves putting yourself in another person's shoes and feeling their negative emotions. This allows people to truly support someone going through a rough time;
Interpersonal Skills: 10 Must-Have Attributes
Verbal Communication: Effective verbal communication begins with clarity. This often requires nothing more than slowing down and speaking more thoughtfully. Many people feel rushed to respond to questions and conversations immediately, but it is better to pause for a moment in consideration, especially if the question merits it;
Non-Verbal Communication: Non-verbal communication is largely underrated and underestimated. Those who can communicate non-verbally can almost subliminally reinforce what they are saying verbally. They can also exude confidence, or any other emotion they feel, not to mention respond tactfully to a conversation without saying a single word.
Non-verbal communication is something that other people notice whether you are aware of your actions or not. Your body language is constantly speaking. Everything you do or don’t do says something about you and how you are feeling. Your facial expressions (especially eye contact), your posture, your voice, your gestures with your extremities and even the way you position yourself physically in a room or amongst colleagues is constantly revealing your true attitude, for better or for worse;
Listening: This is the only appropriate way to follow two topics on communication. If non-verbal communication is underrated, then listening isn’t even on the charts. And yet without listening effectively, how can we interpret and respond appropriately?
Listening is so important that it is a bona fide field of theoretical study (a contradiction of terms, but still). Communication can not be realized unless a listener completes the “loop”;
Questioning: Questioning is a lost art that can serve many purposes. Questioning is something that often builds upon listening, but it is not merely a device for obtaining information.
Questioning is a great way to initiate a conversation. It demonstrates interest and can instantaneously draw someone into your desire to listen. Smart questions show that you know how to approach problems and how to get the answers you need;
Manners: Good manners tend to make many other interpersonal skills come naturally. With business becoming increasingly more global, even for small businesses, manners are more important than ever. A basic understanding of etiquette translates to other cultures and their expectations.
We are all guilty of assuming people are less intelligent if they have sub-par manners;
Problem Solving: A rare day would be one without problems. What makes this a skill is not necessarily how quickly you can solve a problem, but how you go about doing it. No plan is a guarantee, so there is always an element of risk. Some people can weigh risk better than others.
The key aspects of successful problem solving are being able to identify exactly what the problem is, dissecting the problem so that it is fully understood, examining all options pertaining to solutions, setting up a system of strategies and objectives to solve the problem, and finally putting this plan into effect and monitoring its progress;
Social Awareness: Being in tune to others’ emotions is an essential interpersonal skill. This dictates how many of your other interpersonal skills should function. When we are concentrated on our own projects and success, it is easy to close ourselves off from others’ problems or concerns.
Social awareness is crucial to identifying opportunities, as well. People will often unconsciously test someone’s ability to respond to a social situation;
Self-Management: Not all interpersonal skills are extroverted.
Self-management allows us to control our emotions when they are not aligned with what would be considered appropriate behavior for a given situation. This means controlling anger, hiding frustration, exuding calmness, etc. Undoubtedly there are times to show your true colors, but remaining composed is almost always the desired course of action;
Responsibility And Accountability: Responsibility and accountability are two reliable indicators of maturity. Saying you are going to do something and then actually doing it is a sign of responsibility. This builds trust between yourself and those they rely on you and it encourages others to seek your counsel and assistance.
Holding yourself accountable for your actions is one of the most difficult things to do, both professionally and personally. This is also a crucial element of conflict management. When conflicts arise between yourself and others, or when you have made a mistake or at fault, that is when accountability becomes difficult. Admitting to your mistakes isn’t enough. You have to understand the situation fully and respond in a way that addresses the issue comprehensively;
Assertiveness: After all this talk of listening and respecting others, there is no denying the importance of being assertive. However, this is also where you are most likely to offend or come off as too aggressive. Being assertive is the only way to get your ideas onto a competitive table.
It also means standing up for what you believe it, defending your ideas with confidence, instructing others on what needs to be done, etc. etc. etc.
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