During my senior year of college, I met with a career coach. My thinking at the time was that if I had better strategies for being successful in “the real world” than I actually might do something worthwhile (the jury’s still out). At the time I knew the fairytale land of college was not going to last and eventually the real work was going to start. Oh was I right!
Of all the things she taught me, the one which sticks out most was the importance of interpersonal skills. She said it was THE BEST way to stand out, get promoted, inspire and lead others. She also mentioned that weak performers had poor communication skills and top performers were excellent communicators. At the time, I thought it was all BS. Now that I’m older and have worked with people of all sorts of interpersonal communication levels, I can see what she was talking about.
In this guest post, Samantha Rosario has outlined several effective strategies for those who want to improve their communication skills, stand out, get promoted, inspire and lead others.
Check it out and leave your comments below!
(THIS IS WHERE I STOP WRITING AND SAMANTHA STARTS)
Excellent interpersonal communication is important in every aspect of our life: family, career and personal relationships. Having good interpersonal skills is sometimes crucial to solving problems and resolving conflict situations. Many factors affect our relationships and the way we communicate, with technology and social media interaction being the most dominant.
Self-awareness and perception are the first steps to achieving great interpersonal skills. Self-improvement is not possible without self-awareness. Awareness of your personality and relations help you analyze and prioritize areas for potential improvements. The next step is actively working on improving those areas.
Here is some advice that can help you develop great interpersonal skills:
- Active listening. Listening is the key to good communication. Active listening can help you establish a great connection with the other side of the conversation. When participating in the conversation, don’t just nod your head or be silent. That could be a sign that you’re not interested. Remember, it’s not easy to fix a bad impression, and you’ll most likely be ignored by people on your team. And we all know that good interpersonal communication is vital for every team’s success. Listen and actively participate in the conversation. Active listening will not only improve your interpersonal skills, but you’ll also get to know other people better.
- Don’t worry, be happy. Who doesn’t hate grumpy and angry people?! Spreading positivity and good vibes will help you improve your relationship with others. Positive thinking reduces stress and improves personal effectiveness. The study shows that happy and satisfied people are easily approachable and more cooperative. Staying positive in every situation is not always that easy, and there are times we don’t feel like smiling. However, mourning and feeling blue won’t change the situation or make anything better. Smiling is good for your health and even better for your relationships.
- Make them laugh. Laughter is the best medicine. A good and funny joke can cheer up almost anyone. Not only can telling a good joke can lighten people’s day and relieve the stress, but it implies that you’re open for communication and talk. Extremely serious people and introverts are very reserved, and it’s harder to establish a connection with them. However, some of the most amazing people I’ve met in my life are introverts. It’s just going to be a little harder to get to know them. It’s a good thing to make people laugh in stressful and high-tension situations, but keeping in mind the seriousness and importance of the situation. It wouldn’t be appropriate to tell a joke at a funeral. Another important thing to remember is to avoid racist and sexist jokes.
- Be a kind and down-to-earth person, always! We live in the world that focuses too much on materialism and promotes shallow values. Kindness is one the most important values, but is often forgotten and suppressed by negative emotions. Good manners are desirable and important in every situation. Your kindness will be appreciated by others, which will positively affect your relationship with them. Braggart or arrogant people are not welcomed into any group, and a bad reputation is not easily repaired. Treat others how you want to be treated.
- Helping others whenever needed. This might be the most important advice on the list. Helping others will improve and strengthen your relationships. Your support will show people that you care for them. Offer help whenever you can, and people will appreciate it. You’ll earn respect from almost everyone. Positive and respectful relationships will last long. Finally, you’ll have someone to rely on when you need help or advice.
- Avoid conflicts. Sometimes, conflicts are unavoidable. Most of the conflicts occur because of difference in personalities, communication problems, and poor management decisions. It would be wise to avoid conflicts whenever you can. Poor handling, and unaddressed conflicts can have negative effects on your relationships. Sure, there are things we cannot control and there are times when conflicts are inevitable. In that case, you should compromise and learn from the conflict to build better skills.
- Educate yourself. There are many and free resources of Relationship Management on the Internet. Training and other learning material are available to almost everyone. Guides from experts and psychologists can be useful if you want to improve your interpersonal skills. Don’t hesitate to advise with others.
Finally, improving your interpersonal skills will have a positive effect on your self-confidence. Interpersonal skills are one of the most important skill sets today and mastering them will be one your biggest competitive advantages at life and work.
About the Author:
Samantha Rosario is a blogger, mother, and resident of the greatest city in the world, NYC. When not working at a Manhattan publishing house, she’s spending time with her family or putting pen to paper for her own personal pursuits.