There’s a lot of buzz around interpersonal skills but what exactly does these skills mean?
According to the Wikipedia definition of interpersonal skills, “Interpersonal skills are the skills that a person uses to interact with other people.”
Interpersonal skills are also called communication skills or people skills.
Four Types of Interpersonal Skills
Good interpersonal skills are critical in all work environments.
The better your interpersonal skills the more effective you will be in your personal and career life. Let’s have a look at four types of strong interpersonal skills that should be mentioned.
1. Assertion Skills
These are both non-verbal and verbal behaviors that allow you to remain respectful, defend your rights, and satisfy your needs, all without abusing, manipulating, controlling, or dominating.
2. Active Listening
When using Active Listening the listener is focused on the person speaking absorbing what is said and responding appropriately.
3. Questioning Skills
How you ask the questions will establish the type of answer you get, the quality of that answer, and the quantity of that answer.
You can improve the overall communication with the right questions.
4. Conflict Resolution Skills
These are skills that will allow managing and resolving conflicts effectively.
Examples of Interpersonal Skills
Let’s look at a list of interpersonal skills that are essential to your communication dialogue.
While you are listening to what a person has to say you should also be looking at facial expressions, body language, well as dress, hair, and eyes.
Develop your skills to look for this information and then use it. For example, are the lips clenched or is the body relaxed?
Ask questions that are open-ended improving your ability to extract more information from the other person and quickly identify the value of that information.
It’s a great way to become extremely efficient at interpersonal skills.
While it may sound simple, the fact of the matter is only a small percentage of people listen well. It’s critical that you actually hear the person’s message. Missing just a little piece can change the entire meaning or perception of that message. Listen for tone, inflection, and volume. For example, “what’s your problem?” said in a soft tone would imply you want to assist someone, but said in a loud boisterous voice might indicate someone is angry.
With the information gathered it must be processed and then learned. You must apply what you have learned to the person you are having a dialogue with.
When you comprehend what their emotional state is, their mood, or how they are feeling you can better understand the true meaning of their message.
When you Look, listen, and ask you will generate a significant amount of information in a relatively short period of time, allowing you to quickly and efficiently process the information.
After you’ve gathered the information, you need to process it and identify where the real value is.
This enables you to see possible relationship opportunities and to identify the person’s needs.
Commitment is a key interpersonal skill requiring your time an effort. When you are committed to the development of your interpersonal skills, it will benefit everyone you communicate with.
Developing Interpersonal Abilities: How to Improve Interpersonal Skills
Interpersonal skills are critical to good communication. Regardless of how knowledgeable you are how great your ideas if you aren’t able to connect with others your personal life and career will suffer. Let’s look at some way to improve interpersonal skills.
- Smile – When you smile you look friends and approachable and that will draw people to you.
- Be Observant – Watch what’s happening in the lives of others. Acknowledge their accomplishments, express your sympathy. Always make eye contact and don’t be afraid to ask others what their opinion is.
- Be Appreciative – Say thank you, speak kindly, and encourage others with your words.
- Active Listening – Restate what the other person says to ensure you know the meaning.
- Bring People Together – Create the type of environment where others want to work together.
- Communicate Clearly – Pay attention to what others are saying.
There are plenty of other ways to improve your interpersonal skills but these will get you started.
“Interpersonal skills can improve your communication and your life.”