Interpersonal communication skills are very important for your career. According to research, managers rated 4.37 out of 5 on the importance of having good interpersonal communication skills.
When applying for a job, your employer won’t judge you only by your technical knowledge and experience. They will also evaluate your soft skills, such as interpersonal communication skills. Excellent interpersonal communication skills are very crucial in developing and improving an impressive personality.
We all know that words have tremendous power. Using words, you can heal or hurt someone in a matter of seconds! Also, people with great communication skills are successful in their professional and personal lives. Keep reading to learn about how to improve your interpersonal communication skills.
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What is Interpersonal Communication?
Interpersonal communication is the process of effectively exchanging information among two or more people. It can involve verbal, non-verbal, and written communication to effectively share information.
Interpersonal communication is not only what you say, and it is more complicated than that. For example, it can include your word choice, tone, and body language.
Top 6 Interpersonal Communication Skills in the Workplace
Interpersonal communication skill is how well an individual is communicating with other people. There are many interpersonal communication skills that help you in advancing your career. So, therefore, it is essential that you should improve your interpersonal communication skills.
Are you wondering which skills you should learn and improve to brighten your future? Well, in the workplace, you would need more than two-three communication skills. Actually, the list is quite long. However, we, in One Education, have prepared a list of the top 6 interpersonal communication skills to help you understand them.
Here are the top 6 interpersonal communication skills that will help you build a successful career.
1. Verbal Communication
When you are using words to communicate with other people, it is verbal communication. Many people think that verbal communication is only speaking words. However, the method of delivery can be both spoken and written.
Verbal communication also consists of quite a few skills. Below are a few essential skills; you can take a look at them to improve your verbal communication skill. However, It can include, but not necessarily limited to:
- Active listening.
- The clarity in speaking.
- Think before giving a speech.
- Choosing your words carefully.
So, that’s quite a list of verbal communication skills for a person if they want to improve it. However, mastering each of these skills can be a pretty powerful step in advancing your career.
2. Non-Verbal Communication
Well, non-verbal communication is the direct opposite of verbal communication. In non-verbal communication, people use gestures, facial language, body language, and others instead of words. For example, biting nails alone can imply that you are feeling stressed, nervous, or insecure.
Our body movement can imply a lot without saying a word. Therefore, you should improve this skill and always pay attention to your body language. However, both verbal and non-verbal communication is essential for communicating. Attend webinars or take a course on communication skills to improve your skills.
3. Active Listening
Active listening is one of the interpersonal communication skills and is very critical to master. It can make or impede your career. Listening skills are defined as your ability to receive and interpret information accurately.
Active listening is not about giving a response immediately. In a meeting, active listening means you are silent, concentrated, and giving your full attention until the full matter is discussed. As a result, you can quickly understand a subject better than others and then act accordingly. It also helps the speaker to feel more comfortable and heard, which contributes to better communication exchange.
Companies that emphasise this skill achieve more customer satisfaction and fewer complaints. As a result, their overall return on investment will also increase. This is why many companies provide training on active listening as a part of their onboarding process.
4. Problem-Solving and Decision Making
In one way or another, we’re all problem solvers in some aspects of our lives. However, all of us don’t have good problem-solving skills. On the other hand, decision-making skill is choosing soundly from two or more options.
We encounter many problems every day at work or in our daily life. Some of them we can solve pretty easily, even the big ones. However, sometimes we fail to solve them; as a result, we struggle. Similarly, not everyone can make a sound decision when they are facing problems. However, some people are more gifted than others.
Naturally, every employer looks for employees who can solve problems when one arises. Also, they want their employees to know how to make decisions under pressure. By practising, the following can help you in improving both skills.
- Carefully assessing and judging the situations.
- Learn how to structure problems so that you can easily interpret them.
- Make strategies to solve problems.
- Increase your knowledge of the different issues and how to solve them.
Also, you should think before making a decision. For example, would your solution hurt another? Considering this can help you reduce the chances of arising problems associated with your decision.
Empathy is a subtle but very powerful skill. It is crucial for every human being because it allows us to understand other people’s feelings.
Usually, we talked about empathy outside the office arena, such as in relationships. Developing more empathy can allow a person to have a lot of advantages. For example, it can help you in:
- Becoming a valuable member of the team.
- Becoming a trusted person.
- Developing relationships with co-workers.
6. Negotiation skills
Negotiation is a type of discussion between two or more parties to settle disputes and reach agreements. It can bring trust, peace among two hostile parties. These skills focus on mutual agreement for resolving conflicts.
For example, you can look at a divorce settlement agreement. By negotiation, both parties can settle their dispute and reach an agreement.
Negotiation is a really crucial skill to have, and every worker should know how to negotiate. Otherwise, they will be left out from certain benefits.
How to Improve Your Interpersonal Communication Skills?
Interpersonal communication skills are essential for everyone. It allows a person to share and receive information effectively.
You can develop and improve your interpersonal communication skills by practising good communication and setting goals. To improve your interpersonal communication skills, you can consider the following tips:
Tip 1: Figure Out What Skills You Need to Improve
The first step you can take is to identify what areas of interpersonal communication you can strengthen? To find out your weak areas, you can ask for feedback from your colleagues, managers, family, or friends.
After getting feedback, you can take appropriate action to improve your skills. For example, you can prepare a list of goals you want to achieve.
Tip 2: Observe Others
Another way you can learn and develop good interpersonal communication skills by observing other personnel. You can follow your co-workers, company leaders, and professionals whom you admire and respect greatly. For example, watch and listen to how they communicate and what their body language is when they are speaking.
Take notes on details such as their voice tone, speaking speed, body language, and how they engage with others. After that, apply those features to your own interactions and relationships.
Tip 3: Learn to Control Your Emotions
Learning how to control your emotions in speaking can improve your overall communication. For instance, when you are angry, you should wait until you are calm to have conversations with your colleagues. As a result, you will be able to communicate confidently and effectively. This will also indicate that you are not stressed or upset.
Tip 4: Reflect on Your Interactions
The next tip is that you should keep notes or a journal about your conversations and interactions at the workplace. You should take notes on both successful and unsuccessful interactions and communications.
Find out what other way you could have reacted, or use certain words or body language to make it more effective. Keeping notes on positive interactions can help you understand why they were successful. By doing this, you can learn and manage your communications more effectively.
Tip 5: Practice Your Skills
Another way to build and improve your interpersonal communication skill is to put yourself in positions to use your interpersonal skills. For example, you can join a group to improve your skills.
The groups could be industry-specific or simply hobby groups. There are many meetings, and social events available in those groups. These events create a friendly environment where you can learn and observe how to interact with others. So, join a group of your liking to improve your skills if you have the time.
Tip 6: Acknowledge Others
Paying attention to your friends and colleagues can create a great work environment and relationship. You can make efforts to interact with them and ask if they are OK.
You can ask your team members and friends how their week was or what their interests are. There are other things you can do to build a great workplace relationship. For example, you can:
- Bring a cup of coffee or ice tea to your colleague or take them to lunch.
- Offer to help your colleague and friends who are having a difficult time or a bad day.
- Compliment your co-workers on their hard work or good ideas.
These things mentioned above can help you build stronger and more positive working relationships.
Tip 7: Avoid Distractions
Be an active listener. Put away your smartphone or device when interacting with others. Also, avoid the temptation to look at a text message or check your email. Give them your full attention. It makes them feel they are important to you, and also you care for them.
In a meeting or speech, you should stay focused on the discussed subject without interrupting the speaker. As a result, you can listen and understand more effectively. Also, the speaker will be able to deliver the speech the way he intended to give.
Tip 8: Attend Classes and Workshops
Signing up for workshops or courses can help you improve your interpersonal skills more effectively and in a short time. There are many tools, such as free introductory videos, available online that you can watch. However, more advanced or in-person training is a bit expensive.
Although, the paid courses can help you greatly in learning and developing these skills. These courses have excellent study material and experienced trainers who can help you in improving your skills. So, if you think you want to enhance your skill in any area, take a course on it. For example, if you’re going to develop your verbal communication skills, take a public speaking course.
Tip 9: Get a Mentor
Ask someone you respect or admire to help you in improving your interpersonal skills. The person could be a family member, a trusted colleague, a current or former professor or employer, or anyone else you think highly of. You can even hire a professional communication coach to help you in improving your skill.
Tip 10: Record Yourself
Use a voice or video recorder to tape yourself. After that, watch or listen to it to find out where you can improve your interpersonal communication skills. From the recording, take notes of things about the areas you would like to change or develop. For example, take notes of the following:
- Word choice,
- Voice tone,
- Speed of talking,
- Facial Expression,
- Body language.
Also, you can view these recorded tapes to evaluate your progress in the future.
Nowadays, almost all jobs require interacting and communicating with other people effectively.
Interpersonal communication skills can help you in establishing workplace relationships. Also, it can influence productivity and engagement. Therefore, these skills are now essential for success in the workplace.
Do you feel that your interpersonal skills need to be improved? If you think that you need training, take an online course on Level 4 Public Speaking and Communication Skill Course with us. One Education course empowers you to fulfil your dream.