Interpersonal skills play a significant role in our personal and professional life. It’s such a skill that you already have and you have already learning and practicing on it throughout your life. When people are communicating, they want to be respected and understood. However, poor interpersonal skill doesn’t allow you to achieve your goals. Today, we’ll discuss how to improve your interpersonal skills.
Interpersonal skill goes by many names like life skill, soft skill, people skill, or social skill. Anyways, interpersonal skill is the process of interaction and sharing information, views, and ideas between two or more people. It could be the verbal or non-verbal mode of communication. In order to develop effective interpersonal skills, then you would require the following skill;
- Problem Solving
- Decision Making
- Team working
- Resolving Conflict
Significance of Interpersonal Skill
According to a study, the collaboration between managers and employees has increased more than 50% for the past two decades. When people work together, then clarity of interpersonal communication skills matters at that point.
Businesses and companies prefer strong interpersonal skills because it amplifies collaboration, teamwork, growth, and productivity. Approximately 60% of employers think that teamwork is the most important skill for young graduates.
A good interpersonal skill also has a great impact on our health. According to a report by Harvard Business Review, a positive working relationship by effective interpersonal skill allows you to avoid loneliness, exhaustion, and burnout.
How to Improve your Interpersonal Skills
It’s time to address the main question of how to improve your interpersonal skills; some of the main suggestions are as follows;
Respecting Others’ Views
Whether you agree or disagree with someone, you should have the courage to let them speak, share their views, and respectfully listen to their views. At the end of the discussion, share your views if you disagree. Through this way, both of you would have an understanding of the difference of opinion and respecting each other.
Stop finishing their Sentences
You should avoid finishing the sentences of other people because it sends the wrong signal. Perhaps you may think that you’re encouraging them to speak. The other person would perceive it as his/her views don’t have any worth to have listened.
Openness is a great quality. It allows you to positively listen to the other person and share your honest feedback in return. However, when both parties remain open, then it provides them sufficient opportunity to share their views, instead of attacking and defending each other.
Be a Good Listener
Being a good listener means that you comprehend the viewpoint of the speaker. Often, people stay quiet and listen not for the sake of understanding, instead, they’re waiting for their turn and how they should respond. If you listen well, then you could answer it better to the speakers’ views. If you want to develop your listening skill, then follow the below-mentioned suggestions;
- You should pay attention when the speaker is talking
- Avoid the environmental or other distraction
- Study their body language
- When they’re speaking, you shouldn’t think about the reply
- Try to maintain eye contact with the speaker
Show your Interest by Actively Listening
- Rephrase their point of view to make sure that you understand it well
- Engage with them by saying; yes, hmm, agree, right, etc.
- You should use your body language by smiling, nodding, good posture, etc.
Clarify for Understanding
You have to clarify to the speaker that you understand him/her well without any bias or judgment in the following ways;
- Request the speak to repeat and summarize
- Tell him that you don’t understand
- Ask for the example
- Paraphrase his views and ask him to correct them if he hasn’t got them right
Don’t Redirect the Conversation
- Before going to say anything, you should make sure that the speaker has finished talking
- If you’re interrupting and redirecting the conversation, then it would irritate the speaker
- Share your views politely
- Avoid attacking the speaker and making him feel bad
If you’re going to say something, think that how your speech would impact the other person. You should be honest about sharing your views, but your tone should remain respectful.
You should keep in mind your body language because it also communicates and send good or bad signals. Like pointing fingers show your defensive attitude, folded arm means that you’re not open, and looking down and pocket in the hands means that you don’t have confidence. Your body language should give the impression that you’re open and engaging. Some of the main suggestions about body language are as follows;
- Observe the body language of other people, and think that how you can make it better
- You should make your communication comfortable and remove distractions and physical barriers
- Maintain eye contact with the speaker or audience
- Open body language
- You should be aware of your body language while communicating
If you interrupt someone while speaking, then it falls under the category of disrespect. If you think that it’s necessary to interrupt someone, then you should apologize or ask permission before making an interruption.
Most importantly, you should avoid talking over others; it suggests that you’re not listening to them.
If you’re going to engage in a serious discussion, then you should make sure that your phone is off and you’re fully focused on the discussion. You should pay full attention and be respectful during the conversation.
Be Confident & Assertive
You should confidently share your views and your tone remains calm and honest. People would more likely to listen and trust you if you’re confident rather than aggressive and passive. You can be confident and assertive by following ways;
- Talk with facts rather than biased judgment
- Avoid using exaggerated words like never, always, etc.
- Maintain eye contact
- Speak with normal volume
- Listen and empathize
- Share your feelings
Difficult Colleagues /How to improve your interpersonal skills
It’s probable that you may have annoying colleagues in your office, and you shouldn’t let their attitude impact your performance. If you keep it in your mind, then it would aggravate. However, you should look for some good traits in them and focus on their goodness. It would allow you to deal with them easily.
Self-awareness is the capability to know your actions, limitations, strengths, weaknesses, and emotions. If you’re aware of yourself, then you can develop a skill to act better. Here’s how you can improve self-awareness by using the following ways;
- You should check the response of other people to your behavior
- Ask others that how they perceive you
- You should keep a record of your responses under various circumstances. it would help you to manage self-regulate your emotions and reactions.
You’re working with your colleagues and interact with them daily. Therefore, it’s important that you’re aware of their personal life by asking them. You should get to know them and develop a positive relationship with them.
Admire their Expertise
One of the best ways to develop better relations with your customers is to admire your colleagues for their skills and expertise. You could ask them for their expert assistance on a certain project. If they participate in your project, then tell them that they’ve done an amazing job and you appreciate their help.
Develop Positive Attitude
People usually like the company of those people who are positive, optimistic, and amiable. Most importantly, they have the attitude of helping people out in their difficult times. It doesn’t mean that you have to be likable and social, instead, you should develop a reputation of reliability and love working in the team.
Empathy means that you put yourself in the shoes of the other person and feel his/her pain and emotions. Once you’re familiar with the emotions of the other person, then you can communicate with him better. Here are some of the following ways to develop empathy;
- Show openness in your body language with talking and maintain a sincere tone of voice
- Don’t pass judgment and understand their position
- Don’t avoid the emotions of your colleagues if they’re feeling bad or upset
- Ask your friends and colleagues that how they’re feeling
- Listen to them without any interruption
Conclusion: How to improve your interpersonal skills
After an in-depth study of how to improve your interpersonal skills, we have concluded that interpersonal skills can make or break relationships. Therefore, it’s significant if you want to develop your interpersonal skill, then follow the abovementioned professionals and practice them often.
Ahsan Ali Shaw is an accomplished Business Writer, Analyst, and Public Speaker. Other than that, he’s a fun loving person.