5 Tips for Improving Your Interpersonal Skills
Interpersonal skills and communication skills go hand in hand but are not the same thing. Communication skills involve your ability to convey an idea, but your interpersonal skills convey your ability to do such in a manner that is appealing. Your interpersonal skills define they way you interact with your employees. People with bad interpersonal skills usually have bad communication skills by default.
As a manager, you shoud constantly be striving to improve your interpersonal skills. Here are 5 things you can do to become better at dealing with your fellow managers, coworkers, and team members.
- Pay attention to what others are saying and doing. Pay attention to your team members on both a professional and personal level. Is one of your team members having a difficult time – dealing with an illness or family tragedy? Is someone getting married or having a baby? Acknowledge both the ups and downs and show you appreciate them on all levels.
- Keep smiling, no matter what is going on in your life. I know that sounds hard, but if you never smile, your friends and coworkers won’t want to be around you. Try to stay as positive in attitude as possible. Everyone understands a bad day. Just don’t make it a habit.
- Adopt an active listening strategy. Repeat what was said in your response, look the person who is speaking to you in the eye, and offer positive responses. Make sure the people you are speaking with know you are paying attention and understand the actions you intend to take in response.
- Practice empathy, or the ability to see a situation from someone else’s perspective. Even if you don’t agree with a situation, an empathetic response will prove you at least understand it.
- Help to resolve any conflicts in your workplace as quickly as possible. If members of your team constantly bicker, bring them together and try to mediate the situation. The faster you diffuse tension the less likely it is to turn into a long-term situation.
Try your best to connect with the people you work with. Communicating is one thing – identifying with them as you communicate is another.
Mark Williams is a learning and development professional, using business psychology and multiple intelligences to create fascinating and quickly-identifiable learning initiatives in the real-world business setting. Mark’s role at MTD is to ensure that our training is leading edge, and works closely with our trainers to develop the best learning experiences for all people on learning programmes. Mark designs and delivers training programmes for businesses both small and large and strives to ensure that MTD’s clients are receiving the very best training, support and services that will really make a difference to their business.