Enhancing Your Interpersonal Skills

Something we don’t necessarily talk about enough is your level of interpersonal skills. Your interpersonal skills dictate your ability to communicate and deal with other individuals on a regular basis. If you lack interpersonal skills you may find yourself labelled as difficult to communicate with, stubborn, aloof, or any of a number of negative descriptions.

In order to develop great interpersonal skills you need to focus on four main qualities. These can be summarised easily by remembering the STAR acronym.

  • S = Sensitivity. You need to be aware of the different needs of each of the people on your team. No two people are alike, and each will need to be treated differently.
  • T = Tolerance. Not everyone you work with will have the same beliefs. You need, especially as a manager, to be able to set aside your own personal beliefs so that you can objectively work with and understand the beliefs of your employees. Tolerance applies not only to cultural and religious beliefs but to individual work ethic as well (within reason, of course).
  • A = Assertion. You’re the manager. You’re in charge. You have the final say. You don’t have to be arrogant or rude to get your point across but if you see something about to go wrong you do need to have the guts to stand up for yourself and your ideas.
  • R = Restraint. We all have times where we want to say or do something inappropriate. You need to have the presence of mind to stop and think before speaking or taking action. If you need help, go back and brush up on some of your anger management tactics.

Get all four of these factors under control and you’re bound to build beautiful relationships with your team members and fellow managers. Let one slip and you may just find you aren’t necessarily a favourite within your office.

Thanks again,


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training | Management Blog | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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