Well developed interpersonal skills are ultimately what sets us apart from others, be it in a work or social setting. It is the difference between what makes for a good employee or a great employee.Most are born with these skills, others need to work a little bit harder to develop them which is crucial because these skills are extremely valuable.
1. Verbal Communication
Effective verbal communication begins with clarity. Speak slowly and thoughtfully. Thoughtful people are often taken more seriously as they take time to think before responding. Many people feel rushed to respond often talking over others or not understanding the just gist of what is being said. Think before you speak, stay calm, focused, polite and interested in what is being said.
2. Non-Verbal Communication
Although verbal communication is the foundation to any successful relationship, it is non-verbal communication that speaks the loudest. Your facial expressions, eye contact, posture, tone of voice, gestures even the way you position your body will influence what is being said. Body language is one thing people take notice of first before you have even had a chance to speak, even if you are unaware of it. The tone of your voice has the ability to influence people’s reactions to what is being said in either a negative or positive way. A Doctor from UCLA once said that non-verbal communication makes up 93% of the social communications process, opposed to verbal communication that only makes up a mere 7%.
The only way to effectively interpret and respond appropriately, is by listening. We as humans have become less willing to compromise because we are more reluctant to actively listen. Active listening is a way of listening and responding to another person that improves the mutual understanding. Often when people talk to each other, they don’t listen attentively. They are often distracted, half listening, half thinking about something else.
Asking questions is a great way to initiate conversation, People enjoy speaking about themselves. According to Adrian F. Ward, a postdoctoral research associate in the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado; On average, people spend 60 percent of conversations talking about themselves—and this figure jumps to 80 percent when communicating via social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook. Asking questions demonstrates interest, focus on quality questions. “Closed” questions = “closed” answers. For example: instead of asking someone if they were scared which would elicit a brief answer, ask them how they felt. This way they will elaborate and you can then ask questions or make comments based on what is being said.
It is easy to assume that someone is less intelligent if they have sub-par manners. So many adults seem to have missed the proverbial boat on manners and common courtesies as basic social etiquette such as “please” and “thank you” are being over looked daily. Good manners are more than just opening doors and writing thank you notes. While opening doors for others and writing notes is nice, true courtesy goes deeper. Being polite and courteous means considering how others are feeling.
6. Problem Solving
Everybody can benefit from having good problem solving skills as we all encounter problems on a daily basis; some of these problems are obviously more severe or complex than others. Although it’s an amazing skill to solve problems we face on a daily basis effectively and in a timely manner; it’s not necessarily about how quickly we can do it, but rather in the manner in which we go about it. 5 easy steps to problem solving:
- Identify the problem.
- Dissect the problem until it is fully understood
- Explore all options pertaining to solutions
- Set up a system of strategies and objectives to solve the problem
- Put final plan into effect and monitor its progress
7. Social Awareness
Being socially aware means being aware of what others are feeling through what they are saying and how they are acting. Being able to pick up that someone is in need of assistance without them having to ask first, demonstrates high levels of social awareness
7.1 Develop empathy
- Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Empathy helps you understand someone else’s perspective. Being empathetic is vital for authentic relationships, genuine communication, and problem-solving
- Identify your own emotions. You can’t understand what other people are feeling until you learn and label your own emotions.
- Be an active listener. Active listening helps you develop empathy because you are fully listening to the person talking
7.2 Pick up on social cues
- Watch body language. Watch people’s body language in different situations. Notice how much people communicate with their bodies through gestures, posture, or head movement.
- Listen to tone of voice. You can say the same words, but change your tone of voice, and the words will take on different meanings. A person’s tone of voice conveys the emotion behind the words
- Watch facial expressions. People have very expressive faces. Even when we try our best to conceal our emotions, they are often present on our faces anyway.
The main focus is being able to control our emotions and remain composed. Self-control is NOT masking or hiding your emotions but recognizing and controlling them appropriately. This means NOT making rash decisions or over-reacting to a situation but remaining calm and rational. It leads to being able to make balanced decisions based on what is really important, and not just how we feel at the time.People who have good self-control generally remain calm even when stressed. They are able to think clearly under pressure and still make good decisions.
9. Responsibility & Accountability
Responsibility is the idea of being completely in charge of something, that the person who is responsible for something is the root cause behind whether that thing succeeds, fails, lives, or dies. Accountability can most accurately be described as answerability. Having accountability exclusively means a necessity and expectation to explain one’s actions for whatever they are accountable for. Willingness to be held accountable for our actions very often builds trust. An easy way to think about being accountable is literally – whatever the results of a person’s actions, that person must be able to give an account of not just what happened, but why it happened and how.These are reliable indicators of maturity.
Being assertive is being aware not to offend someone or come off as being too aggressive whilst asserting authority. Used tactfully, assertiveness can gain you a kind of respect one would not be able to attain by other means. Being assertive can help us to feel better about ourselves – improving self-esteem and personal confidence.Sometimes the way we react and respond to others can make us feel inadequate, guilty or regretful. These may be signs of passive behavior. We may also feel angry and critical of others during conversations – this may be a sign of more aggressive behavior.