Interpersonal communication skills are the primary skills a person should possess to take his/her active social life forward. This article seeks to tell you about how to improve your interpersonal communication skills.

Interpersonal Communication Skills

Interpersonal communication skills are keystones to interacting with others. Getting along well with people is not simple for everyone—it is a skill that we all possess but it needs constant honing. Good interpersonal skills make you comfortable with others and give you confidence to face the society. This skill-set embodies typical tones of communication like listening, asserting, attitude, etc and is more in line with the character of a person rather than a skill that can be taught in a class room. People with great interpersonal skills usually have a propensity to project their positive attitude, competency and compatibility. Effective interpersonal skills ensure clear conversations, leaving little chance for misunderstanding. Good Interpersonal skills comprise of not only speaking but also effective listening, basic understanding of human behavior, tolerance and good command over conflict management. When used strategically, interpersonal skills can be single most important skill-set that can guide your career and take you places.
How To Improve Interpersonal Skills
  • A good presenter is a good listener too. While everyone loves speaking, paying heed to others is a must for having great interpersonal skills.
  • Be relaxed, not lethargic. While an overtly alert demeanour can give an impression of nervousness, unimpressive stances like hunched shoulders, fidgeting, toe-tapping or hair-twiddling show lack of interest. So, stay relaxed but not slouchy.
  • Arguments do not have to be accompanied by high pitched shrieks and other expressions of sheer anger. Arguments should be constructive and taken on smoothly with progressive analysis of the views of both counterparts. This way, one can arrive on mutually agreeable conclusions.
  • Smile often; it can make you endearingly presentable. Also maintain eye contact while talking to or listening to anyone, and avoid scanning people while they talk—it can be extremely irritating.
  • Enthusiasm is the key to developing healthy personal relationships as nobody likes talking to gloomy people who are often lost in their worlds. Interact actively and make the person feel that you are actually interested in talking to them. Developing intimacy is the key to unlocking constraints.
  • Follow constructive criticism. Do not criticize a person publicly or overtly. Always point out faults in person and give good reason to support your point. Also, always suggest measure for improvement.
  • Maintain a balance between assertiveness and micro-management. A certain level of assertiveness is a testimony of good interpersonal skills while micro-management only overburdens people.
Some Facts About Interpersonal Skills
  • Communication is not just talking, for words are not sole carriers of your emotions. An expressive face conveys more than words. Remember, people read you through your behavior and language and not through your intent.
  • Think before you speak; words are irreversible. Anything can be interpreted in the wrong way hence, be precise and clear enough to convey the intended meaning to the recipient(s).
  • Interpersonal communication is a by-product of intrapersonal communication—you say things aloud after speaking to, and convincing, yourself. So, make sure that you take time explaining things to yourself.
  • Empathetic listening and ability to ask questions are the keystones of interpersonal skills. Unless you listen to people and clarify your doubts, you won’t be able to understand their viewpoints.
  • According to uncertainty reduction theory, you learn about a new person in three ways—passively observing the person, asking others about the person and/or by interacting with that person. Basically, getting along with a person depends upon interpersonal communication and observation.
  • According to social exchange theory, human interactions are just in line with economic transactions—you love receiving more rewards in less cost and hence, you reveal your personal relationship only after finding that the cost-reward ratio is acceptable for you.
Interpersonal communication skills are very important in dealing with people around you. Getting along with people, understanding them and making them understand you are the key factors here!

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