5 Tips to Develop Interpersonal Skills
In any workplace, effective interpersonal relations are needed for one to find success in his or her career. Some jobs may require less than talking than others, but it doesn’t mean that people just work entire shifts without saying a single word to other employees. If developed, interpersonal skills can significantly fastrack a person’s career. If you’re looking for ways to become a better communicator in the workplace, here are five tips to help you out:
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1. Build a positive outlook
When developing interpersonal skills, you first need to start with yourself. Effective communication is absent if you’re always complaining or thinking of problems throughout the day. Remember that you’ll always encounter problems in everything that you do so don’t let it affect you and move on with your life.
The more you think about problems, the more it affects your relationships with colleagues. So, try to build strong emotional intelligence, specifically by having a positive outlook that helps you focus on what you have and the things that make you happy. If a work issue is stressing you out, find solutions to address the issue as soon as possible.
2. Acknowledge others’ expertise
Strong interpersonal skills can also relate to trust. You’ll never be able to work well with your colleagues if you don’t believe they can finish their tasks on time or have second thoughts if they can do effective problem solving or conflict resolution with the tasks given to them. When trust isn’t established, colleagues will avoid you as much as they can and this doesn’t bode well if you're aiming for a promotion.
Acknowledging others’ expertise shouldn’t be too hard if the people you’re working with have been in the company for a long time. In contrast, if you’re working with new hires practice patience and remember that they got hired for a reason. Regularly conduct training so that they can get up to speed with all work-related tasks. Through training, this also allows you to build relationships with your peers.
3. Be a good listener
One of the best tips to develop good interpersonal relationships faster; make sure to become a good listener aside from being a good talker. Talking is easy, but listening requires more effort and helps you understand what the other person is saying much better. And in the workplace where employees need to regularly converse with each other to achieve a task or goal, listening plays a big role in developing interpersonal skills.
To become a good (or even great) listener, focus on the person who’s talking and always maintain regular eye contact. Additionally, don’t interrupt and only continue the conversation if they’re already done. With this, the conversation will flow smoothly and you both will get the information needed even if the talk only lasted for a few minutes. Being a good listener also helps with relationships outside of the workplace such as with friends and family.
4. Control your emotions
Always try to control your emotions when conversing with peers or superiors. Much like maintaining a positive outlook, not being level-headed or being too emotional in the workplace will only cause unnecessary conflicts between yourself and colleagues. Even if you hold a high position in the organization, it doesn’t give you the reason to lash out at other employees especially if an issue can be solved easily.
Always maintain a calm demeanor and think before making an action. This applies not just to anger and frustration but also to happiness and excitement. Being too excited may rub others the wrong way, especially if the news is favorable for yourself but not with others.
5. Maintain relationships
Building relationships is much easier compared to maintaining them. Don’t just stop at the beginning and continue nurturing the relationships as this shows you value the friendship you have with your colleagues. This also prevents them from thinking that you only show support and empathy when you ask for a favor. Practice sincerity at all times.
You don’t need to add people to your personal circle if you don’t feel like it. Just make sure to maintain a professional working relationship and show respect even if they have difficult personalities. There will also be times that people won’t like your attitude so show respect if you want to be respected in return. Additionally, maintaining relationships will also help you grow your network which is very helpful if you plan on switching careers in the future.
Interpersonal skills can often be an underrated skill in the workplace. It’s not just for introverts who sometimes fail to communicate effectively, but also for people who need to fine-tune their verbal communication skills from to time. At the end of the day, work isn’t just about finishing tasks on time but also building and maintaining relationships with colleagues.
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