The Elements of Interpersonal Communication – Get a Career Advantage
Unless you never leave your home, and often even then, you are bound to communicate with people in one way or another every single day. In the business world, communication is the bridge that connects ideas to reality, proposals to deals, questions to answers, you get the point. And while it’s imperative to be an expert in your field, it is an absolute must to have a well-mastered set of interpersonal skills. Which ones do you need the most? Let’s find out!
The 4 Main Types of Communication
There are four primary forms of communication when it comes to interacting with people – verbal, listening, written, and non-verbal communication. To thrive in the workplace and avoid miscommunication, you must match the cues you consciously or unconsciously give out in a non-verbal way together with your verbal and written communication. In other words, do as you say and say as you do or people will think you are a fraud and will avoid doing business with you.
The Skills You Need
Listening and Verbal Skills
- Teamwork – the ability to adapt to working with different personalities within a confined circle of people.
- Assertiveness – it is about understanding and respecting the thoughts and feelings of others, especially during negotiations.
- Empathy – the key to mastering Interpersonal Communication is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, understand their point of view, and respect their ideas. It will make people see you as an attentive listener and someone whose decisions are based on “seeing the full picture.”
- Positive Attitude – let’s face it, we all prefer to communicate with; happy, energetic, and accepting people. We, ourselves, may not always feel like it, but it’s a necessary effort for efficient communication.
- Relaxation – people respect a person who can keep their cool, especially during disagreement or negotiation. Having a calm, self-confident manner will portray you as an active listener in the minds of others. That, in itself, helps build your authority.
- Monitoring Stress – understanding when you or someone else is stressed. It is about picking up the changes in your tone of voice as you are speaking, understanding the triggers for that change, and gaining control of the situation.
- Professionalism – while this is extremely important in all aspects of communication, it is inherently evident in written communication. Avoiding spelling and grammar mistakes is a must, as well as following standard formats of business correspondence. Not doing that will erode your authority and value as a professional.
- Computer and Technical Literacy – same as above. Knowing how to use necessary universal tools and programs is essential for effective written communication.
- Analysis – it is all about the ability to research and “read” data, so you can make meaningful connections and express new ideas to colleagues and senior management.
These need no explanation as they are, to a great extent, dependent on a person’s culture and background. However, make sure that you understand your current business environment, and what is universally accepted there, so you can adapt your non-verbal signals accordingly.
- Eye Contact
- Body Language
As you can see, interpersonal skills require having a wide palette of qualities and the desire to constantly develop them. Always be aware of your environment and the cultural background of the people with whom you are doing business. Often, neglecting to acknowledge diversity is a key reason for failure in communication. Be better than that and don’t stop improving.
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