Interpersonal Communication Skills
Just imagine that you have managed to get a glimpse of your official annual confidential report, written by your immediate superior in the office. You are rather pleased at the A+ rating he has given you on your technical know-how, analytical powers, efficiency, and the speed of execution of your professional duties. But what is this? He has given you a really low rating on your interpersonal communication skills. That is that! Your chances of getting a promotion this year have been reduced drastically, because he is under the impression that you cannot communicate properly and effectively with your colleagues, your boss, and your potential clients. So naturally, you can understand how you can develop these very important interpersonal skills, so as to make an immediate positive impact on all those who come in contact with you.
Effective Communication is not only the easiest way in which you can swap ideas and get the viewpoint of the person/persons with whom you are holding a conversation/discussion, but also managing to convey the idea, thought, impression, knowledge and notion to the other person or the group, so that they are literally and figuratively “With you. “This is what successful interpersonal communication skills are all about.
So here are some easy to implement tips through which you can develop these skills successfully.
- What is the influence of your own cultural, ethical, personal, mental, social, spiritual and physical history on your potential ability to communicate effectively with the people around you? People communicate with each other in different ways. This method of communication is both verbal and non-verbal. It is the way you interpret the spoken word or the gesture, – according to your own lights, which is going to make all the difference between understanding what was being conveyed to you or your ending up looking at the speaker with a complete blank. “D-uh?” look on your face. Well,he might take it as polite appreciation of his elocutionary skills. That is because you are too polite to tell him, “no comprehendo.” Let us take an example here. In many Asian countries, it is polite for you to wait for a couple of seconds before you respond to a question or a statement. If you are Japanese, you are going to understand the significance of this polite pause. On the other hand, if you are an American or a European talking to a Japanese, you are going to assume that this pause is because the listener really has a lot of trouble trying to understand what you mean to convey to him. Getting exasperated at this point is going to lose you a lot of goodwill, just because you did not have the patience to understand the Japanese culture and philosophy. So the first point of developing your interpersonal communication skills properly is to know more about the cultural and social nuances of the peoples with which you have to communicate.
- “An arrow sped from a bow and a word spoken in jest or in anger can never be recalled again.” This is a really ancient saying, but it has relevance even today. So it does not matter how good your intentions are. If you do not know how to convey your message, both verbally and nonverbally, you are going to be missing the point by a mile.
The right word at the right time has always been able to defuse potentially explosive situations. So cultivate your vocabulary. Kissing the Blarney Stone would not come amiss, if it is accompanied with oodles of charm. But remember to look at the body language of the listener. He might say that he is fascinated with your discourse on some obscure, long winding and totally boring subject, but the moment his eyes start glazing over, shut up!
- Remember that proper interpersonal communication does not always mean talking about the great “I.” They tell a tale of a fan trapped in an elevator with a superstar. When they were rescued, the fan had got over this childish admiration, because Mr. Superstar had spent all the time impressing her about his achievements, his accomplishments, his triumphs and his successful run as a renowned artiste, yackettyyakkyakk. After 20 minutes, he turned to her and said very charmingly, “Well, that is enough about me, now let us talk about you, how did you like my latest movie?” This superstar’s PR manager is falling down badly on his job. Not only did he not teach Mr. Superstar that the easiest way to bore people is to keep yammering about oneself, but also accurate, successful and proper interpersonal communication is all about a meaningful dialogue between two or more people.
- Remember that the more you talk, the more chances there are of your information being misinterpreted or misunderstood. And then, if you are going by Murphy’s Law, the chances of putting your foot in your mouth is going to increase, the more you try to focus a group’s attention on yourself by grabbing the communication limelight. So proper interpersonal communication is made up of mental and psychological factors, where your listeners are going to interpret your values, wants, and wishes, and weigh them with their own interpretations of what you want to convey to them. After that they are going to respond to your statements in their own manner, either through shrugs, raising of eyebrows or discreet rolling of eyes (non-verbal negative communication) or applause (non-verbal positive communication). This relational interchange of emotions and ideas, to get a mutually satisfying conclusion is what successful interpersonal communication skills are all about.
These are just some of the tips and techniques in which you can develop your interpersonal communication skills, so as to impress your audience, each time every time!