No matter what industry you work in, everyone uses interpersonal skills every single day. These talents emphasize a person’s emotional intelligence and how well they are able to collaborate with other people in a work setting.
While some may have a more natural knack for it than others, everyone can learn these skills and how to incorporate them into their daily lives. To get you started, here are ten ways to master interpersonal skills.
1. Think Before Speaking
There a handful of tactics you can use to think about your reaction before deciding what to say. Observation of oneself, the situation at hand, and being aware of how others in your workplace communicate can greatly prepare you for a calm and meaningful discussion. Take the time to watch others around the office and see how they relate to people, learning how they react to specific scenarios.
As you consider this information, it will help you be mindful of what you should say before saying it.
2. Follow the Golden Rule
We’ve all been taught the golden rule since we were old enough to speak. These lessons were shared as a means of helping you understand that people will treat you in a similar fashion to the way you treat them. By showing gratitude, kindness, and loyalty to others, you’ll find that you receive the same.
Go out of your way to get to know teammates, management, and even interns. When you’re respectful of others, you will maintain a strong reputation within the office.
3. Listen as Much as You Talk
This can be one of the toughest interpersonal skills to develop, especially in a work setting. Everyone wants their opinion to be heard and most of the time they feel it’s the only right answer. But when you actively listen to your co-workers, or your employees if you’re a manager, you may find they have a great deal of insight to share.
When having meetings, ensure everyone in the group is given the opportunity to share their thoughts and prove you are listening by taking notes, responding when they are finished, and acknowledging what they’ve said.
4. Be Yourself
Most people have two different personalities: their home self and their work self. As soon as they cross the threshold into the office, they become an entirely different person. While there should always be a level of professionalism when at work, it’s important to always be yourself.
The majority of people can recognize when someone is being fake or insincere. Avoid the feeling that you have to be like everyone else and simply be yourself instead.
5. Disagree Softly
Whether it be about religion, politics, or even sports, it’s becoming more difficult than ever to keep emotions in check when disagreeing about something. While none of these topics should really be discussed in a work setting, people often find themselves arguing about plenty of work related subjects as well. These heated debates can break down team chemistry and make it much more difficult for groups to work together.
Opinions should never be shunned and differences should always be approached with genuine curiosity. If there is ever a disagreement, it’s important to focus on facts, listen to one another, and never make it personal.
6. Set Aside Your Pride
An American author named John C. Maxwell once said, “There are two kinds of pride, both good and bad. Good pride represents our dignity and self-respect. Bad pride is the deadly sin of superiority that reeks of conceit and arrogance.”
Pride can have damaging effects on your ability to be a team player. While you should always maintain your dignity, you should release yourself from arrogance, especially in the workplace. When you set aside your bad pride, you’ll much easier to work with and your co-workers will have more respect for you.
7. Work as a Team
Whether you work with only one other person or a large group of people, teamwork is one of the most vital interpersonal skills to a company’s success. It is important that work be delegated properly and that everyone is held liable to their responsibilities.
Online tools like Toggl Plan’s visual overview provide the ability to monitor projects and tasks, while also maintaining accountability among the group. It allows everyone to track progression and lets the manager distribute new information as needed.
8. Pay Attention to Body Language
The same way spoken words have both positive and negative connotations, body language can help someone understand how a person feels at any given moment. Negative body language includes things like folding arms, avoiding eye contact, and poor posture. These tend to mean a person is either not listening or disagrees with what is being said.
On the other hand, positive body language can be related with consistent eye contact, leaning into the conversation, and even taking notes. These nonverbal cues will make you appear more interested and engaged when communicating with your team members.
9. Get to the Point
No one likes it when a speaker beats around the bush and delays getting to the point. Regardless of the situation, these type of delays waste a great deal of time in a setting where people are trying to get their work accomplished and reach key deadline or milestones.
Whenever there is a concern or issue, always be direct and straightforward so people know what you want and what needs to be done. If you skirt around the conversation or delay your point, it will be difficult for others to take you seriously.
10. Openly Communicate
Our modern age has provided us with an immense number of ways to communicate with each other. While meetings and face-to-face conversations can still be necessary at times, it is much more efficient to use electronic means of communication.
Apps like Toggl Plan can integrate with programs like Slack to ensure everyone is able to discuss necessary project details whenever they need to. Along with the task manager and team timelines, these features all make it easier to communicate.
Learn More Interpersonal Skills
This is a great list to get you started in developing your interpersonal skills. As you incorporate these tactics, you’ll find that you’re better able to relate to others and work more efficiently with your group.
If you want to further develop your communication abilities, be sure to take a look at our blog. We often discuss ways to improve your collaboration and better manage your capacity to work with people.