This article highlights the importance of Interpersonal Communication while we are at work ‘be in the public sector or in the private one. A keen and thorough read of this article can benefit us not only in our personal/family/social life, but also in professional life as public servants, bureaucrats, military officials, entrepreneurs, educators, journalists, and legislators, etc’.
Interpersonal skills are essential for career success these days. While high grades open doors for good jobs, interpersonal skills actually enable individuals to reach the top of the career ladder because of the importance of teamwork. Those who get along with others can handle criticism and conflict well, negotiate better and create a positive atmosphere in the workplace. The most common tools used by skilful communicators are verbal communication, body language, tone, listening, questions and feedback.
When it comes to verbal communication, one must use language effectively. A person who says to another, ‘You are extremely difficult to deal with,’ can soften the blow of such an exchange by emphasising how the challenging behaviour impacts the individual personally.
By using the word ‘I the person is able to shift the focus from personality to feelings and facilitate cooperation: I am concerned that this type of discussion will not serve any purpose, so let’s sit together and work out a feasible solution.
Those who get along with others can handle criticism and conflict well, negotiate better and create a positive atmosphere in the workplace.
Such as body positioning, space between people, facial expressions, eye movements and focus, touch and breathing should be used as demanded by the situation. An example of using the body language aptly is to have a reasonable distance while communicating with another person. Standing too close can be perceived as threatening by others. In addition, the tone of voice can result in others forming an opinion about one’s personality. A person who yells out an order ‘Can you get my tea?’ as compared to someone who says the same in a polite way gives the impression of being a difficult and coarse individual whom people might consider avoiding eventually.
Active listening involves focus and a desire to learn. Two of the best ways to ensure understanding are to ask questions and paraphrase. ‘So if I have heard you correctly, you would like me to prepare a three-page report by Friday noon? Is that right?’ is an example of questioning and paraphrasing where an individual clarifies the request to ensure a complete understanding. People who listen carefully to others win over friends more easily than those who give merely token importance to what others have to say.
Negative feedback should be specific, focused on the behaviour, and timely rather than personality-driven. While receiving negative feedback, people should control their emotions and listen carefully to what is being said.
Giving and receiving constructive feedback is an art. ‘Looks like they didn’t teach you anything in school,’ is a very ineffectual statement for dealing with poor performers. Negative feedback should be specific, focused on the behaviour, and timely rather than personality-driven. While receiving negative feedback, people should control their emotions and listen carefully to what is being said. They can always reschedule another meeting later and explain their position in detail. A person in control of his emotions is perceived as mature and sensible.
Those who handle their emotions well, speak positively, use suitable nonverbal cues, and listen actively, work better in teams. Through the effective use of interpersonal communication tools at work, individuals can achieve a breakthrough in how they are perceived in their organizations. With glowing appraisals, word-of-mouth recommendations, and third-party praises, chances are that these individuals will be on the path to a faster career growth in their organizations.