In the modern era, it is rarely enough for anyone to succeed in the professional world by merely having the required skills/knowhow to perform a given task. This is an age of working collaboratively and empathetically irrespective of what job you do. A typical job description nowadays would include eligibility criteria such as ‘excellent verbal, written and interpersonal skills.’ Businesses are no longer limited by state or national boundaries these days and it is a key requirement for all businesses to be rated highly as a customer and employee friendly organization. This is where the interpersonal skills are of utmost importance.
Also known as soft skills, the meaning of interpersonal skills refers to the ability to communicate effectively, empathetically, respectfully and collaboratively with others. By developing strong interpersonal skills, you can foster personal and professional relationships and demonstrate your leadership abilities in a much effective manner. Here are some invaluable tips that will help you in improving your interpersonal intelligence and career growth:
Be Positive: Adopting a positive outlook is one of the most important and fundamental interpersonal skill. If you focus too much on the challenges or adverse incidents/thoughts then it is likely to affect your peace of mind as well as performance. Whether it is a personal problem or professional, by looking at things from a positive point of view would not only reduce stress but also help in finding a solution faster.
Emotional intelligence: Quite often the meaning of soft skills is also defined as emotional intelligence. Emotions are a unique power, but when you are at work, you can’t be overly emotional. Anger, hurt, disappointment, affection or frustration, these are the emotions that can be damaging to your professional prospects if left uncontrolled. This is where you need to display emotional intelligence and avoid displaying strong emotions whether it is severe depression or going ecstatic with joy. A leader is known to be calm, patient and clear in every scenario.
Be appreciative and respectful: No matter how high a position you occupy in your organization or the expertise you have in your field of work, never ignore or underplay the abilities and the performance of your colleagues and subordinates. The biggest trust builder in professional environment is to be known as a person who appreciates and acknowledges the talent of the co-workers. Giving due credit and seeking opinions on important matters is a good way to show that you respect.
Know your colleagues: Showing a real yet measured interest in your colleagues is a good way to build rapport. By learning something about their lives and knowing things that are important to your colleagues would make you consolidate your bonding with them. While it doesn’t mean that you should try to peep into their private matters, but knowing things like their family composition, the performance of their kids or other such generic information is always a great idea.
Active Listening: Listening is a skill that is usually not given its due importance. However, by practicing active listening, you can not only gain a better understanding of things happening around you, but, also be seen as a compassionate and respectful person. You can practice this by avoiding talking over people or not paying attention when others speak. Asking questions and making eye contact with the speaker are some of the ways to show that you are engaged in a conversation.
Be empathetic: Always ask yourself, ‘why did that person react in that manner or did that thing?’ Think about how you would act or react if you were in the other person’s shoes. It is this empathetic approach to people that helps in finding solutions that are beneficial for all and in commanding a leadership position among peers!
These tips are going to help you develop your interpersonal skills and in your career growth. Some of the things mentioned here might be challenging initially as they need you to change your habits or perspective, but with practice you can do wonders!