You exercise your interpersonal skills everyday, from ordering your morning coffee, greeting your colleagues, emailing clients, listening and speaking in meetings and in every interaction you have with people in your personal life. Improving your interpersonal skills will not only help you get ahead in the workplace, but also make you a more empathetic, happy, social person. While it may seem that some people are naturally graced with strong interpersonal skills, like everything there is always room for improvement. Follow these simple tips to become a more well-rounded, enjoyable person in both your work and home life.
Attitude is contagious, if you can remain positive this will have a good influence on your colleagues. Motivating your colleagues with a positive attitude can greatly improve morale and productivity. Remember, attitude will reflect leadership, so if you find the attitude within the team is a bit poor maybe take a moment to look at your own. This could lead to a positive change.
Appreciating your team members can have a profound effect on individuals and the team. Thanking people for their work or a job well done will show that you appreciate them and what they have done. Show your team appreciation and they will do the same in return. If you are the boss, consider hosting a Friday afternoon BBQ or shouting a round of drinks at the next office gathering, even if you are not, simple things like suggesting your team goes to lunch together, bringing in baked treats and genuinely thanking people for sending you work will do wonders for team spirit and really show how appreciative you are for the effort your team puts in.
Don’t forget that colleagues have a life outside of work, sometimes it pays to know a little bit about their lives if they feel comfortable in revealing that information. When you show an interest in aspects of their personal life, i.e. asking how their son’s footy team went on the weekend, it shows you listen and care. It makes people feel particularly validated when you remember the names of their family members – keep a cheat sheet on your phone with these names, not only will it help with the day-to-day but it is guaranteed to make that upcoming work Christmas party a little less daunting.
Being a good listener is an art, listening is different from just hearing. Actively listening to someone means you are taking note and acknowledging what is being said. When you show your colleagues that you are taking what they are saying seriously it shows you are genuine. You will become better connected to your colleagues by being a genuinely active listener. This will also give them the confidence to speak up and make suggestions without being dismissed or feeling ignored.
Addressing conflict the right way is very important to maintain a stable and cohesive team environment. Time to put your mediation cap on and take on your leadership role. Compromise is usually the best way to solve conflict, remain positive and non-confrontational, by doing, this colleagues won’t be hesitant in approaching you with issues.
Being able to clearly communicate to your colleagues will avoid embarrassing confusion and misunderstandings. Being a good communicator will show intelligence and maturity which instils confidence. Carefully chosen words to make a clear point, statement or request will be understood and remembered allot better than if you were to confuse people by using needless words or unclear instructions. Clear and concise communication works best to get a message across.
Being funny, clever and witty can lift the mood within the team in no time, this shows that you are a fun person with a sense of humour. It may be a little frightening to those who don’t feel confident being the team joker, however simply having a sense of humour, laughing at others jokes and sharing laughs with colleagues can significantly lighten the mood. If you are serious about being funny, go to a few stand-up comedy gigs, watch more comedy shows, you will start to learn what works with an audience and what does not. This will not only improve your interpersonal skills but also break up the mid-week bore. By taking on this kind of attitude you can create an atmosphere that people want to be a part of. Being serious all the time can cause stress and anxiety, but showing that you can find the funny side in anything will foster a positive and relaxed workplace. This will lead to high morale and dramatically increased productivity.
To be a good leader or manager you need to have excellent interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence is possibly the most important type of intelligence for a leader. It doesn’t matter how smart you are or how well you perform in the company, if you can’t get along with others or be a team player regardless of the role you are in your professional life may be limited. Luckily it is pretty easy to improve your current skills and learn new ones. Developing a more intimate relationship with those around you (a byproduct of exceptional interpersonal skills) can be greatly improved by engaging in team building activities, if you think your team would benefit from some time out of the office together contact us and let us help you find the perfect team building exercise for no cost.