We have all met that dynamic and charismatic person that enters a room and commands your attention.. They are unforgettable. The ease in which they converse and network, and the positive energy which they emit beckon success. What do we call that? Is it charm? Is it being a good communicator? Is it that they have mastered how to make body language work for them? It is all of that. It’s their interpersonal skills.
As a soft skills trainer, I help my clients work on the glue. The glue, or soft skills, are what keep everything together. Your resume or your grades may get you an interview, but what is it that gets you the job? What sets you apart from other candidates, and once you get the job, what is it that helps you to keep the job? What helps you to be dynamic at making people feel at ease and appreciated in your presence. It’s your soft skills : your ability to understand yourself, human behavior, and how to make your personality work for the environment that you are in. Interpersonal skills are just this. Interpersonal skills are the everyday communication skills that we use when interacting with others.
Strong interpersonal skills add not only to professional success but also personal success. If you want to improve your interactions with others, the first step is a combination of self-awareness and an understanding of interpersonal skills. Firstly, being clear about who you authentically are is the first step to genuine communication. No one likes to feel as thought hey are having ‘fake’ interactions. We all want to converse whether personally or professionally with people we feel are ‘real’ or ‘genuine.’
This is an important desire to keep in mind when communicating. We then have to take stock of the way we communicate and interact both verbally and non-verbally. We have to make sure that the verbal and non-verbal messages that we are sending are in line with the impression of ourselves that we want to give. When one has an understanding of the power of interpersonal skills and how to make them work for their personality, it puts them in a league of their own.
Here are my top 5 reasons to be intentional about developing your interpersonal skills.
1. Powerful first impressions. Having an understanding of interpersonal skills makes you a powerful connector. First impressions have much to do with initial connection.
2. Understanding the difference between listening and hearing. Individuals with strong interpersonal skills are powerful listeners. Their listening skills set them apart.
3. The influence of non-verbal communication. One’s non-verbal communication doesn’t only have an impression on the person that you are interacting with, but it also has an impression on you as well.
4. Comfort with small talk. Small talk can be daunting. Individuals with strong interpersonal skills understand the levels of conversation and know how to move conversation along.
5. Influencing skills. Interpersonal skills are a big puzzle piece when it comes to influencing others, negotiating, and helping others understand your perspectives.
If you would like to learn more about the power that comes with understanding interpersonal skills and ways to use these skills to compliment your personality, join me on September 13thfor a half day workshop on Interpersonal Skills!
Interpersonal Skills training is also available on a private and group basis year round.
Shifting Perspectives is a weekly conversation with Yolande. Yolande, a Canadian of Caribbean descent, now calls the Turks and Caicos Islands home and in this podcast challenges Caribbean woman worldwide to fuel themselves with diversity in the way they think, the way they work, the way they parent and the way they live.