| What are Interpersonal Skills?|
Real interpersonal skills are about connection. This includes actions like smiling, a handshake, an outgoing personality in addition to a good mindset. Working in a team is important in today's workplace and communication skills are essential. The Center for Public Resources did a national survey and discovered 90% of the time individuals are terminated for poor attitudes, inappropriate behavior and poor interpersonal skills rather than deficient job skills (McNamara, 2003).
Below are some important interpersonal skills that will help you at work and in your personal life:
- Listening. Make sure you understand other people's perspectives before trying to just emphasize your own. Paraphrase to clarify understanding. If you make an effort to hear what someone else is saying, they will be much more likely to hear your ideas. Be an empathic and engaged listener. Interpersonal skills experts have insisted that listening skills comprise about 95% of what it takes to be successful in social interactions.
- Look for the best in others. When you expect people to do the right thing and have worthwhile motives, your relationships improve. You will naturally treat others with respect and they will most likely respond in kind. One of the strongest ways to build a connection is to let someone know what you sincerely appreciate about them.
- Adapt your style to the needs of others. When you know your behavioral style and can recognize the styles of others, you can approach other people in a way that builds rapport, strengthens relationships and reduces conflict.
Interpersonal skills are critical for keeping your team motivated and getting them to do their best work. With good use of interpersonal skills, you can increase your team's happiness and engagement in what they're doing, and improve your organization's productivity.
For More Information
Listen to our recorded webinar "3 Key Interpersonal Skills You Need at Work Today".
This webinar will discuss the 3 Most Important Interpersonal Skills you Need at Work Today. Here's what you are going to learn in this ground-breaking training:
- How to Empower Joint Problem Solving, so you are not carrying the monkey on your back and have successfully encouraged other people to take responsibility.
- How to Encourage Better Connections with Others, by understanding what they need from you and how you can build a stronger bridge to them.
- How to Engage People to Want to Help You, because your relationships are stronger and your message is clear.
Improve Communication with Better Listening Skills
We have always known that success depends on people communicating effectively. Good communication isn't only about speaking well but also about listening well. Only by listening effectively can you respond appropriately in any situation.
Of all the types of communication we use daily between talking, reading, writing and listening, we spend the most time on listening. It's 40% of all the time we spend communicating. We get less training in listening than in any other kind of communication. We get a couple years of learning around talking (mostly as babies). Then we get 6-8 years of training for reading through elementary and middle school. Then we continue to get through high school with emphasis on writing well. But we get hardly any education at all on LISTENING. No wonder we are so bad at it!
Yet listening is one of the most important communication skills we have and communication with others is essential.
For instance, we know:
- You can not NOT communicate. We're communicating verbally or nonverbally all the time.
- Whenever contact is made, some form of communication does occur.
- The true meaning of something is not in the words we use, it's in how people interpret the words.
- Yet the meanings can not be transferred. We can't just put a computer file directly in someone's head. We can ony send the words. So listening becomes a critical skill if we are going to fully understand the meaning someone is trying to send us.
The Personal Listening Profile® will help you to understand how to listen more effectively in a variety of situations. It is useful in many applications, including customer service, presentation skills, conflict resolution and team building.
Research shows that people approach listening with different purposes and with different motivations related to that purpose. We all have our own preferred or most natural approach to listening. The Personal Listening Profile will give you the insight into the different listening approaches of others and how you can adapt your approach to understand and communicate better.
The five Listening Approaches are:
- Appreciative - You are more likely to listen if you feel inspired by what you are hearing and/or if you are enjoying yourself. You?re not necessarily interested in the details when you are using Appreciative Listening. It?s more the overall impression of the experience.
- Empathic - This style is often a sounding board to others. They offer suppor tand encouragement to others. They focus on the feelings revealed by the person they are listening to. If you are often approached by people who need to confide or vent about something, you will know that's you! This style isn't necessarily interested in giving advice. They are most interested in really hearing and understanding the feelings someone else is expressing.
- Comprehensive - A comprehensive listener can recognize key points between one message and another even when the speaker is disorganized. They can also recognize when someone doesn't understand what is being said and can re-explain clearly in their own words. An example of Comprehensive Listening would be to say: This is like the XYZ project but with this change.
- Discerning - This style wants to get all the information and takes copious notes, sometimes on the computer so they can capture it all. Distractions can be very annoying when using this listening approach. An example would be when other people are talking in class and you are trying to get all the notes.
- Evaluative - When listening with an evaluative approach, the listener will not automatically accept what is being said as true just because an expert says it. They may "mentally argue". If they disagree, they will quit listening. They will also be very skeptical if the speaker is overly enthusiastic about something. This approach is very helpful when evaluating something and making a decision about it.
It's important to adapt your listening approach to the needs of the situation. For example, if a close friend is sharing their concerns and problems with you, you would want to be empathic and not evaluative. You have probably experienced the frustration of someone giving you unsolicited advice when you mostly just want them to empathize with you! The opposite can also be true. There are times when you really need to evaluate a new product or service and there's no need to empathize.
When you recognize the need in any situation, and use the appropriate listening approach, you can build relationships, make better decisions and enhance teamwork. It all starts with effective listening!
Good communication isn't just about speaking well, you also need to listen effectively. Preview The Personal Listening Profile® to help you understand how to listen more effectively in a variety of situations.
Understanding the Four Behavioral Styles
Below you will learn more about the four behavioral styles: Dominance, Influencing, Steadiness and Conscientiousness. Learn the goals and fears of each style, what they tend to overuse and how each style can be more effective.
Dominance ? Focuses on Controlling the Environment
- Wants to get results
- Likes ?do it and do it now? approaches
- Wants to be in charge
- Likes new opportunities and challenges
- Wants opportunity for advancement
- Likes initiating change and taking risks
- Being taken advantage of
- Losing control over the environment
- Being tied to routine
- Appearing weak or soft
To Be More Effective
- Develop more patience with other people
- Learn to negotiate with others
- Develop greater awareness of other people?s needs
- Verbalize reasons for conclusions.
- Creating challenges
- Moving people and situations around in his/her favor
- Change for the sake of doing something new
Influencing ? Focuses Energies on Others
- Wants to be involved with people
- Wants to have fun while getting things done
- Likes to help people talk things out
- Wants freedom from following through on details
- Making a favorable impression
- Being blamed for things going wrong
- Having people be upset with him/her
- Not being liked
- Public humiliation
To be More Effective
- Become more objective in making decisions
- Develop more organized, systematic approaches to tasks
- Improve follow-through by paying attention to key details
- Learn to be direct and firm when confronting others
- Gain more control over use of time
- Emotional expressions or outbursts ? others may feel attacked
- Verbalizing thoughts and feelings
- Humor, playfulness
- Meetings, discussions
Steadiness ? Focuses on Cooperating with Others
- Likes to be involved with people
- Wants everyone to do their share
- Likes things to run smoothly
- Wants stability and security
- Wants conflict-free environment
- Enjoys being a good listener
- Calming excited people
- Situations where nobody knows what is happening
- Confusion and instability
- Lack of clarity on expectations
- Situations requiring aggressive confrontations
To be More Effective
- Learn to handle change better
- Become more assertive
- Increase his/her comfort with handling conflict
- Vary routines occasionally
- Become more receptive to short-cut methods
- Speak up when concerned or upset
- Accommodation to others
Conscientiousness ? Focuses on the ?Right? or ?Correct? Way
- Wants specific criteria for performance
- Likes accuracy
- Likes setting and meeting high standards
- Wants opportunities to analyze and assess
- Likes logical, systematic approaches to work
- Unjustified personal criticism
- Criticism of what he/she has done
- Changes and surprises that may affect his/her performance
- Spontaneous displays of feelings
- Situations that require talking about his/her personal life
To be More Effective
- Develop more comfort with emotionally charged situations
- Determine potential payoff before investing time analyzing a task
- Learn to value informal interactions with others
- Adjust his/her standards to the needs of the environment
- Practice confronting directly rather than making indirect comments
- Criticism of performance ? both of self and others
- Defensiveness when questioned about his/her performance
- Logical approaches to people and situations
Download our FREE whitepaper on "The Winning Edge: Hidden DISCoveries That Set You Apart". This will provide you with additional information to understand your behavioral style and that of others to communicate better.
Guidelines for Becoming a Good Performance Coach
A performance coach is someone who sincerely wants to help others succeed, and has the knowledge, experience and communication skills to encourage the development of others.
This person may be your manager, an expert, a co-worker, even a direct report.
1. The coaching role
The types of assistance a performance coach provides could include:
? Being a role model for correct performance.
? Sharing experiences, lessons learned and tips.
? Holding you accountable for plans and commitments you make.
? Expressing interest in the results of developmental activities.
? Giving you constructive feedback about your performance.
? Discussing and analyzing developmental experiences with you.
? Listening when you talk about problems.
? Encouraging you when you experience disappointments or setbacks.
2. Desired attributes
The ideal coach has the following qualifications:
? Interested in your development.
? Willing to commit the time to help you.
? Competent in the areas where you seek development.
? Knowledgeable about developmental resources.
? Skilled in listening and giving constructive feedback.
? Skilled in helping you analyze experiences.
Our free whitepaper entitled "3 Essential Skills that Every Manager Needs to Know to Increase Their Team's Performance" provides additional information and resources for effective performance coaching.
Communication Skills Quotes
Communication is the basis of all relationships. Whether personal or professional, you just can't do without effective communication. In order to build a good relationship with your clients, employees or peers you must use effective communication. Below please find some quotes about personal communication that I thought you might find interesting:
- Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity and the emotions to affect other people. - Jim Rohn
- Ninety-nine percent of all problems in communication start with misunderstanding, which develop as a result of differing viewpoints and conditioning. - Anonymous
- I feel that in-person contact with people is the most important thing in comedy. While I'm up on stage, I can actually put myself into the audience and adjust my pace and tuning to them. I can get into their heads through their ears and through their eyes. Only through this total communication can I really achieve what I'm trying to do. - Bill Cosby
- Science may never come up with a better office communication system than the coffee break. - Earl Wilson
- The first work of the director is to set a mood so that the actor's work can take place, so that the actor can create. And in order to do that, you have to communicate, communicate with actors. And direction is about communication on all levels. - William Friedkin
- Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing. - Rollo May
- Good communication does not mean that you have to speak in perfectly formed sentences and paragraphs. It isn't about slickness. Simple and clear go a long way. - John Kotter
- Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. - Mother Teresa
- The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them. - Ralph Nichols
- I?m a great believer that any tool that enhances communication has profound effects in terms of how people can learn from each other, and how they can achieve the kind of freedoms that they?re interested in. ? Bill Gates
- Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the mot universally understood language ? Walt Disney
- There is all the difference in the world between having something to say and having to say something ? John Dewey
- Communication works for those who work at it. ? John Powell
- The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that is has taken place ? George Bernard Shaw
Part of good communication is not just about speaking well, but also the ability to listen effectively. Only by listening effectively can you respond appropriately. The Personal Listening Profile® helps individuals understand how to listen more effectively in a variety of situations.
Online Interpersonal Skills Class
Do you find yourself in any of these situations:
- Dealing with a difficult co-worker and wondering "Why are they like that?"
- Wishing you and your co-workers had a better connection?
- Wanting to feel more adept when working with others?
- Would like to better understand human behavior?
The ability to interact effectively is a key ingredient for success at work, yet it is rarely taught in schools and colleges. This live virtual class will show you:
- How to understand your own behavioral style at work.
- Ways to recognize the styles of anyone else (co-worker, manager, even people in your personal life).
- Specific steps you can take with each style to build better connections, reduce conflict and increase comfortable communications.
Live Virtual Class
This program is provided to include live virtual sessions and a Disc Classic Profile. It's easy to participate. All you need is access to the internet and a telephone line.
This program is normally $349, but is available now at the special rate of $275.
The class includes 2 live virtual web sessions, as follows:
||Session 1: Monday, February 11, 2013 from 12:00-1:30 EST
||Session 2: Monday, March 4, 2013 from 12:00 - 1:00 EST
What You Receive
The Interpersonal Skills class contains these 3 components:
- Personalized DiSC Classic® Profile. This will be provided to you before class begins and will identify your natural behavioral style at work and provide information about all the other behavioral style patterns.
- Interpersonal Skills Live Virtual Class (90 minutes). This session will provide information about the 4 primary behavioral styles. You'll be able to practice identifying other styles and learn practical, hands-on techniques for enhancing communication and reducing conflict with others. At the end of class, you will prepare an Action Plan targeting the specific actions you want to take during the next month.
- Interpersonal Skills Live Virtual Reinforcement Session (60 minutes). This session is held 4 weeks later and provides an opportunity to discuss the progress on your Action Plan and refine it as necessary.
Find Out More About Behavioral Styles
Download our free whitepaper on "The Winning Edge: Hidden DISCoveries that Set You Apart". This will provide you with additional information to understand your behavioral style and that of others to communicate better.