An employee with strong “people skills” is what every manager wishes for, as those skills are much harder to communicate than technical skills. Social skills enable people to maximize effective and productive human interaction. Read this blog if you want to learn more.
Interpersonal skills are more than just communication skills. They are the ‘people skills’ that seem to come to some of us so naturally, while other of us may struggle with them. Interpersonal skills will help you to work with others and build rapport with them, but they will also help you to respond to complaints and conflict in a productive manner.
Some interpersonal skills include:
– Courtesy: it’s been said that good manners cost nothing, and that’s the truth. There is no reason to be anything but courteous when dealing with your customers and colleagues. It fosters relationships and shows that you care about making the other person comfortable.
– Respect for other: you’ve heard the ‘golden rule’, that you should treat others the way that you would like to be treated. But the true expression of respect is something called the ‘platinum rule’ – treating others the way that they would like for you to treat them.
– Ability to see things from others’ perspectives: if you have a customer who is upset about something, you might feel as if they have overreacted at first. But you need to be able to understand how what has happened is affecting your customer.
Perhaps to you, having the order arrive one day late is not a big deal. But to your customer, it could mean lost sales, lost productivity, embarrassment for him in dealing with his own customers, or any number of things. Your job is to understand – and express that understanding – so that the customer feels heard and acknowledged.
– Ability to understand various communication styles each of us has a way of communicating with the world, and that of the person you are dealing with could be very different from your own. These differences could create barriers to relationship building if you don’t understand how they may show up.
For example, a person who you perceive as being rude or cold may simply be reserved or shy. Or a person you see as intrusive or forward may simply be interested in people in general and does not mean any disrespect. This is just one form of keeping an open mind when working with others – a huge factor in interpersonal skills!