Good interpersonal skills are a fundamental part of any successful relationship, whether at home, your workplace, or school. If you want to be a good communicator, you must be skilled in all the aspects of interpersonal communication. Even though soft skills like communication can be hard to measure, understanding these skills will help you identify areas in which you might improve.
How to assess your interpersonal communication skill
To assess your interpersonal communication skills, you can ask yourself the following questions:
- How well can I anticipate and predict possible causes for confusion and miscommunication, and how good am I at dealing with them upfront?
- How often do recipients fully understand my messages, emails, or other documents? Do I give enough information and detail?
- Do I ask questions when I don’t understand something, or do I keep it to myself?
- Do people often misunderstand my messages? Am I often surprised that they don’t understand what I am saying?
- Is it easy for me to understand someone else’s point of view during a conversation?
- Do I think about how my responses will be perceived by others, or do I speak without thinking?
- Can I use communication platforms such as email to quickly and efficiently communicate complex issues?
- Do I find it difficult to see and read people’s body language?
- Do I struggle to find the right words to convey my message?
If you find it difficult to answer any of these questions, it might be something to think about. You might want to write down the areas in which you are struggling and reconsider your approach to communication and receiving information. That being said, even someone who has answered these questions with the utmost confidence might still have room for improvement. Even if you think you are the world’s mos skilled communicator, there is no downside to learning new skills and improving on the ones you have.
Why Improve Interpersonal Skills?
Communication is essential if you want to advance your career. This skill will help you to get customers, maintain relationships, negotiate, and conflict resolution. Here are some interpersonal skills that are particularly important to look at:
- Verbal communication skills
This includes your ability to speak clearly and concisely, and appropriately. You should be able to choose the correct tone of voice and vocabulary for the given situation. For example, you might speak differently when giving a eulogy at a funeral than you would presenting a new idea to your manager.
- Active listening
How good are you at giving someone your undivided attention during a conversation? It is important that you genuinely listen to what others are saying and show engagement with verbal and non-verbal responses ( such as nodding, eye contact, facial expressions, and posture). You must also pay attention to the other person’s non-verbal cues and body language.
Non-verbal communication, like your body language, can say just as much as your words, if not more. Examples of open body language include nodding, eye contact, smiling, and a relaxed posture. Crossed arms, restless behavior, and shifting eyes are examples of closed body language.
Here are some steps to help you get started:
- Figure out what you need to improve.
- Observe others.
- Learn control over your emotions.
- Think back on previous social interactions.
- Practice your skills.
- Get constructive feedback from others.
Assessing and improving your interpersonal communication skills can have a wealth of benefits for you. It can help you to build strong relationships, have efficient teamwork, build good morale, etc.