How well do you communicate with others? Developing your interpersonal people skills can be vital for your career success. There is a continuous flow of communication in any business setting, both non-verbally and verbally, in person and online. When employees can not effectively navigate this flow of communication, it will be detrimental to the productivity of business processes.
Interpersonal Communication and Remote Work
With the emergence of the pandemic, we have all witnessed a change in the way that peers communicate. Businesses have learned to rely more on digital platforms to facilitate communication between employees to reach business goals. Companies must try to retain effective communication and drive conversations even when employees work from different places. In this way, businesses will grow resilient to change as their processes won’t be interrupted due to remote working.
The Components of Interpersonal Communication
To fully develop good communication skills in the workplace, you must understand the different components of communication.
- Communicators: Both the sender and the receiver of a message are seen as communicators, and each interaction must have at least two communicators.
- Message: The message can be conveyed in many different ways depending on the situation. You can convey a message through speech, body language, tone of voice, gestures, eye contact, facial expressions, etc. Verbal messages can go hand-in-hand with non-verbal communication that adds more context, shows deception, interest, and confidence (or lack thereof).
- Noise: This refers to barriers that can impede or distort the message that the sender is trying to convey. This includes things like Jargon, language barriers, interruptions, literal noise, inattention, etc.
- Feedback: This is the response that the receiver gives to the original message. This creates a two-way flow of communication, allowing the sender to know that the receiver understands the message.
- Context: There are many different contexts in which communication can occur, such as the environmental, political, cultural, social, and emotional contexts. The context of the conversation dramatically impacts the expected tone and direction of the communication.
- Channel: How is this message being communicated? The medium that is used for communication is just as important as the context. This can be in person, in writing, online, etc.
How to Improve Interpersonal Communication in the Workplace
Employees are becoming more aware of the importance of having good interpersonal skills as the business climate continues to change amid the pandemic. Although communication skills can be challenging to measure, you can develop them through practice and awareness.
Here are some tips that you can follow to become a good communicator:
- Do your research: Gather some facts about good interpersonal communication and prepare for meaningful conversations that you are planning to have. Ensure you know what you want to communicate before going into meetings or planning e-mails and interactions.
- Consider who you will be talking to: Consider the personalities and mindsets of the other participants of an interaction. Find the right time and channel for your message and adapt your communication style accordingly. Some communications are best suited for face-to-face meetings, while others can simply take place on email.
- Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses: Self-evaluation can be very useful when developing soft skills such as social skills and people skills. You can also ask for constructive feedback from coworkers and managers as a learning opportunity for future interactions.
Developing strong interpersonal skills can have many benefits for you, from helping you streamline your work and solve problems to facilitating conflict management and conveying important information to colleagues and managers.