Interpersonal Communication: A Must-Have Skill

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“What is  interpersonal communication ” & “ How to improve this?”  Before we give definitions of these two, we should first ask “what does interpersonal mean?” Simply put, “interpersonal” is most frequently defined as something “between people.” it’s really that simple? In this case, it’s effective communication but it’s more than just a “talk”  between people.

In fact, there is a wide range of interpersonal communication skills, and we’re about to explore the topic at length. You will see how interpersonal skills and communication are responsible for a valuable part of success in the workplace, especially for positions like team leads. We’ll try to explain to you a few interpersonal communication examples while answering the “what is interpersonal communication?”

This is the process of sharing both ideas and emotions verbally with words, and non-verbally, encompassing facial expressions, gestures, body language, and tone of voice with another person. It allows us to interact with and understand others in our personal and professional lives. In the workplace also employers, at the time of hiring,  often look for employees with strong interpersonal skills who will collaborate and communicate well with their teams and colleagues. Employees with weak interpersonal skills have fewer possibilities of getting rehired.

Difference between interpersonal and intrapersonal communication

It can be easy to mix up terms like interpersonal and intrapersonal communication but the biggest difference that you need to know about between interpersonal and intrapersonal communication is that “inter” refers to communication between people or groups,  while “intra” refers to communication inside a person or group. Former needs communication while the latter needs visualization. Both kinds of communication are useful in many areas of life, neither is more important than the other depending on your nature of work. It’s also okay to be better at one type than the other – we’re all different after all. If you struggle with interpersonal communication, hopefully, this article has something to offer you.

The Four Rules  Of Interpersonal Communication

There are four main rules to be known when considering interpersonal communication. These principles help to understand the nature of interpersonal relations and should provide you with a deeper understanding.

Inescapable.  A man is a social animal so escaping from interacting with other people is pretty much impossible thing. Even if you prefer time by yourself, you’ll probably be communicating frequently online or offline with others.

Irreversible. We can’t take back the things or words that we say or do during interactions with others. Even if we apologize or offer an explanation for what we did or said, our original communication can’t be reversed or if we text them it will be there forever. So, skillful communication is very much required in private or in the workplace.

Complicated.  Interpersonal communication can not be thought of as a simple exercise. This is mainly because of the different perceptions that people may have toward a certain message. There are so many aspects of interpersonal communication beyond what is actually being said, it’s complicated by nature.  Whenever a word or a signal is displayed to different categories of people, it will be felt that it is interpreted in different forms. Various cultures have different signals and words they use to display a certain kind of message.

Contextual. Communication depends and sometimes is difficult to control on several factors that will determine how effectively it is conceived. For example,  when addressing people of different age groups, and different cultural backgrounds, the communicator of the message needs to use certain signals and words that are familiar to the groups. This will enable them to make necessary clarifications and adjustments and help the communicator to communicate effectively.

Types of Interpersonal Communication:

There are four types of interpersonal communication i.e. verbal, written, nonverbal, and listening —  they have a far-reaching effect throughout your career so, mastering each one of these is key to success in the modern workplace. Let’s have a small discussion over these four:

Verbal. Any form of spoken communication falls into this particular category such as public speaking, phone calls, podcasting, or speaking up during a staff meeting. It is all about the words you’re actually choosing to say and incorporates things like the language you pick, how persuasively you speak, and the use of affirmative sounds and filler words like “uh-huh”, like, and “I see”. Our ability to communicate verbally is even more critical to help us land a job than we may realize because candidates are rated as more competent and intelligent — and were ranked as more hireable when they are being heard instead of simply being read their written documents.

Written. This includes all types of written communication like emails,  blogs, posts on social media, reports, text messages, PowerPoint presentations, cards, and more. It is becoming increasingly important to have good written communication skills, whether you’re using them in the workplace or on social media. This isn’t just limited to words either, it includes drawings, emojis, and even GIFs that help you deliver a message. So, being able to write correctly and effectively is critical in a workplace environment where so much written communication takes place.

Non-Verbal Communication.This is any type of communication that’s not being said in a face-to-face conversation and doesn’t involve words. It includes everything from body language, facial expression, and hand gestures to eye contact and even what you’re wearing and what’s visible in the background of your Zoom call.

Listening. Listening attentively to someone is a key part of communication that doesn’t involve just hearing what someone says, but also actively being attentive in other ways also and understanding what they say and it involves techniques such as clarification and reflection. We always like sharing our ideas with someone who listens to us attentively by making eye contact, nodding their head, taking notes, and saying things like “mm-hmm” to indicate understanding. These are the aspects of active listening.

By now we have made it clear that in order to work well with others, you need interpersonal skills such as listening, verbal, non-verbal, and written. If somehow you are not able to, you can have help from your co-workers or can enroll yourselves in different online courses. That would be a great help.

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