Earlier this year, I took out a pen and paper, and wrote down the names of the friends I have. I couldn’t put down 10 names. I decided to make 2021 the year I develop better people skills. We all have interpersonal skills, after all we have been interacting socially almost since birth. But we need to become more intentional about social interactions, as they lead to better relationships, better friendships and better workplace communication. It can help us work more efficiently, solve problems, resolve conflict, improve productivity, etc.
To develop these skills, you have to first know what they are. Examples of good interpersonal skills include,
Awareness (of yourself and others)
Caring about other people.
Collaborating and working well together with others.
Comforting people when they need it.
Clear communication skills.
Conflict management and resolution skills.
The way to develop those skills include,
Develop your emotional intelligence.
This helps to increase empathy and makes you more aware of your thoughts and feelings, as well as those of others. You’re basically working on not being selfish. It makes us better team
players and makes you someone that people can count on. Even in our personal lives, friends want you to be more understanding of their situations and less spiteful and judgmental.
Nobody likes a negative Nancy. Nobody likes to be around a pessimist all day long. We all love to be in good and exciting company, even in the direst situations. So, try to always see the best side of things, both for yourself and for your friends or other people around you. Of course, while being rational and logical but without dampening or the mood unnecessarily.
Recognize expertise and hard work.
Being aware also involves you showing love to people and their work. Compliment people’s work and appreciate when they add value to you or anyone else. People love to feel appreciated. Always remember to give someone their necessary accolades after a job well done. In fact, it doesn’t have to be a task that can be complimented. Brighten someone’s day by noticing the little things and mentioning it to them.
Don’t interrupt people or talk over them.
Nobody likes a know-it-all. Part of being a good friend, colleague or even sibling is letting people speak their thoughts without the need to interrupt. Give room for everyone to make a contribution before proceeding to comment yours. Also, talking over people is just rude and shows that you are not willing to listen and make adjustments.
Think before you speak.
The best part of conversation is actually listening to others. Also, thinking of what you are going to say before you actually say it helps you decide if your words will hurt or add value to people. When you speak, be honest and assertive.
Be mindful of your body language.
You can tell a lot about the vibe of a person just by their body language. Your body language may already put people off before you even speak. Rolling your eyes, folding your arms while squaring your shoulders can just make you seem standoffish and make you appear like you are not interested in conversation. And that makes for poor communication skills. Keep your body language open and relaxed and maintain eye contact!
This goes for your friends too. Don’t slouch or moan or act like they are a bore because they are confiding in you. Be open, accommodating and assertive. And that’s it! Go forth and make new friends and foster better relationships!