If someone were to ask you if you like people, really like people on a regular basis, what would you have to say? For some individuals, enjoying being around people and relating to them comes naturally. For others, not so much. At times, even people who normally enjoy talking with people get to the point they want to be left alone. This occurs often in careers where being in front of people, and talking to people all the time can become burdensome and nerve-wracking.
However, there are some ways to enhance your interpersonal skills to become more adept at dealing with people on your terms, without all the stress. Read on to learn what it takes to improve your people relations in a productive way this year.
- Be articulate. One of the biggest issues today with interpersonal communication is the lack of ability to get real ideas and concepts across in meaningful ways. With so many communication avenues available to us today, you would think that communication would become easier. Instead, many of us do not really know how to speak clearly and precisely to share ideas in a productive way. To articulate your ideas means you must connect with your listener and speak in an organized, logical fashion.
- Be a listener. Many people are too distracted by life to take the time to actively listen to one another. Instead, we send emails and text messages, and limit our discussions to carefully scheduled meetings, which only result in misunderstandings and lost ideas. Instead of rushing through conversations, take the time to actually take interest in what the other person has to say, listen for clues and clarify what others say. For example: “So, what you are saying is that I should listen more and talk less?” would be a good way to use reflective listening.
- Be understanding. Everyone has their own set of life challenges to cope with, some bigger than others. However, it all comes down to how we react and treat others when we are having “one of those days”. Do you sometimes feel like people are being rude or short with you? Perhaps it’s because you are reacting to their bad mood in that exact same way. Try being more understanding when conversing with others, and let the other person know you understand his or her issue and will try to come up with a solution.
- Be responsive. Part of communicating is also responding to the requests or tone of the other person. Without this element, the person you are talking with may feel as if you are not taking his or her needs seriously. Ask the person what will make their issue better and many times the answer will be that they just needed to talk to someone about it. Don’t avoid people, even difficult individuals. Instead, respond to calls and requests as quickly as possible to develop trust and respect.
- Be a learner. You won’t become a world-class communicator by using the same old techniques – obviously you would not be reading this if you had perfect interpersonal skills, would you? Take the time to learn all you can about being a better communicator, by reading up on the topic, taking classes in communications, and practicing with people you know and trust. Over time, you will develop much better interpersonal skills that can help you reach new levels of personal and professional achievement. It all starts right now with you.
Consider taking a Dale Carnegie course on Communication Skills this year, and start growing your people skills now.
Photo Credit: freedigitalphotos.net