Taking charge with your interpersonal communication skills in the workplace can be the big difference between a successful career and one that’s just average. Effective communication involves more than just saying the right thing at the right time. It requires an understanding of relationships, body language, tone of voice, and other subtle nuances that can help you connect with your colleagues on a deeper level.
While there are literally hundreds of ways to improve your workplace communication skills, I bring you sever of the best tips that you should focus on first. These tips will provide you with a basic skill set that will set you apart from everyone else and give you the edge when it comes to making sure your message is heard (and understood!).
And before that just let’s have a little overview of interpersonal skills.
What are interpersonal skills in workplace?
Interpersonal skills, sometimes referred to as “people skills,” refer to the way that we interact with others. They are essential for workplace success, as people with strong interpersonal communication skills are more likely to be successful in their respective roles. In a professional setting, there are several key interpersonal skills that will help you develop strong relationships with your colleagues, clients and superiors.
The most important interpersonal communication skills in the workplace include (which we’ll discuss in brief below):
- Listening – Paying close attention and understanding what the other person is saying can help you engage in meaningful conversations and build strong relationships.
- Respect – Respectful behavior includes being considerate of others and validating their concerns.
- Empathy – Being able to empathize with someone else’s situation promotes trust between individuals and helps create a better understanding of one another’s perspectives.
- Assertiveness – Assertiveness involves effective communication that is direct, honest and respectful while also taking into account other’s needs and feelings.
- Conflict Resolution – Resolving conflicts effectively is a critical skill in any workplace environment as it helps maintain a positive work culture by improving collaboration across teams.
7 Hand Picked Interpersonal Communication Skills
1. Understanding Body Language
Interpersonal communication isn’t just about the words you say. It’s also about understanding body language, which is why understanding body language is one of the best interpersonal communication skills in the workplace.
Body language can reveal a lot of information that isn’t said aloud. For example, body language can tell you if a colleague or client is feeling uncomfortable, angry, or excited. Paying attention to facial expressions and body motion can give you an insight into how someone is really feeling about a certain topic or situation. Learning to read people’s body language will help you form stronger relationships in your workplace.
More specifically, these are some key cues to be aware of when it comes to reading body language:
- Posture: Sitting up straight usually means that someone is comfortable and engaged in the conversation, while slumped shoulders may indicate boredom or lack of interest.
- Facial Expressions: Smiles, nodding and other facial expressions show that a person is understanding or agreeing with what’s being said while frowns and furrowed brows may suggest confusion or disagreement.
- Eye Contact: Regular eye contact shows that someone is interested and engaged in what’s being said, while avoiding eye contact could signify disinterest or even lying.
Consider Reading; 10 Ways to Make Great First Impression
2. Speaking Clearly and Eloquently
Good interpersonal communication is all about expressing yourself clearly and well. That means having a command of the language you’re speaking, but more than that – it’s also about making sure that the other person is actually understanding what you’re saying.
Projecting your voice
One key element of speaking clearly is having a strong, confident voice. You want to be sure that you’re always projecting your voice so others can hear you, even in louder environments. It’s important to ensure that everyone in the conversation can hear what you’re saying without any extra effort or strain on their part.
Speaking too quickly or too slowly can make it difficult for others to follow what you’re saying. The best way to keep people engaged and interested in your conversation is to find the right pace of speech – one where they feel comfortable following along, while still keeping an interesting tone and energy level.
Also, don’t forget to take pauses when needed – this gives people time to process what you said before continuing on with their response! All these elements combined will ensure that everyone involved is able to communicate effectively, without any misunderstandings getting in the way.
3. Conflict Resolution Strategies
One of the most important interpersonal communication skills you can have in the workplace is being able to effectively deal with conflict. When handled inappropriately, conflict can create an uncomfortable environment for everyone and impede productivity. On the other hand, when handled properly, conflict can be used as a catalyst for growth and positive change.
Fortunately, there are several conflict resolution strategies you can use to help manage any disagreements:
When faced with conflict, listening is one of the best ways to start resolving it. Listening without talking allows people to present their sides of the story without interruption or judgment. Showing active listening also lets people know that their opinions and feelings matter.
When dealing with conflicts in the workplace, remaining calm is essential for maintaining a level head and keeping things from escalating further. Take a few deep breaths to stay focused on the task at hand rather than getting carried away in your emotions.
Identify Common Ground
It’s much easier to resolve disputes when both parties can find common ground or agree on areas of overlap. Try to identify what each party wants out of the situation and how they both might be able to get it without compromising one another’s values or needs. This helps move conversations away from confrontational tones and towards a resolution-oriented direction.
By using these strategies, you’ll be better equipped to handle any conflicts that arise in your workplace and ensure that everyone involved has their voice heard and opinions respected.
4. Asking Questions to Clarify Messages
Asking questions seems like a no-brainer in the workplace, right? But it can be a powerful tool that helps you get to the bottom of things to get the job done. Asking questions gives you the chance to understand the message better, engage with your team and create trust.
When asking questions, make sure you are clear and specific so that you are more likely to get a straight answer. Take some time to think about what you’re asking and why. If you don’t know what something means, it’s best to ask for clarification than guess and lead yourself down the wrong path.
Here are some key elements for successful questioning:
- Be respectful by avoiding accusatory language or tone
- Listen closely for possible misunderstandings
- Show humility by keeping an open mind
- Summarize your understanding of someone’s idea or explanation
- Respect cultural differences when asking questions in international settings
By taking the time to ask thoughtful questions, you open up communication channels with your teammates, which is key in developing strong interpersonal relationships and ensuring everyone is on the same page.
5. Listening Actively
Good communication skills in the workplace involve more than just speaking. Listening is a key part of any successful communication. That’s why active listening is so important — because it can lead to connections and understanding that foster collaboration and improve work.
Active listening involves paying attention to the speaker’s words, body language, as well as your own feelings about what’s being said. It means taking regular pauses to give the speaker a chance to talk without interruption, as well as responding with questions or affirmations when appropriate.
Being an active listener comes with a few key benefits:
- You take in more information because you’re paying better attention
- You can both consider and show understanding of what the speaker is saying
- The speaker may feel heard and supported which encourages them to continue talking
- Having an attitude of openness helps create an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect
- You gain insight into how others think, which can help you foster better relationships in the workplace
Active listening takes practice, but if you keep trying, you’re sure to reap its rewards in the office.
6. Empathy and Compassion in Communication
The seventh, and perhaps most important skill of successful interpersonal communication in the workplace is empathy and compassion. Showing empathy means being understanding of someone else’s feelings and experiences, even if you don’t completely agree with them. Being compassionate involves putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and expressing genuine concern for them and their situation.
Being able to show empathy and compassion while communicating with your colleagues is a great way to create strong, trusting relationships—after all, “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”.
Showing empathy encourages positive work relationships, which in turn creates an environment where collaboration can flourish. This may mean having difficult conversations or taking the time to listen to someone instead of dominating the conversation. As a result, it’ll help foster an environment that promotes trust between team members, allowing for open dialog without fear of judgment.
Communicating with empathy and compassion also allows for more constructive solutions as it encourages innovative thinking—it’s so important to appreciate individual perspectives! With everyone operating from different experiences and preconceptions, productive communication allows teams to get creative and come up with solutions where everyone has been heard.
7. Assertiveness Techniques
Assertiveness is an important communication skill to have in the workplace. It allows you to effectively express your wants and needs while still being respectful of others. Here are some techniques that you can use to become more assertive:
Identify and state your opinions and needs
In order to be assertive, you need to be clear with yourself on what it is that you want or need. Once you have identified this, it’s important to confidently voice it in a respectful manner. Try not to make demands or give ultimatums as this could come across as aggressive.
Use “I” Statements
Using “I” statements is a great way of expressing what you think in an assertive way. Instead of focusing on particular behaviors of other people, focus on your own feelings and thoughts about a particular situation by saying “I think/feel/believe…” rather than “you should/must…” when making requests. This takes away from any sort of blaming or accusing language which can be seen as disrespectful.
Respect the feelings of others
It is key that when expressing yourself, that you also keep the feelings and opinions of the other person in mind. Not everybody will agree with everything that you say, so try to understand the different perspectives people may have without being judgemental or hostile. Respect their space by listening carefully and understanding their point of view so that nobody feels threatened or disrespected during the conversation.
An example of good interpersonal skill.
A great example of a good interpersonal communication skill is active listening.
Active listening involves focusing on the person who is speaking and really hearing what they are saying. This means not just listening to the words they are using but also paying attention to the feelings behind their words. It also means reflecting back what has been said so that the speaker knows you have understood them and creates a space for further communication.
When you actively listen in the workplace it will show your colleagues that you respect them and their opinions, creating an atmosphere of collaboration and trust. It can also help build strong relationships with your co-workers and increase productivity as everyone feels like their voice is heard. Active listening can also help clear up misunderstandings or disagreements more quickly, allowing everyone to focus on solutions instead of issues.
When it comes to interpersonal communication skills in the workplace, there are quite a few things to consider. From being an active listener, to utilizing techniques like mirroring, to exhibiting empathy and understanding, these seven strategies for successful interpersonal communication can make a huge difference in how you interact with your colleagues.
All of us can benefit from improving our workplace communication skills, as it helps create a more harmonious work environment and increases our own productivity. Incorporating the above techniques into your daily routine could be a great way to begin, and it doesn’t require much effort! With a bit of practice, you’ll be communicating more effectively in no time.
Found worthy? Share it, Have a great day❤✨