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Improve Interpersonal Skills - How to Develop your Communication Skills in the Workplace

Updated on June 10, 2011

INTERPERSONAL SKILLS is about interacting and dealing with others. It is about building self-confidence and growing relationships. It is about great communication skills.

It is also about how your manager and colleagues perceive you as a person which then plays a significant role in areas as minor as your daily general happiness at the workplace and as important as to how your career eventually unfolds. Interpersonal skills play a huge part in the success of both businesses and personal lives.

They’re skills we all possess. Social skills that we have been learning and cultivating all of our lives.

Effective interpersonal skills is a must at work. Effective social skills is observing and being aware of how other people behave in certain situations, how we behave in those situations ourselves, how people around us react to what we do and say, how the things we do and say make us and other people feel.



Here are ten tips on how to improve your interpersonal skills.

  1. Smile often. Few people want to be around someone who is always gloomy or in a melancholy state of mind. Do your best to be friendly and upbeat with your coworkers. Come across as someone pleasant to deal with and people will flock you. Maintain a positive, cheerful attitude about work and about life. Smile often. The positive energy you radiate will draw others to you.
  2. Be appreciative. Generate enthusiasm and energy by keeping a positive mindset. Find positive things about everyone you work with, dwell on those positive aspects in your thoughts and let your colleagues know that you appreciate those qualities. Be generous with your praise and extend words of encouragement. Greet your colleagues each day with a 'Good morning'. Say 'please' when you require their help and 'thank you' when you receive help. Ensure your colleagues feel welcome when they drop in your office. When people know that they are appreciated, they’ll often want to give you their best. Focus on finding solutions and maintain an upbeat attitude even when things are not traveling well.
  3. Be attentive to others. Observing and listening actively to what’s going on in other people’s lives assures them that you are constantly attentive and have a great emotional quotient when comes to dealing with people. Acknowledge their achievements and celebrate with them their happy milestones, and express concern and sympathy for difficult situations such as an illness or death. Make eye contact and address people by their first names. Kindly ask others for their opinions.People in general will appreciate knowing that you really do listen to and will genuinely consider what they have to say.
  4. Help people connect. Encourage everyone to work together. Treat everyone equally without favoring anyone in particular. Avoid listening to the office grapevine. Show respect for other's opinion by following up on other people's suggestions or requests. Ensure that you are fair with your dealings with your colleagues, as reputation cannot be bought. Once you are viewed as someone who is solid and fair, your co-workers will grow to trust you.
  5. Avoid participating in conflicts. It’s not considered the smart thing to do interfering in someone else’s conflict as it, more often than not, will only mar your reputation. However, it is preferred if the situation warrants it that you bring the dispute to the attention of an official mediator in the workplace, for instance, a manager. By taking on that role, you will, more likely than not, garner respect and admiration from those around you.
  6. Communicate clearly. It has been said that communication is the soul of human relationships. Effective communication enhances self-esteem, cultivates relationships while increasing our career advancement opportunities. A clear and effective communicator practise active listening skills while avoiding words like “always” and “never.” He/she also knows how to establish appropriate limits for both their personal and professional life while knowing how to separate the person from the task by saying "No" to the request and not rejecting the requester.
  7. Be humorous. Don’t be afraid to be funny or witty and make others laugh. Your sense of humor can be used as an effective tool to lower barriers and gain people’s fondness. Relax and enjoy their company.

  8. Empathise with them. Empathy means denotes a deep emotional understanding of another's feelings or problems, being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand how they feel. Contemplate situations and reactions from another person’s point of view. Show your softer side and empathize with others.

  9. No whinging allowed. Be a professional at your workplace. There is nothing worse than an incessant whiner. Spare those around you, stay away from complaining. Keep your frustrations at bay by staying positive.
  10. Give feedback and recognition. Appropriate feedback and sincere praise are necessary when evaluating performances. They also enhance productivity and boost confidence. Let others know you appreciate their efforts or achievements.


Improve Interpersonal Skills Resource


I came across the below video on YouTube of Melanie Franklin , the CEO of Maven Training Ltd in the UK which I thought explained Interpersonal Skills excellently. Watch it. Learn from it. And watch your interpersonal skills improve.

Meanwhile, DO check out my other hubs:

What is effective leadership?

For those who are looking to not just communicate effectively but also to improve their leadership skills and be a successful leader that others will remember.

4 Steps on How to be Genuinely Happy

In spite of what is happening around you, learn to set yourself apart from the situation and be happy.


Melanie Franklin Interpersonal Skills Video

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    • profile image

      Deva 4 years ago

      thank u

    • amithak50 profile image

      amithak50 5 years ago from India

      Communication skills are very important in businesses and you have covered great points ,I like this one "We should not participate in conflicts"

    • May PL profile image

      May PL 6 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      Thanks eudociadavis, for your words of encouragement. I do appreciate it a whole lot!

    • profile image

      eudociadavis 6 years ago

      Great tips about interpersonal skills very helpful and meaningful.

      I lve your hub keep it up!

    • May PL profile image

      May PL 7 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      Thanks, love your hub on Mr. Canfield too. Am a fan.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 7 years ago from South Carolina

      Love the graphic you designed for this hub, and the valuable tips for improving interpersonal skills.