Why interpersonal communication is important in the workplace
Not only do interpersonal communication skills foster a positive culture, but also boost productivity and success. Know what they are and how to improve them.
Whether at home with your family, work with colleagues, out with friends, or running errands in a store full of strangers, you are constantly communicating. Your words, body language, tone of voice, gestures, and even what you write in a text message are all forms of communication, and during these interactions, you’re constantly putting to use interpersonal communication skills.
Developing and perfecting your interpersonal communication skills makes your ability to communicate better, more effective, and positive. Whether you’re communicating face-to-face, over the phone, or through email or another device, improving your interpersonal communication is an important part of these interactions.
Read on to learn more about interpersonal communication, what interpersonal skills are (including examples), and how to improve them.
Interpersonal communication is communication between people. This can happen in three ways:
Interpersonal skills are important because they help you be more effective at communicating your messages, thoughts, and feelings to others, not only in your day-to-day life with friends, family, and strangers, but also at the workplace.
Interpersonal communication skills are the traits you use when communicating with others. Also called people skills or social skills, they help you navigate written, verbal, and non-verbal communication situations with others. Good interpersonal communication and working to improve your interpersonal communication skills can be key in helping with conflict resolution, listening skills, and your overall ability to communicate effectively.
Interpersonal communication skills are considered “soft” skills, meaning they are easily transferable across situations. Here are a few examples of the top interpersonal communication skills that are most valuable, especially in the workplace:
Active listening is more than just listening to the words someone says. When actively listening, you’re consciously listening, analyzing, and responding to another person, focusing on the intent and content of their words and providing appropriate feedback. Actively listening to another person shows engagement in a positive way and mutual understanding of the conversation.
A great leader sets direction, inspires others and helps create something new. Leaders are influencers, using their roles to help motivate others to achieve their goals. They also help motivate others to use and improve their skills and rally behind a vision. Being a great leader involves decision-making, as well as many other interpersonal communication skills, and can be embodied by both managers and individual team members.
Also known as empathy, a person’s emotional intelligence is how well they understand the needs, thoughts, and feelings of others. It allows someone to feel what another person is experiencing from their point of view, but it also gives one the ability to place themselves in that person’s shoes. This skill helps you be more understanding, aware, and sensitive to the thoughts and feelings of those around you.
Teamwork is another skill that embodies multiple other skills. The ability to work well as a team is essential, especially in the workplace, and team players are often seen as ones who can handle more critical tasks or even promotions.
Solving problems and resolving conflict can become easier when you put your skills to work. These particular skills could include active listening, negotiation, leadership, and others. Listening carefully, understanding the situation from everyone’s side, and working together to find a solution can create a positive outcome and environment.
Other interpersonal skills you may want to improve include:
Interpersonal communication skills are important to help you see others’ points of view, resolve conflict, listen, and communicate effectively. Not only do they play a role in day-to-day life, but they are critical in the workplace.
Improving your interpersonal communication skills can help you be more successful and collaborative and have an overall positive attitude about your interactions with others. These skills can help you solve problems more efficiently and effectively, make sound and informed decisions, and support others around you.
Whether you already possess some of the interpersonal communication skills listed above and are looking to improve them, or there are a few you need extra work on, there are ways to improve your skills and become more effective at communicating.
Start with just being more self-aware:
Other things you can do include: