Communication is an integral aspect of the workplace, especially when you work in a team. Developing sound interpersonal skills not just makes communication effective and efficient, but also leads to enhanced career satisfaction. That is because it helps you connect better your peers, employers, staff members and supervisors, helping to curate a fun work environment. For some, acing at interpersonal skills is a part of their personality, while others can learn it through mindful practice and attention.
Health Shots connected with clinical psychologist, Dr Kamna Chhibber to understand how to improve interpersonal skills at the workplace.
Tips to improve interpersonal skills at work
Some people are shy in nature and dodge having conversations that might help provide a solution to their issues at the workplace. However, don’t feel helpless here, for there is nothing that can’t be learnt and honed with practice. The expert shares some tips to help you improve effectively at developing interpersonal skills.
1. Understand the communication gap
The gaps in communication with people at your workplace could be for a variety of reasons like shyness, lack of skill set, and paucity of time, to name a few. Sometimes, we tend to become judgmental towards people we interact with less and tend to build grudges because of that gap. We should step back from developing negative attitudes towards people which is usually an outcome of the communication gap. Don’t jump to conclusions without knowing a person properly. The expert says, “Create a realistic understanding of the communication lags without being judgmental about people”.
2. Make the first move in conversations
You will never feel ready to do things that you find daunting. So, brush aside any ego or shyness and try to initiate a conversation with people at your workplace.“Start small by initiating conversations with people across different levels and teams at work,” says the expert.
3. Be patient throughout your process of change and learning
Developing new skills demand change. And sometimes, change can feel overwhelming. You might find yourself being self-critical and imagining negative scenarios in your mind about future possible circumstances. Don’t exert yourself to do more, and be patient with yourself.
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At times, we end up being hard on ourselves and stay marginalized at the workplace because of the chatter going on in our heads. Hit pause and simply make the move while being patient.
4. Seek help when needed
“Seek the help of your colleagues who you gel well with and friends for that much-needed encouragement and motivation,” suggests the expert. Sometimes, all we need are some words of wisdom from our loved ones when trying to develop professional workplace skills. You can also seek the help of a professional who will guide you in the ways and will teach you coping mechanisms to ace interpersonal skills at work.
5. Don’t shy away from having conversations
“Don’t step away from interactions. Keep yourself a part of group settings to be able to voice out your thoughts and perspective. Be patient and an active listener. Also, keep yourself calm and relaxed to be able to share your thoughts,” says the expert.