As social beings, humans have a basic need for connection and belonging. Inter-personal communication is the process by which we exchange thoughts, feelings, and information with other people. Verbal and non-verbal signals, including body language, tone of voice and facial expressions, are essential to this dynamic and complex process which can take many forms. Effective use of inter-personal communication can build strong relationships, resolve conflict, increase job satisfaction, improve teamwork, persuade and negotiate, manage stress, achieve personal goals, and more.
Research shows that people with strong inter-personal skills have higher emotional intelligence, making connections, maintaining relationships, motivating others and being effective leaders. Effective communication can be seen as a catalyst for action. Individual differences in personality and communication styles, cultural norms, values and expectations also affect inter-personal communication. It is important to understand the different types of inter-personal communication, their purposes, and how to use them effectively to build and maintain personal and professional relationships.
Inter-personal communication can be divided into four categories: oral communication, written communication, non-verbal communication and listening. Oral communication refers to verbal communication, such as phone calls, public speaking, or face-to-face interactions. Written communication includes letters, emails, texts, messages, emojis and GIFs. Nonverbal communication includes body language, tone of voice, gestures, eye contact, clothing, or smell. Listening is part of human communication because it involves actively understanding information.
Inter-personal communication can also be divided into three categories: two-way communication, group communication and public speaking. Two-way communication is a form of communication between two people, which can take any form, such as phone calls, written letters or text messages. Group communication is communication between three or more people. Public speaking which is the act of communicating with an audience as well as active listening is also very important elements in inter-personal communication.
In the work-place, most jobs require several types of personal skills and inter-personal interactions. Being a part of a team in an organization, employees interact with their clients, colleagues or bosses. Routine work-place communication includes face-to-face communication, email or slack, phone calls, and presentations. In order for employees to collaborate and work as a team effectively and attain common shared objectives, it is necessary to possess inter-personal communication abilities within the work environment. Having empathy and emotional intelligence can enhance team spirit and efficiency, and reduce the probability of miscommunications, earning peers’ admiration and confidence at work-place. By mastering our emotions, reflecting on our interactions, adopting a collaborative and inclusive attitude, duly recognizing others, eliminating distractions, and providing timely guidance, we can further develop inter-personal communication in the work-place. Organizations can improve inter-personal communication skills among employees by giving them corporate training, soft skill training.
Inter-personal conflict arises in interactions where there are real or perceived incompatible goals, limited resources or opposing points of view and can be expressed verbally or non-verbally. Developing inter-personal communication skills means that we can deal effectively with any conflict that may arise in our relationships. We can better deal with conflict by recognizing patterns and triggers (such as needs, built-up annoyance, and rejection) and learning to react intelligently rather than reflexively.
In short, inter-personal communication is an important aspect of inter-personal communication. Strong inter-personal communication skills are essential for building strong relationships, resolving conflict, and achieving personal and professional goals. Knowing how to use different types of human interactions appropriately is important for success in all areas of life. By improving our communication skills and managing conflicts wisely, we can form strong and meaningful relationships with others.