The Art of Interpersonal Communication Skills

The Art of Interpersonal Communication Skills
    Rini Tandon
    Certified Corporate Trainer and Facilitator

    Interpersonal Communication (Soft Skills) is measured through the effectiveness of transferring messages, ideas, or feelings to others. Although we usually consider “face- to-face” communication as interpersonal communication, today’s technology compels us to expand its definition to include media such as online meetings, daily internal employee communication, client meetings, and project discussions, etc. In this article, we will be discussing the types of interpersonal communication skills and their importance in the workplace.

    Let us first look into:

    Types of Interpersonal Communication Skills

    Verbal Communication Skills

    “The master of all!”
    Even if you make affirmative sounds like “Yup”, “Hmm” or “Ahh” while talking, you are making verbal communication. The terms you use, the words you emphasize, and the Intonation creates a major difference in the interpretation of the meaning. Hence, even the simplest sentence or greeting such as “Have a nice day!” can be said in a positive, sarcastic, or bleak way.

    Types of Interpersonal Communication Skills
    Non-Verbal Communication Skills

    “The one which needs to be mastered!”
    Body language, facial expressions, tone of voice, and gestures are important to portray correct non-verbal gestures so as to make people around us feel comfortable and welcome.

    Listening Skills

    “The one with the difference!”
    Most of us confuse hearing for listening and vice- versa. The Hearing takes place involuntarily if one has working ears but the Listening process takes a lot of effort. It is active listening and understanding what the other person is trying to convey.

    Problem-Solving Skills

    This skill develops with continuous improvements in interpersonal communication skills especially in the corporate training environment. This allows people to assess the situation and judge the consequences beforehand. Brainstorming exercises are a good example to improve such a soft skill.

    Negotiation Skills

    “Patience is the key!”
    Listening, understanding time pressure, dividing problems into smaller focus areas, avoiding distortions, and developing manipulative tactics are important. It is to focus on the problem first rather than to focus on the solution. One should seek interest-based decisions and reject weak solutions.


    “Expressing yourself without any hesitation.”
    The key is to maintain a cordial professional relationship and still respect others. It is often confused with aggression by some because it involves standing up for yourself.

    Now that we know the skills one needs to possess, let us see what is

    Its Importance in the Workplace:

    Even though most corporate business is conducted online nowadays, verbal communication still remains an inevitable part in order to work efficiently and effectively. Interpersonal communication helps in problem- solving, alignment with business goals, building trust, managing change, developing company culture, employee recognition, avoiding workplace miscommunication, improvement of Personal relationships, and many more.

    How to Communicate Effectively
    After learning about all these factors one has to understand that,

    It’s Unavoidable:
    Unless you’re a hermit living in a cave, you will inevitably interact with others in one manner or another.

    It’s Irreversible: “I can’t unsee that.”
    You can’t take back what you have written or said. Even if you make amendments people don’t forget words easily.

    It’s Complicated: Unfortunately, everyday life is complicated and interpersonal communication is filled with pitfalls. One cannot consider someone to be on the same wavelength as yourself.

    It’s Contextual: One cannot control the mood, the frame of mind or someone’s current situation. Hence interpersonal communication elements are dependent specifically on the context.

    At the end I would like to quote Shannon L. Alder

    “Never presume to know a person based on a one dimensional window of the internet. A soul can’t be defined by critics, enemies or broken ties with family or friends. Neither can it be explained by posts or blogs that lack facial expressions, tone or insight into the person’s personality and intent. Until people “get that”, we will forever be a society that thinks Beautiful Mind was a spy movie and every stranger is really a friend on Facebook.”


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