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Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Path to Developing Better Interpersonal Communication Skills

I used to think look at people with excellent interpersonal skills, you know, the type that could relate well to everybody and anybody that they meet, and think to myself, “Wow, how I wish I could have been born with such great communication skills.”

I was wrong!

Interpersonal communication skills can be developed! Does this statement surprise you?
Interpersonal communication is the process of developing a unique relationship with another individual by interaction and simultaneously sharing influence. It is an important aspect of a person’s character to develop, which this blog has repeatedly tried to emphasize. However, few people set aside the necessary time, and the effort to improve upon this skill in spite of its importance.

Thus, here is a five point strategy to help you get started on improving your interpersonal communication skills today!

Point 1: Be Knowledgeable, Know it

I used to believe that communication skills are innate, which means either you are born with it, or you did not have it. Now, I realise that communication skills can be learned and developed.

The people with the best interpersonal communication skills usually have extensive knowledge of the subject, through a combination of real life experiences combined with an all-inclusive knowledge of the principles involved in interpersonal communication.

There are many rules, and many small, trifling components involved in interpersonal communications that a normal individual might spend many years blundering through that a learned individual can easily navigate. An extensive knowledge of interpersonal skills is definately the first step in your development.

Such communication principles can be learned from websites focusing on the various aspects of interpersonal communication such as

This knowledge will lead you directly to step 2.
Point 2: Be Skilled

Will reading a book about boxing make you a great boxer overnight?

It is not sufficient to simply know the principles of interpersonal communication. You will have to be practice it in real life too before you can internalise it. You can know everything there is to know about weight training but will remain as weak as before if you don’t put it into practice. The same principle applies to developing interpersonal skills.

Applying the principles in real life will be hard; hence, you will need to employ step number 3.
Point 3: Be Motivated

You will need to be and remain motivated in order to develop your new interpersonal skills. Improvement in your character does not come overnight, but only with practice, and over a period of time. Only with determined application of the fundamental principles of interpersonal relations, in one’s daily life, will a person be able to improve.
Point 4: Be Flexible

Each situation is unique with many different variables to consider. Thus it is important to be flexible in the application of the principles of interpersonal communication. Something that will work in situation A might not work in situation B. We need to be mindful that the same set of skills is not always applicable in all situations, and will be required to adapt our responses accordly based on the situation at hand.
Point 5: Be Other-Oriented

The typical human individual ispends most of his or her free time focused on our own individual's needs. This is natural, however, when we focus exclusively on ourselves, it will be difficult to communicate effectively with others. We may be able to get out point out but it may not get across. We are eternally interested in ourselves, but the person who is able to place the other person’s interest ahead of our own will be able to win the hearts of others.

Focusing on others means to consider the needs and interests of the other person above our own, and will help you become a better interpersonal communicator.

Thus, the following 5 points will help to guide you on your path on becoming a better communicator possessing better interpersonal communication skills. Soon, you will be on your way to winning friends and influencing people. Good luck!

If you're interested in other articles about interpersonal communication from this blog, do check out --

Some basic principles will help you achieve improved interpersonal relationships as well as outstanding workplace success.
Establishing Effective Communication Skills

or you could learn how to start a conversation
Conversation Starters


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Unknown said...

Interpersonal communication is the process of developing a unique relationship with another individual by interaction and simultaneously sharing influence. The content was very relevant .I would like to see more update on Communication Skills.Regards,Sanya Communication skills