25 Sep 2017, 12:10 — 3 min read
Something we don’t necessarily talk about enough is our level of interpersonal skills. Interpersonal skills are your ability to communicate and deal with other individuals on a regular basis. If you lack interpersonal skills you may find yourself labelled as difficult to communicate with, stubborn, aloof, or any of a number of negative descriptions.
Strong interpersonal skills on the other hand, make you likeable, more likely to get along with your co-workers, work better in teams and be a better leader. In short, strong interpersonal skills can secure your future as a contributor to your organisation and society as a whole.
In order to develop great interpersonal skills you need to focus on four main qualities. These can be summarised easily by remembering the STAR acronym.
S = Sensitivity. You need to be aware of the different needs of each of the people in your team. No two people are alike, and each will need to be treated differently.
T = Tolerance. Not everyone you work with will have the same beliefs. You need, especially as a manager, to be able to set aside your own personal beliefs so that you can objectively work with and understand the beliefs of your employees. Tolerance applies not only to cultural and religious beliefs but to individual work ethic as well (within reason, of course).
A = Assertion. You’re the manager. You’re in charge. You have the final say. You don’t have to be arrogant or rude to get your point across but if you see something about to go wrong, you do need to have the guts to stand up for yourself and your ideas.
R = Restraint. We all have times where we want to say or do something inappropriate. You need to have the presence of mind to stop and think before speaking or taking action. If you need help, go back and brush up on some of your tactics.
Get all four of these factors, sensitivity, tolerance, assertion and restraint, in your grip and you’re bound to build beautiful relationships with your team members and fellow managers. Let one slip and you may just find you aren’t necessarily a favourite within your office.
Work happily towards success.
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