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Do you have good interpersonal skills?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Wayne’s Answer

Hi Jessica. I have great interpersonal skills and you can have them too!

Here are some types of Interpersonal Skills that I've developed over the years:

Communication. One of the most important interpersonal skills is communication. In most jobs, you will need to be able to communicate clearly and effectively with others through both oral and written communications. Some jobs also require skills in effective public speaking.

Conflict Management. Whether you are a manager or an employee, you will likely need to resolve conflicts at some point in your job. This might involve solving an issue between two staff members, between yourself and a colleague, or between a client and your company. You will need to be able to listen fairly to both sides and use creative problem-solving to arrive at a solution.

Leadership. Even if you are not a manager, it is important to have some leadership experience and ability. Leadership requires being able to motivate and encourage others and help a team achieve success.

Listening. Listening is a skill that goes hand in hand with good communication. While you need to be able to express your own ideas, you also need to thoughtfully listen to the ideas of others. This will help your clients, employers, colleagues, and employees feel respected and valued.

Negotiation. Negotiation is an important skill for many positions. Depending on the specific job, it might involve creating formal agreements (or contracts) between clients or helping colleagues solve a problem and determine a solution. To be a good negotiator, you have to be able to listen to others, use creative problem-solving, and arrive at an outcome that satisfies everyone.

Positive Attitude. Employers want to hire employees who make the office a brighter place. They want people with a friendly, positive demeanor. This doesn’t mean you have to be the most social person in the office, but you have to be willing to develop some sort of a positive rapport with your colleagues.

Teamwork. Even if your job involves a lot of independent work, you still need to be able to collaborate with others. Teamwork involves a number of the skills already mentioned: you need to be able to listen to others, communicate your own goals, motivate your team, and resolve any conflicts that may arise.

Good luck!
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RAVI’s Answer

Jessica,
Interpersonal skills could mean different things with different people: There are different skills needed to interact with Friends, with Family, with colleagues, with management, with other departments, with organizations, customers, vendors etc. I do come across a variety of people daily and of course I have to use different tactics depending on the person and the situation.

Do I consider myself with good interpersonal skills? I guess I do like most of us think. I definitely have some good skills with certain people - friends, family, most of the colleagues, vendors and customers of mine. However I do have problem dealing with lazy people, backstabbers, people who refuse to learn and evolve etc. I have less patience to deal with them, and hence I am not as tactical as I should be or as political as I should be. I am definitely not a politician.
I try to address the problems with people straight and direct and that has backfired few times. That actually means that I do not have good interpersonal skills. This has acatually cost me dearly in my profession. Being one of the best technically, having one of the best academic qualifications, and one of the person to receive highest performance rating year after year over decades, I have not grown professionally and achieved the higher ranks and fatter paychecks.

I have been improving and learning through out my life and continue to do so even now! Unfortunately I started doing this a bit late in my career. Achieved more happiness and more success in the last few years than all my earlier years!

Your question on this board was a bit of a surprise for me. I thought for a while to see how this would help you in your quest and journey. Is this something I am advising you or stating who I am? Are you seeking advise or information? I was not sure if I could and should answer this question for a while. I decided to answer the question eventually hoping it will help.

Interpersonal skills are extremely critical for success as much as ones talent, knowledge and capabilities. Very rarely someone succeeds without good interpersonal skills. Study the person you are interacting with, understand their trait, and strategize how to deal with and then interact with them. This will lead to more success and higher achievement. Start this early in your life for a happier, successful life and career.
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