Four Essentials to Interpersonal Communications (and Leadership!)

People SkillsYour interpersonal communication and leadership skills can make or break a relationship. This holds true in both your professional and personal life. Many people could use some work in this area, whether they realize it or not. Keep these four essentials in mind to maximize your skills in these areas.

Self-awareness

The first step to successful interpersonal communication starts with being aware of yourself. This might sound counter-intuitive, but it is important to notice any misconceptions you might have that could interfere with communication down the line. These misconceptions could be about how communication should work or stereotypes regarding the person you’re communication to. You also need to be aware of your personality traits and habits to make sure you don’t create any misconceptions for others. Being aware of what you need from a communication and how your emotions will affect and be affected by that will also aid you in communicating successfully.

Ability to learn and grow

You are learning and growing right now by reading this article. This trait also involves learning about your emotional responses to different types of communication, being open to learning others’ preferred methods of communication, and being open to constructive criticism. Continuing to learn can minimize barriers to effective communication.

Communication

Communication is defined as understanding others and making yourself understood. Direct communication is much more powerful than indirect communication. Using “I” statements is direct and helps you avoid sounding passive-aggressive. Describe your feelings, make sure your body language matches your words, and try not to make judgmental or evaluative statements.

Influence

Influence refers to how you influence others, how they influence you, and how society and culture influence both participants. This can loop back to self-awareness and being aware of stereotypes that could cause communication barriers. It also involves being aware of how what you say will affect others and their actions.

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