Sofema Aviation Services (www.sassofia.com) Looks at the process of Developing Interpersonal Effectiveness
Interpersonal Communication is a skill which anyone can master and in truth it is only a few people who are born naturals for the rest of us there is work to do and it takes conscious effort together with practice – however with focus the rewards are quickly evidenced.
So let’s start by asking the obvious question – How effective is our communication today – yes right now?
So we need to start with a self-assessment if we are going to move forward.
Consider the following list and being honest with your self – score between 1 & 5 – and be honest (This is not an exam it is information for you!)
1 is where you feel least confident in a particular area
5 is where you feel most confident
Self-Awareness: Being aware of your own needs, values and emotions and their impact on your behaviour.
Self-Management: Keeping your emotional reactions in check and being able to behave appropriately when you experience feelings that could result in negative behaviour.
Social Awareness: Being in tune with other’s feelings and needs.
Relationship Management: The ability to build relationships based on mutual trust and respect.
The ability to manage conflict: Respectively managing differences of opinions and seeking win-win resolutions.
Problem solving: Choosing the best course of action while taking the needs and perspectives of others into account.
Communication: Speaking with clarity and directness while showing appropriate sensitivity to the receiver.
Listening: Being able to hear other people’s perspectives while suspending judgment.
Demonstrating responsibility: Doing what you say you will do, when you say you will do it.
Being accountable for your actions: Not making excuses or blaming others.
Showing appreciation: Letting other people know you value them and their help.
Flexibility: Being open to new and different ways of doing things.
Next Steps for you!
Personal Action Point 1
So the maximum Score is 60 – So add together to get your total score – this is just for you and it is a benchmark as you may repeat this exercise in say 6 months’ time. In this way you will measure your personal “Improvement”
Personal Action Point 2
Choose the 3 Areas where you have scored the lowest – These will be your “challenge Areas”
Consider Steps to Improve:
a) Think about the other person
Now put yourself in the other persons place and imagine what might be their thought process “mind-set”, consider how they may receive your words.
Effective interpersonal communication can only happen if you begin to understand where the other person may stand.
b) What does success look like?
The outcome of any conversation should be a positive for both sides – let’s call it a “win-win,”
Consider your challenge – you may want to prove that you are right, but that would mean the other person needs to be proven wrong.
You may win the argument, but lose the relationship. That’s not a good outcome.
Gather the facts: While facts can’t be the only focus of your conversation, you need the facts to keep the discussion as unbiased as possible.
Practice a calm approach/tone: This will require the most time, especially if you are emotional about the situation. You need to calm down first, and then communicate with an open tone.
An open tone can be one that gives the benefit of the doubt, or focuses on “we” instead of “you vs. me.” Your openness and calmness will invite the other people to listen, and your tone will show that you are there to build the relationship.
Listen as much as you speak: Effective interpersonal communication is a two way street. You should spend 50% of the conversation listening.
Pause after a few sentences so the other party can respond. That way you can adapt your communication based on how they react.
Sometimes it takes fewer words than you think to achieve the “win-win” outcome.
Remember – We cannot control or change anyone else. There is no guarantee about how the other person will react. Everyone is responsible for their own actions.
Ultimately the key to effective interpersonal communication improves directly with practice.
We should concentrate and place a deliberate effort into improving our engagements, If we do this we will without any doubt become effective at interpersonal communication over time.