The Relevance of Interpersonal Communication Skills Development
Ironically, living in our technologically-advanced world, interpersonal skills training is more important now, than ever before in human history. The ability to communicate effectively is imperative across all industries and occupations.
Regardless of the technical know-how of the practitioner, interpersonal communication skills are paramount. Acknowledging this is a good starting-point.
For example, I remember working with a group of general practitioners in an interpersonal communication development program several years ago. Many of them were reluctant participants.
Many would postulate that they have the necessary technical training to do their job with a high level of skill. Anticipating this attitude, I decided to appeal to their rational, logical approach. I did some research.
I spoke to a sample of 50 people. I asked them a simple question: Do you always take your medication as prescribed by your GP? What was interesting (and disturbing) is that 30 per cent (15 people) answered negatively to this question; that is, they didn’t always take their medication exactly as their doctor stated.
I probed further and asked these 15 participants in the research, why. Why did they ignore their GPs advise? The common theme was that they thought their doctor only as a script provider. Further, they felt that he or she had not real interest in their welfare. They felt they were being processed.
What this suggested is that good ‘bedside manner’ is vitally important to the degree of influence the GP had in the doctor-patient relationship. Good bedside manner—as we’ve all hopefully experienced—makes a lot of difference; it is the essence of interpersonal communication. This information proved to be highly effective in convincing the doctors in my interpersonal skills training course of the merits of people skills.
Show me a highly effective engineer, and I’ll show you someone with excellent client relationship skills. Show me a top notch academic, and I’ll show you someone who can communicate complex information in layman’s terms. Interpersonal communication and its importance is relevant to everyone, regardless of their technical competence.
Interpersonal communication skills development training course is often referred to as ‘soft skills’. This implies that it is, at best, a peripheral matter; that technical know-how is all that is important and that interpersonal skills are the icing on the cake. Nothing could be further from the truth. Everyone, regardless of their station in life benefits from having excellent people skills. The opposite is starker.
Those that have poor interpersonal communication skills will not be successful, despite their technical prowess. Unfortunately, people in our technologically-dominant society often devalue this skills-set.
So, what exactly is interpersonal communication skills development? Firstly, it is not smile training, although smiling helps. It is not manipulation, although we’ve all try to do this at some stage. It is not being nice to people, although that never goes astray. Interpersonal communication skills development is several things.
It is the ability to self-disclose; to communicate what you mean from a deeper level. This includes the sharing of appropriate feelings. It is about being trustworthy and conveying trust. The ability to listen and respond; to be attentive. These are all dimensions of people skills.
Despite what some people think, you are not born with great interpersonal skills, just as you are not born a great orator. These skills are learnt and developed. It is perhaps true to say that some people have a greater attribute for developing their interpersonal skills. But anyone can do this.
Interpersonal Skills Training Course
Does an interpersonal skills training course help or is this developed through life experience? interpersonal communication skills development can be learned on-the-job, observing good role models, or even, bad ones. But formal courses do have their place. Training courses provide you a scope and range of skills necessary to be mastered.
Unsurprisingly, there are a plethora of training courses on the market. Some are good. And some not so good. I would suggest that the programs that provide you the opportunity to practice these skills are the best. The best way to learn is often by doing. The important thing here is to have cialis it top-of-mind each day and to continually review your communication day-to-day, moment-by-moment, encounter-by- encounter.
Interpersonal communication skills development training course is important and instead of referring to it as soft skills we ought to acknowledge that without it, you will most likely be ineffective, regardless of the technical skills-set you have in your kitbag.