24 Tips to Improve Interpersonal Skills and Build Better Relations

Our interpersonal relations with others depend upon various factors. Two most important factors are one – our behavior towards the concerned persons; two- how we speak to the concerned persons.

The contents of what we convey to our peers and friends will primarily depend upon our behavior. When our conduct to certain persons has been consistently good, it shows our regard towards them. But how we speak to them, is equally important if not more. The efficacy of our speech can be improved by making our speech articulate. Besides, we also need to become good listeners. People want that when they speak, total attention of the listener/listeners should be focused on their speech. Their ego is hurt if they find listeners inattentive.Since leaders have to foster and maintain good relations with a large number of followers, references have been made to leadership qualities as well.

Best Practices for Interpersonal Skills

Tip No. 1. In a way our life depends on our interpersonal skills. If we are good at it, people help us. At home to we have peaceful life. However, if we are lacking in this highly desirable skill we are the losers both at home and at our work place.
The first of the five ‘Best Practices’ may be termed as – At Never React. What does it mean? it means never react to a person nor to any situation, However gloomy or happy. It also mean that even if a person has said something which he/she should not have said; you just do not react and try to give back to him. But it does not mean that you keep quite and except these doing nothing. In fact you should use your mind and carry out those actions which your mind will certainly guide you. But it will guide you only if you remain cool. When you act, you use your mind. But if you react you loose your mind.

Tip No 2. Listen twice as much as you talk. We have two ears to listen but only one voice box which enable us to speak. Therefore, we should always listen more and speak less. Besides, people feel happy if you make them speak. But you must listen. This is observed by the speakers from your body language which you can not fake.

Tip No. 3.  Never try to appease. You must realize that it is not possible to please to everyone at all the time. You should play your role at home, at your work place or even in society just as your mind guides you. Listen to your heart and you will never try to appease any one. When you go out of your way to please you are not a gainer. In fact you are a looser in the long run.

Tip No.4. Don’t ever be judgmental. Each person is an individual an has his/her space. Passing judgment comprises intrusion on personal spaces which is best avoided. Furthermore you should not give any unsolicited advice. You may offer your opinion during discussion without any effort to impose.

Tip No.5. Maintain cordiality in the ‘tone’ of your voice. Often times, how you say something assumes greater importance then what you say. Normally, we do not use offensive language, but the tone of our voice sometimes offends the listeners. Tone in the voice represents your emotions. These must always be controls per requirement of the situation.

Following above practices will ensure that you are able to maintain good relations with everyone. This also requires a number of attributes imbibed in the personality. Some of these are listed below. 

Tip No. 6. Confidence
You must have confidence in yourself. You must respect yourself and value your opinions. You can only achieve this if you are not judgmental. It can be achieved if you have an open mind. Once you realise that like any other human being you can also make mistakes, you become confident. Again you become confident because you have nothing to hide and nothing to fear!

Tip No. 7. Overcoming Hesitation

Public Speaking dates back to the origin of history. Likewise stage fright has been felt by the Public Speakers from the time immemorial. There is no short cut for overcoming stage fright. We must realize that when we speak to audience it is not stage fright but it is heightened feeling. This is also a feeling we get whenever we are about to do something important. The more we find opportunities to address the audience, the faster we will overcome stage fright.

Tip No. 8. Developing a Positive Body Language

This refers to the way you stand; the way you walk – it refers to your posture while speaking and your dress must also be cool! People love to meet other with elegance and high self-esteem.

Tip No.9. Eye Contact

While speaking it is necessary that you make eye contact with you audience. It should appear that you are talking to the people. Each person of the audience should feel that you are talking to him or her. This can be achieved by practice along.

Tip No. 10.  Articulation

Articulation for Public Speaking refers to the clarity of ideas, and the clarity of each and every word that he/she speaks. This is science as well an art. It can only be achieved by understanding the principles and with lots of practice under expert guidance.

Tip No. 11. Ability to hold the attention of the audience
You have to develop modulation in your speech. This can be practiced by memorizing and repeating dramatic monologues of Shakespeare and others. A lot of hard work has to get into building talent to modulate.

Tip No. 12. The Structure of the Speech
Every Speech must have a clear cut beginning. The various points that you want to communicate to the audience form the body. You need to be clear about these points which should not be more than three or four. In conclusion you must summarize what you have talked about and your speech on a happy note.

Leadership Qualities

In my last presentation, I had defined Leadership. I had also explained what it takes to be a good leader. How must a leader go about performing his/her duty that would justify leadership.  Today, I shall talk to you about the characteristic elements of personality which are necessary for a good leader:

Tip No.13. The first on the list is to respect oneself. This means that the Leader must be his/her own self all the time. At no time the Leader should try to copy anyone or say something which he/she does not believe. The leader must believe in an honest, ethical behavior as a key value. All the actions will foster among the team members the same value. Once accepted the value can be a strong bond among members of the team, a group, or an organization. 

Tip No.14. The second quality which a leader must have is the ability to delegate. This requires the leader’s trust in the members of the team. Besides, the leader should have the ability to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the members. This will help in assigning appropriate tasks to individual members. Such a delegation will be meaningful and the results will be more productive.

Tip No.15. Excellent communication represents the third important quality of a good leader. The leader should be in a position to communicate in a language which is understood by all – be it an uneducated skilled worker on the floor or the CEO who is a member of the board. Further, the leader must ensure that whatever has been communicated is not only understood, but assimilated by all concerned. This will be possible only if the leader has an open mind and encourages rather than discourages feedback.                                                                                                                           

Tip No.16. A strong sense of commitment is the next aspect of positive leadership. Committed leaders often have a hands on approach and are able to do it themselves especially in times of a crisis. This approach ensures the commitment of the team, which feels secure under such decisive leadership.

Tip No.17. A positive attitude is also a very important aspect of leadership. Positive Attitude of the Leader ensures high energy levels of the team members. It also ensures that the Leader looks at every challenge as an opportunity rather than a roadblock.

Tip.No.18. The leader’s quality of Institution refers to his gut feeling about the course of action he is to take. The quality of Intuition enables a leader to take calculated risks in decision making when facing an unforeseen situation.                                                        

Steps to pursue leadership excellence

What is leadership excellence? What are the important features? How is it supposed to be pursued? These are the questions that we will consider. There are 6 steps, which I think, that a leader needs to take in order to pursue excellence. These are:
The leader’s attitude is very important. Self-awareness too is very significant. But more importantly, proper implementation of any idea in great detail is critical. Other 3 important aspects  are- accepting responsibility, realizing that pursuing  excellence is your own choice and determination, and finally the leader must be  must ensure that the team members are in a position to live up to the leader’s expectations. Having said that, let us now deal with each of these 6 steps one by one.

Tip No.19.  Any idea or plan must be executed with great precision. In fact the quality of implementation of an idea is even more important than the idea itself. Leading management Gurus advocate that ‘A’ quality implementation of     ‘B’ quality plan is more productive then ‘B’ quality implementation of ‘A’ quality plan. When we look through the finer details of any task, we are able to follow its original objectives. But it doesn’t happen if we overlook the details. Excellence is a continuous process. It is not just an event. It is not just an accident. But it is your choice which you follow step by step, always. This becomes easier if you love every moment of your life and therefore if you love everything that your do from moment to moment.

Tip No.20. Your attitude is extremely important. Excellence is not just a skill like those skills you require for doing anything correctly and nicely. Excellence is your attitude to do every job with at most care and while enjoy at the same time. Precision and enjoyment may appear to be incompatible but they are not. There is no doubt  that you have to follow this practice of using eye for detail and getting satisfaction for following the finer details at the same time.

Tip No.21. The good news is that there is no preparation required to pursue excellence for the leader. It depends entirely on their choice- decision and determination to follow the decision. One may decide just now that henceforth from the next moment onwards he/she will do everything while pursuing excellence. Sometimes there may be time constraints and other such difficulties. But the pursuit of excellence teaches you make best use of the available resources. Some people talk of discipline. Excellence is not discipline. It does not ensure quality of work which can be classified in the required category. Discipline is defined as that you must do something at a time when it needs to be done even when you don’t like to do. In a way it cages you while the ‘excellence’ knows no such restrictions. It emerges from the application of your mind and the joy that your draw out of doing something that you like to do.

Tip No.22. The next important step that leader must take is to accept responsibility for excellence in a group life. The leader does not teach his follower to achieve perfection. Perfection is unattainable. But when you chase perfection you catch up with excellence. The leader ensures that his/her followers understand it very well. Such leaders have the ability to motivate the followers to such an extent that the commitment of the followers becomes as strong as that of their leader. This is particularly true in respect of the political leaders. Dr. Martin Luther King is one such example. But for him Barak Obama would not have become the President of USA.

Tip No.23. Self-awareness is something that the leader must practice. It trains him/her to observe their actions from moment to moment. They develop the ability to change their action as per the requirement of changed circumstances. Their decision making process does not suffer a jolt even if most unexpected event take place. In our sacred book, ‘The Bhagvad Gita’ such a person is known as ‘StithPragyaPurush’. It depicts not only the alertness of the mind but also the coordination between the mind and the reaction which leads to suitable speech and or action.

Tip No.24. Last but not the least the leader has to be realistic. They can pursue excellence only if their expectations are reasonable. Any unachievable task if set before the team is bound to de-motivate them.  This does not mean that the team member can take things easy. Life is such that for achieving any significant result you have to stretch yourself. It’s the leaders job that he practices not only himself but also ensures that the team member follow suit.
When the leader undertakes their journey as per the steps enumerated above, it is then that the leadership excellence is pursued.

Thanking for reading,

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