Interpersonal communication skills are an important part of everyday life – personally and professionally. However, not everyone is naturally good at it and for most people, they need to learn and practice over time before they can communicate with ease.
Communicating at the Basic Level
To learn how to develop your interpersonal communication skills, you must first understand some fundamental principles of effective communication – what we can call the Greek philosophy of communication or influence. This is a three-level communication approach: ethos, pathos and logos.
Ethos denotes ethics. In other words, your credibility as a communicator. How trustworthy are you and what do you know that your audience should trust and listen to you?
Pathos means empathy, the feeling or understanding you have of the person listening to you.
Logos stands for logic and it has to do with the strength of your thoughts and the power of your presentation.
This means to communicate effectively, you must first have credibility, understand your listener and then coherently present your thoughts.
Six Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Communication Skills
Here are six practical ways to improve your interpersonal communication skills:
1. Seek out opportunities to lead
Great leaders are great communicators, and what better way there is to enhance your interpersonal communication skills than to seek out opportunities to take up leadership roles?
Taking up a leadership opportunity does not mean going after titles; It rather means being proactive and taking the initiative. In a business setting, it may mean voluntarily bringing coworkers together to solve a problem or develop a concept. By forming teams, directing projects, solving problems or leading a product development focus group, you learn how to communicate with people, thereby enhancing your interpersonal communication skills.
2. Take a speech course
If you really want to improve your interpersonal communication skills, then taking a speech course may be an idea worth considering. A good speech course helps you build confidence and teaches you how to communicate coherently. This is by far one of the smartest ways to improve your interpersonal communication skills.
3. Write, write and write some more
Writing helps you to learn how to express yourself clearly. It makes you think before you speak. Because it requires that kind of control, it helps you to personally communicate to yourself. Internal communication precedes interpersonal communication. Therefore, consistently practicing the art of writing can help you improve your interpersonal communication skills.
4. Rehearse with a recording tool
To be able to communicate effectively, you need to understand the way you communicate. By recording yourself, you will have the opportunity to listen or even watch yourself talk so you can observe your body language, tone of voice, language command, confidence level and even what causes you to communicate effectively or poorly. Once you make these observations of yourself, it will be easier to improve in some areas so you become an effective communicator.
5. Take an acting class
Acting offers you an opportunity to relate with different kinds of people. It can boost your confidence and language command. Because acting lets you communicate on stage in a manner that will be understood and appreciated by an audience, it can be an avenue to develop your interpersonal communication skills. Watch and learn from effective communicators
There are leaders in every sphere of human life and this includes interpersonal communication. One best way to improve your interpersonal communication skills is to watch and observe how effective communicators communicate. If you want to know whom to learn from, think of the people who leave a positive lasting impression on you anytime you interact with them; those who can motivate you toward a course; and leaders who inspire you – but not manipulate you – to take an action.