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What is Interpersonal Communication? Skills, Types, and Examples
Most project managers agree that success depends on more than just having technical skills. The key to achieving success in project management is effective teamwork. To build a productive team as a project manager, you must possess excellent interpersonal abilities. The personal skills involved in connections, problem−solving, and communication are referred to as interpersonal skills. In other words, they're the abilities that let you communicate clearly with others.
Your responsibility as a project manager is to organize employees toward a common objective. This calls for the ability to influence, inspire, and negotiate with a diverse range of people. Additionally, you must be able to comprehend and sympathize with other viewpoints. It will be challenging to assemble a productive team and accomplish your project's objectives without good interpersonal skills.
What is Interpersonal Communication?
Interpersonal communication, in simple words, is the exchange of information between two individuals. It can refer to exchanging information and expressing ideas or sentiments in person or using mediums such as email, phone, or social media. Interpersonal communication includes both verbal and nonverbal cues, such as facial expressions, body language, and tone.
Aiming to establish and maintain relationships between individuals, interpersonal communication is relational in nature. Impersonal communication, on the other hand, is purely transactional, with people treated as objects. Interpersonal communication occurs when you consult a friend regarding holiday plans, when a coworker invites you to coffee, or when you send text messages to a friend. This form of communication is critical for connecting and developing relationships.
Since it may help you understand others not just through what they say but also through how they perceive the world, interpersonal communication plays a crucial role in improving relationship quality and fostering a sense of community.
What are Interpersonal Communication Skills in Project Management?
Interpersonal skills in project management refer to the ability to form and maintain relationships with others. Effective project managers must ensure that all deadlines are met while also keeping open lines of communication with the rest of the project team. This is why you must learn how to balance various skills, such as interpersonal, technical, and conceptual abilities, which not only assist you in assessing various situations but also in connecting with others in a respectful manner.
Types of Interpersonal Communication
Interpersonal communication can be classified into four categories. These are as follows−
Verbal Communication − Anything that involves speaking, including the words you use and the way you express them, is considered oral or verbal communication.
Writing Communication − Writing is a skill that is necessary for almost every career. Efficient written communication may make or break your ability to properly express a message to your team members as well as higher management.
Nonverbal Communication − Nonverbal communication comprises any interaction without involving words, such as hand movements, facial expressions, eye contact, body language, attire, and even the stuff on your desk. People's communication styles vary from neutral to expressive. Affective communicators flourish in nonverbal communication.
Listening − Listening is a kind of communication since genuine conversation is impossible without it. Furthermore, the act of listening, as shown by head nodding, eye contact, and uttering expressions like "mhm," conveys a message to the speaker that their message has your attention.
Essential Interpersonal Skills in Project Management
There are a number of soft skills that project managers should possess in particular. The following traits distinguish effective managers from others and have a big impact on how quickly and successfully a project is completed.
When it comes to project management, strong communication is among the most crucial aspects. Effective communicators may assist teams in comprehending the extent of their responsibilities and resolving issues as they emerge. If the project manager is unable to effectively communicate requirements, the project will begin with more difficulty than usual. Taking the time each day to consider what their teams need to know and then talking with them about it might help project managers who are still working on their communication skills. In order to enhance any conversation in general, they may also, gain by making an effort to pay attention to what their team members have to say.
Leadership refers to the capability to inspire, encourage, guide, and lead as required. Highly developed leaders offer both encouraging comments and sage advice. They remain composed amid tense circumstances. They effectively and simply convey the organization's goal, offer chances for professional growth, and foster a positive, encouraging workplace atmosphere. Project managers who wish to hone their leadership abilities could start by coming up with fresh approaches to regularly evaluating the performance of their teams. They can also practice stress management so that they can face challenging circumstances with confidence and composure. Therefore, possessing this skill can greatly help you in your quest to become a proficient project manager.
Project managers who are skilled in negotiation can quickly and successfully come to an agreement with their team members and work out compromises when conflicts emerge. Good negotiators are aware that some circumstances call for some compromise. They are prepared to make concessions. Negotiating project managers have a reputation among their team members as being fair and polite. One way to improve one's negotiating abilities is to make an effort to be more adaptable during employee interactions.
Project managers that can adjust to last−minute challenges and adjustments succeed and carry their teams with them. Project managers who are flexible can think quickly and are prepared to alter goals and objectives as required. They also foresee prospective difficulties and make preparations to deal with them in the future. Most of the time, changing your mindset is what makes you more flexible. Flexible project managers accept the fact that things may not go as planned. So, they prefer to be mentally prepared for setbacks.
Project managers serve as role models for their teams. If you don't work hard and responsibly as a project manager, your subordinates won't either. Your success as a project manager is mostly dependent on your ability to pay close attention to detail and exhibit a solid work ethic. It's a good idea for you to cultivate diligence by determining to work hard on a daily basis, regardless of the situation or project.
Examples of Interpersonal Communication
Interpersonal communication involves a wide range of actions that people engage in on a daily basis. Below are some examples−
The most evident form of interpersonal communication is a discussion in which both participants actively participate and strive to grasp each other's perspectives.
Strong relationships are necessary for a thriving workplace. As interview questions are usually set to develop relationships with interviewees rather than being purely transactional, job interviews are the perfect example of interpersonal communication.
Arguments are a fantastic illustration of interpersonal communication since they juggle maintaining relationships with settling on opposing aims.
Despite not taking place in person, online conversations are a form of interpersonal communication.
The same goes for a virtual conference conducted using Skype or Zoom, which serves as an illustration of interpersonal communication between a group of individuals.
Technical knowledge is crucial, but so are soft skills. With a dedication to their own and their employers' professional growth, project managers can acquire these abilities over time. Practicing these essential soft skills regularly is the most effective way to develop them. Self−awareness is also essential, as it is in most things. Throughout your career, look for opportunities to grow and improve these abilities. If you put in the effort to develop your soft skills, you'll discover that they quickly emerge as your strengths and lead the way through any project you embark on.
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