Turn It Around

brenda trackwell newsletterDale Carnegie said, “Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.”

At some point in your life you will be criticized and sometimes it will be difficult to accept – but that all depends on your reaction. The way in which you choose to handle criticism has an unplanned effect in various aspects of your life. It is better to identify ways in which you can benefit from criticism and use it to your advantage.

Interpersonal skills include not only how we communicate with others, but our confidence, and ability to listen and understand as well. Problem solving, decision making and personal stress management are also considered interpersonal skills. People with strong interpersonal skills are usually more successful in both their professional and personal lives. They are perceived as calm, confident and captivating. Be mindful of your interpersonal skills.

Interpersonal communication is the process by which people exchange information and feelings through verbal and non-verbal messages: it is face-to-face communication and non-verbal communication as well. Not only the language used – but how it is said and the non-verbal messages sent through tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language.

Listening is the ability to accurately receive messages in the communication process. Listening is critical to all effective communication. Without the ability to listen effectively messages are easily misunderstood – communication breaks down and the sender of the message can easily become aggravated. Keep in mind good listening skills can lead to better customer satisfaction and greater productivity. Increased sharing of information in turn can lead to more creative and innovative work. Listening is not the same as hearing. Hearing refers to the sounds that you hear. Listening requires focus. Listening means paying attention not only to the story, but how it is told, the use of language and voice, and how the other person uses their body. Being aware of both verbal as well as non-verbal messages is crucial.

Your ability to listen effectively depends on the degree to which you understand the messages. The first task in successful interpersonal relationships is to build rapport. Starting a conversation with a stranger can be a stressful event; we can be at a loss for words, awkward with our body language and mannerisms. Creating a bond at the beginning of a conversation with someone new will often make the outcome of the conversation more positive.

Empathy can be used to create that bond. Being empathetic requires two basic components – effective communication and strong imagination; shared experiences can also help you to empathize. Empathy is a skill that can be developed and, as with most interpersonal skills, empathizing comes naturally to most people.

Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.
– Theodore Roosevelt

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