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Interpersonal Communication Skills

Due to the continued growth at Pathways we have posted for multiple positions, including a posting for an instructional designer. As such I have spent he last few weeks reviewing resumes from the potential candidates, many of which include a wide variety of skills and experienced referenced. There is however one skill that 100% of the resumes mention, even to the extent they are stated in the same way…and that is “Excellent Communication Skills”.

I have written in the past about his, however for this week would like to focus on a part of communications skills that is not mentioned very often, though still very important. I am referring to Interpersonal Skills.

Interpersonal Communication Skills are the skills we use when engaged in communication with other people. How we communicate, share ideas, ask questions, gain input and collaborate is the basis on which we build relationships and run a smooth and effective operation.

Why is this so important? For two reasons:

  1. Because in our work, sharing messages accurately and professionally is critical to our success.

  2. Because failure in communication can lead to critical mistakes for colleagues, customers and operators, missed opportunities, stress, strained relationships and poor morale.

Most people take communication for granted and feel that asking questions and sharing our ideas and information is a ‘natural’ skill: after all, we start to learn to listen, interpret, understand and communicate our needs from the time we are born!

In today’s world, we are constantly connected with one another through personal contact, telephone, web communication tools, text, email and social media: we get LOTS of practice communicating during each and every day! But have you ever stopped to think about how we communicate? How do we ensure that we are understanding well what a speaker is saying or a writer has written? And how do we make sure that what we say and what we write is well understood?

Everyone has a unique style and skill in communication and to a certain extent, this is natural to each of us. However, as with any skill, having additional knowledge, tools and practice can make a big difference in helping to improve our communication skills and thereby improve our connections and relationships. The more we understand about how to communicate our messages clearly, how to listen fully and how to minimize the impact of barriers to understanding, the better equipped we are to avoid misunderstanding, missed communication and critical error and to build effective relationships with our colleagues.

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