Making your way in business is difficult sometimes. The fast-paced, cut and thrust way of life is not always suited to politeness or common courtesy. However, honing your interpersonal skills may well be the difference between success and failure. Some experts and business insiders suggest that communication is as important as technical skill. The Resourceful Manager in his Business Skills Series states, “technical aptitude and business savvy aren’t worth much if leaders don’t have the people skills to execute them.”  So take heed, as talent alone may not be enough to get you by. Luckily, there are some quick fixes, which can help you get ahead in the workplace.

Problem Solving

Problems arise all the time in our working lives. It is how we deal with them that can make the difference between being successful or not. When problems or difficulties arise, it is important to try and solve them in an effective and efficient way, utilizing those interpersonal skills. Getting angry or frustrated is not a productive use of your time or energy at all!

The best way to solve a problem is to break it down into manageable chunks. Take each part of the issue and try and solve it systematically and sensibly. Always seek advice if it is available, as being able to network and call on other’s experience, is an extremely useful asset. In addition, it may help to visualize the problem. Perhaps write it down and mind map potential routes to solving the issue. This will give you a different perspective on it and may well bring the answer you need.

Negotiation

Learning the art of negotiation is a pivotal interpersonal skill that may save you time and money. Often issues arise when two different people have their own personal expectations that they demand to be met. If neither party is willing to back down or indeed negotiate, this can cause problems. The way to deal with this is to ensure in any discussion, debate or negotiation, to ensure that you remain calm yet assured. Be positive and assertive with what you require, but also be prepared to listen effectively and understand the needs of others. This will provide a more effective and positive outcome in the long run.

Assertiveness

It is important to have your own personal aspirations and then achieve them. One of the ways to do this is by being positively assertive. In other words, this means making sure you get your own way but in a kind and caring way! For instance, you may be in a negotiation scenario and find that things are not going your way. One positively assertive way of doing this is to stay calm and repeat your requests slowly. Use phrasing like, ‘I respect your point of view, however, this is my opinion.’ This shows respect for the person you are talking to, whilst also making it clear you are going to stand your ground, albeit in a calm and respectful fashion.

There are a number of important facets of a successful working life. One of the areas that will bring you quick success is to keep improving your interpersonal skills.