Understanding interpersonal behaviour

Interpersonal skills relate to the behavioral aspects, expressions of personal perspectives or feelings of an individual, as well as psychological fundamentals. Personal habits, characteristics, viewpoints, experiences, social prominence and various other environmental and societal factors, define the attitudinal aspects of an individual and how it would specifically affect their communication in varied personal and social settings.

These skills have often been termed as Soft skills. Studies have shown that individuals who have advanced towards refining these skills have achieved more, both personally and professionally. Organizations are constantly on the lookout for job seekers with a higher aptitude of interpersonal skills and who are able to easily blend in and understand the softer aspects of interacting with their fellow colleagues or clients.

Having good interpersonal skills help you to develop strong relationships with your internal and external customers and helps you add value to every sphere in your life.

Correlation between work andpersonal domain

Maximum of our timeis spent at the work place. Our professional commitment leads us to interact with all sorts of people in our jobs. Very often we tend to bring forth our personal attributes into the work space and contribute to it with similar enthusiasm. Whether we are employed as a security staff or an executive, we are constantly dealing with a variety of people and are constantly judgedin the manner in which we interact and the decisions we make. This in turn leaves impressions in our mind and in our lives.

Career related feedback from a supervisor during performance appraisals, daily interactions with colleagues and the amount of satisfaction derived from our jobs, constantly impact our lives. We tend to carry the stress that we accumulate, especially our thoughts (whether positive or negative), into our personal space and try to define our happiness or satisfaction quotient.If we have given enough importance to develop interpersonal skills, then we allow ourselves to build better bridges of communication between peers, managerial staff and clients.

Similarly in our personal domain, we are constantly surrounded by varied associations. It could be a simple walk down the road or a meeting with social friends. Our frequent interactions could create a space for us to effectively bond with another and add value. An unplanned meeting could land you in a lucrative position to gain support or momentum in a project or perhaps discern potential buyer/seller relationship.

These interpersonal skills have long been identified as being imperativeat the workplace and used towards the company’s advantage. To tap into these advantages and identifying relevancy between the two, is important.

Play on your strengths

Working in teams or otherwise, repeated communication with one or many, interactive skills, verbal and nonverbal abilities, decision making, cognitive abilities- all of these and many more aspects foster in creating our own circle of influence. We need to act consciously and collaboratively and look from the other person’s standpoint as well.

For instance, if you are an excellent communicator who is able to express thoughts and views and piece together complex formation of ideas in a clear manner, then you are a person who would be well suited for a role that allows you to respond in verbal and nonverbal situations, quite comfortable.

Similarly, if a person has the ability to be a good batsman but has been constantly given to bowl on field, then the skills would be completely unmatched to the caliber of the individual. 

Interpersonal skills and behavior has become a Jedi ‘light saber’ to achieve your long term career goals and companies constantly have one eye in identifying such individuals along with their high-performance ratings.

Mapping skills to role
Many organizational reports suggest the criticality of hiring the right candidate for the right type of job: Mapping skills to suit the role.

Most often in interviews a lot of importance is given to functional or technical expertise and knowledge. These are easily identifiable traits. What is either overlooked or almost not considered, are the interpersonal behavioral traits. The fact is that domain knowledge or technical skills can be learnt and mastered over time, howeverinterpersonal attitude cannot be taught, especially if you do not have the aptitude for it.

During the interview stage, it is imperative to know the job applicants work background thoroughly, both technical and non-technical aspects. Good organizations constantly strive to invest in good hiring practices that ensure the right talent match to the required skill along with the right attitude.Seeking applicants with a history of positivity towards work, adds value towards organizational goals.

Through mentorship programs or working with a buddy, a person can explore their areas of opportunity and work towards defining a stronghold of their personality in achieving personal growth and ultimately augmentingorganization objectives. This also helps in succession planning for each of the role.

Kalpesh Mehta

A partner with Deloitte Haskins & Sells, based in Mumbai. He has extensive experience in leading audit and advisory teams in the Financial Service, Large manufacturing companies, Hospitality and Consumer Industry.


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