Interpersonal Communication - Importance, Must-Have Skills & Examples
— December 3rd, 2021
Interpersonal communication can be defined as the entire process and practice of exchanging ideas, information, and even emotional experiences between two or more people. Studies show that nearly 70% of the workforce would be more productive with effective communication in place at their organization.
When it comes to interpersonal communication it’s not just about what is actually said - the language used - but how it is said and the non-verbal messages sent through tone of voice, facial expressions, gestures, and body language.
Commonly used interpersonal communication within an organization includes daily internal employee communication, client meetings, employee performance reviews, and project discussions. Effective interpersonal communication is the foundation upon which relationships in business are built.
People with strong interpersonal skills tend to be able to work well with other people, including in teams or groups, formally and informally. They communicate effectively with others, whether family, friends, colleagues, customers, or clients.
The ultimate guide to HR employee communications strategy
Importance of interpersonal communication
Helps with problem-solving
The importance of problem-solving skills in the workplace can't be overstated. Every business and every job role has its problems. Interpersonal communication skills lead to effective problem-solving as they give workers the ability to better understand coworkers and customers.
Good communication skills among employees also give them the ability to weigh the pros and cons and decide on the best solution. It also allows them to be an effective facilitator, mediating between two parties who may have opposing viewpoints.
Promotes team building
Building effective teams are really all about how team members communicate and collaborate together. It is easier for employees with good interpersonal communication skills to build healthy relationships with their co-workers.
Creating these bonds through team building is very beneficial to organizations and increases employee levels of satisfaction and motivation.
Cultivates a positive company culture
Clear and efficient interpersonal communication helps companies build a fulfilling workplace culture for their employees. Such communication impacts an employee’s ability to work, their feelings about their business, and their work relationships.
Improves customer satisfaction
According to a Microsoft study, about one in three people say the most important aspect of customer service is speaking with a knowledgeable and friendly agent. Keeping customers happy should always be a priority for every business and having a workforce of employees with strong interpersonal communication skills can help achieve this.
Improved communication with customers has many benefits for business and among other things, it can lead to good reviews, repeat purchases, and increased referrals.
Creates better leaders
According to a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit, poor communication can lead to low morale, missed performance goals, and even lost sales. For leaders, strong communication is vital as it is what enables them to rally their team around a shared vision, empower employees, build trust, and successfully navigate organizational change.
Increased employee satisfaction
Employee satisfaction is of utmost importance when it comes to workers giving their all to each task they carry out. Employees are more likely to be satisfied in their job if their company practices good communication.
A transparent and open environment where individuals are free to share their thoughts, opinions, and concerns creates a harmonious workplace that keeps employees engaged in their positions.
What are the additional benefits of interpersonal communication?
- Maintains workplace harmony
- Helps manage a diverse workplace
- Improves crisis management
- Creates better client relationships
- Increases inter-departmental cooperation
- Increases employee engagement
- Boosts productivity
- Improves public relations
- Increases job satisfaction and loyalty
- Mitigates conflict
- Fuels innovation
- Builds on existing skills
Omnichannel employee communications – The key to workplace engagement
What are the key must-have interpersonal skills?
- Verbal communication
- Non-verbal communication
- Positive attitude
- Listening skills
- Openness to feedback
- Conflict resolution
- Leadership skills
- Sense of humor
- Conflict resolution
- Negotiation skills
What are some examples of interpersonal communication?
There are four types of interpersonal communication:
Oral communication refers to any form of spoken communication, such as public speaking, phone calls, conversations both formal and informal, presentations, and staff meetings. In a professional setting, effective oral communication is important because it is built on transparency, understanding, and trust.
There is also more flexibility in oral communication, making it easy to discuss different aspects of an issue and make decisions more quickly than you can in writing. This type of communication can be especially effective in addressing conflicts or problems. Talking things over is often the best way to settle disagreements or misunderstandings.
Similar to oral communication, verbal communication allows sharing of thoughts, feelings, or data between people through the use of the spoken word. However, verbal communication also incorporates the sharing of this same information through the written word.
Examples of written communication include email, Slack messages, text messages, performance evaluations, and Powerpoints. Unlike the spoken word, written communication is a formal method of communication and is less flexible. A written document preserved properly becomes a permanent record for future reference.
Non-verbal communication incorporates any form of communication that does not use words, including hand gestures, facial expressions, body posture, eye contact, and even clothing.
For example, when someone frowns while listening to a presentation it could indicate confusion, annoyance, or disagreement. Everyone uses non-verbal communication all the time whether they know it or not.
Listening is key to all effective communication. Without the ability to listen, messages are easily misunderstood. Many successful leaders and entrepreneurs credit their success to effective listening skills.
Richard Branson frequently quotes listening as one of the main factors behind the success of Virgin. Aspects of active listening involve making eye contact, nodding your head, taking notes, and saying things that indicate understanding.
Interpersonal communication is the process of exchange of information, ideas, and feelings between two or more people through verbal or non-verbal methods. Communication is happening all the time in the business world and is an integral part of an efficient and successful organization.