Based on my own experiences, and a variety of testimonials I would like to give insight on some methods I’ve used to improve my interpersonal skills.
Whether it’s your professional or personal career, getting out and meeting people is essential to exercising your people skills. Networking allows you to learn and exchange information with professionals or other people you may come in contact with. Through networking you enable your own ability to influence others and grow your authority, which can be a powerful tool in the workforce and personal relationships. Throughout my experience I have gained lifelong personal and professional relationships that I will continue to foster. I have increased my interest in networking, therefore increasing my interest in people and their value in any situation. Especially in today’s tech based society, with social media apps like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snap chat, ad linked in which all provide instant communication. Why not take advantage of the networking possibilities available to us? Technology has provided a platform to build relationships without ever leaving your comfort zone. From another point of view as an example in my personal experience I networked with a former classmate out of pure curiosity, and by initiating that communication with her I later received information from her that lead me to volunteering in Ghana for seven weeks. That experience has been one of the most life changing moments in my personal development. In my professional career I have used networking as a tool to gain interviews, free meals, and word of mouth exposure. The benefits of networking are endless and through networking you will not only grow your professional and personal relationships, but if you network you will lead a full of life filled with diversity.
Presentation/General Knowledge (GK):
Presentation plays a key role in the way you present yourself. Are you confident? Are you shy? Are you bold and honest? Or do you stick to behind the scenes? All of these factors matter when presenting yourself to others, and want to influence those around you. Strive to broaden your knowledge on a variety of different topics each and everyday. When we examine people who lead the world we see that they are constantly improving themselves , For example Warren Buffet one of the richest man in the world reads at least 8 newspapers a day. Having more understanding and knowledge on a variety of different things allows you to present with confidence and truth. For example in undergrad I was terrified to get up and present or even raise my hand and talk in class because I scared that I would say something dumb. As I started to read more and actually research I was able to present better because I had faith in my knowledge and capabilities. By putting effort into these areas I could relate to experience or fact and there for feel confident speaking in front of others, and ask engaging questions.
Being yourself is a key factor to consider when developing your interpersonal skills. To foster a real connection when you meet someone you must approach them with kindness, and understanding. This will enable your ability to connect with a person on a human level. As you develop this skill people will feel comfortable and want to reflect their authentic self to you as well. I personally aim to be authentic, and will continue to exercise this trait as part of my personal development. Here is a good quote I came across in my readings.
“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen” -Brene Brown
Whether through social networking sites or in person, maintaining and nurturing relationships is key to providing healthy and long-lasting connections. When it comes to building and maintaining your network you have to put yourself out there. You have to be proactively meeting people, asking questions about them and their work. Maintaining relationship balance isn’t just about you, it is about the other person as well. When there is no maintenance there is no network. You can practice this by asking yourself: who you are, what you do, and why it matters; while also being curious about other’s lives by asking those who, what, and why questions to others. Another way to help way to help build your own network is by connecting people that can benefit from one another. When you make introductions to other people who have similar interests or who you would find a career connection from one another,both parties become likely to return the favor. Not only do you help the other person build their network, you’ve also enhanced your own network. By making introductions and maintaining those relationships you will see your network grow exponentially.
Things to learn from these tips
- Take the first step and make an effort to build on your interpersonal skills
- Expand your overall knowledge on general topics
- Establish beneficial relationship with people who care
- Listen to people, and gain understanding
- Be Authentic, it’s easy