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3 Unconventional Ways to Develop Your Interpersonal Communication Skills

By AK, 11 September 2019

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Since you are reading this, perhaps it is not necessary to shine a light on why it is essential to develop excellent interpersonal skills. You probably already know you can’t get too far away in life without them. We’re social animals. We crave communication, connection, and understanding almost as strongly as we need food and water to survive. Most self-help books share the same old tricks and tactics for developing good interpersonal abilities, so this article will offer a few more out-of-the-box strategies to try out.

1 Talk to kids

Just as Alain de Boton called it, talking to children we are unfamiliar with is “the ultimate test of your social skills.” They are unpredictable and won’t succumb to any social standards of communication that you would expect from adults. In other words, they won’t smile and laugh out of politeness to your jokes. Kids are sometimes ruthless to your attempts to befriend them. Most of all, they are honest. To become a better communicator, you need to know this type of honesty.

Next time you find yourself in the company of your friends’ kids or when your sister asks you to babysit for her, take it as an opportunity to have a pleasant time around them. After all, you have been young yourself. You remember what it was like being stuck with an adult and how you wish they had acted around you. Now, you are the adult. Find out how to crack the code of conversing with children, and you will learn a lot about communication in general.

Talk to kids

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2Practice Vulnerability

Brené Brown, a Texan research professor, has spent a large part of her career studying vulnerability. Her work and studies led her to the belief that there is power in vulnerability. If it sounds like a hard-to-grasp concept, then maybe the perfect thing to do is dive into it. But, what does being vulnerable mean, and how can you deliberately practice it with people?

To develop stronger relationships and Interpersonal Communication skills, you can try sharing something more personal with someone whom you want to establish trust with. Now, this is something people approach with caution. So, you have to pick the right piece of information and the recipient. Look for their reaction. Did it make them feel uncomfortable, or did they expressed relief and appreciation that you opened up? Doing this exercise will tell you as much about yourself as for other people and how they receive sensitive information. You can use this knowledge both in business and in your friendships.

Practice Vulnerability

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3Master wordless communication

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You may not realize it, but a lot of our perception of other people is largely formed by their body language. Some people are more attuned to the facial expressions and the tone of voice of others, but most of us are focused on the verbal part of communication when speaking to them. What if you learned how to navigate your way around gestures, tone, and volume of speech, and the many nuances of grimaces.

Here, observation is key. But, don’t just look outwards to what other people are doing. To practice being good in the non-verbal part of communication, you can start with recurring themes in your behavior. Do you have a nervous eye twitch when the topic becomes uncomfortable? What is your posture while in a heated argument? There are some very subtle signs to look for both in others and yourself that can shine a light on some hidden insecurities or passions. All you need is a sharp eye.

Try these tips and see your interpersonal skills improve! With them, you will become more emotionally intelligent, and you will be able to apply what you’ve learned about people in every conversation and interaction.

Master wordless communication

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