Interpersonal skills are the skills that facilitate communication and interaction with other people.
The phrase “interpersonal skills” is quite often used in a business context to refer to a person’s ability to work within a business environment through social interactions and communications. Interpersonal skills are also called people or soft skills.
Interpersonal skills can be fine tuned, improved and even learned with games and exercises rather than “on the job training.”
The skills learned through a training session can be applied to real life situations. The necessary skills are essential to promote teamwork and build a collaborative effort, with the main objective being improved productivity.
Interpersonal Skills Trainers
Interpersonal skills trainers work with groups of people and teach them to apply interpersonal skills to build better workplace relationships and improve communication.
There are training sessions developed for managers and non-management personnel, and there are training sessions developed for managers and non-management personnel to participate in together.
Trainers use a variety of methods to demonstrate techniques for trainees to get to know each other better or get to know each other for the first time and to breakdown the walls of suspicion to promote working together effectively.
Do it Yourself Training
There are a number of skills programs available that are self study in nature and allow a group of people to spend time, periodically, to improve their interpersonal skills.
The training sessions are games and exercises designed to engage one another in conversation and listening.
Let’s Break the Ice
The training programs usually begin with a game designed to break the ice. Even if, the participants know each other the ice breaker will work to get everyone into the rhythm of the exercises and eliminate any nervousness that may exist.
An icebreaker often used is to ask each person to talk about their first job. It is not an intrusive question and sometimes it is exciting for people to talk about their first job. It often reminds them how far they have come in their chosen career.
It also allows the participants to engage in conversation and ask and answer questions that offer insight into their fellow employees. The exercise is also a confidence builder as the participants reflect back on their first job and explore how their responsibilities have increased.
Creative and Spontaneous Thinking
An example of a game to help improve creative and spontaneous thinking involves creating a story while each person builds on the story told by the person before them. This is beneficial for people involved in presentations and public speaking.
The game begins by placing the same number of objects in a box to correspond to the number of participants in the group. In turn, each person picks an object from the box, without looking, and has 30 seconds to tell a story about the object. The facilitator should begin the story and the participants add the next part of the story. Each person’s story has to make sense and have some connection to the previous part of the story.
After all the objects have been picked and each person participated in the story, the exercise can be repeated, or the group can discuss how each part of the story fit or did not fit in the overall story.
Games make learning and improving interpersonal skills more enjoyable and thought provoking. It allows participants to develop skills to improve their ability to work as part of a group and with others on an individual basis.
Keeping skills up to date and fine tuned will increase productivity and remove barriers when working as a team.