Evaluating both hard and soft skills are necessary when we talk about job performance. While the former is more-or-less a straightforward checklist, some argue that the latter can’t be taught, even though miscommunication and even conflict are possible consequences of poor interpersonal skills. While the means of improving interpersonal skills is less methodological, it’s nonetheless essential for success in the workplace, as the fabric of a company is made up of its employees and their ability to work together.
The first and foremost factor to consider when developing interpersonal skills is to understand where to direct your efforts. An employee’s formal role is their position within the company, and the responsibilities that comes with it. This means that your role is somewhat rigid, or guided by hierarchy. On the other hand, the scope of power derived from your informal role is flexible, and relates to your ability to lead by example, unify, work in a group, etc. Only when you’re comfortable with your informal role in the company will you feel at ease and yourself around colleagues. Making this distinction is important because they emphasize different elements of interpersonal skills. For example, clear communication is key for your formal role, so read up and practice sending professional emails if you need to improve in that area. Conversely, settling into your informal role calls for empathy, which leads to the next point.
Let’s start by this point by drawing the parameters of what interpersonal skills constitute: verbal & non-verbal communication, active listening, negotiation, problem solving, diplomacy, and building rapport (Source). This list may seem intimidating to tackle, but it’s actually very simple in application. One word: empathy. While our parents may have taught this valuable lesson to us when we wee tots, it’s sometimes surprising to see the lack thereof in a workplace environment. Innate competiveness can lead to envy and even aggression when negativity exists within the team. So before you blast an email about your stolen sandwich to the entire company, reconsider how it’ll make the innocent feel about you. Being considerate, appreciative, and smiley sounds cheesy, but that what it all comes down to.
Around 60% of our communicationis actually done through non-verbal cues, which includes facial expressions, touch, tone, dress, and posture. These factors may seem secondary, but just imagine someone who likes to stand 2 inches from you when in a conversation. You’re probably not doing to be jumping on the opportunity to be their best friend. Being mindful of how people respond to your body language, avoiding an abrasive tone, and maintaining a presentable & appropriate appearance are ways to alter nonverbal perceptions of you. At the end of the day, such dynamics are constantly changing depending on the fluidity of the team. Every company is different, and time will give you the experience to find your place.
Okay, so you’re a super nice person already, and you know how to talk to people. But if you’re constantly say the wrong thing, then even your formidable wit won’t keep the lunch invites coming. Understanding cultural and gender cues are essential for avoiding misunderstandings. For example, while it’s rude in Western culture to not make eye contact, the opposite is true in Japan. And while being open and friendly is great, you definitely don’t want to be the person who accidentally harassed a colleague. No one likes that person. If you’re on the fence about whether it’s acceptable to say something, then it’s best to leave it. Know it’s okay to not talk.
The mention of team-building activities is very often met with a few eye-rolls and stifled groans. Team building activities, however, are important for companies of all sizes and structures because employees are the most valuable asset of every business. While traditional team building activities often elicit embarrassment than enthusiasm, having them done right, meaning making them fun and engaging can be the most valuable investment you make for your business. Investing in team building activities will not only help employees become more engaged and happier at work, but also nurture a culture of teamwork with greater productivity that could result in the company’s success. With that in mind, we have put together 10 of the fun and exciting team building activities and games – from indoors to outdoors and from large to small scale – that your team would love and want for more!
This month, as the world continues to partake in what is now becoming the world’s biggest work-from-home experiment, we are left facing some of the greatest enemies known to mankind - procrastination, apathy, and laziness (which we are all guilty at some point in our lives) as we try to be productive in the comfort of our home.
Looking for the best dim sum in Hong Kong’s Central district? We give you exciting new lunch spots and yum cha deals you can find in the busy neighborhood.