Interpersonal relationships refer to one’s ability to build mutually beneficial relationships with others, based on trust and compassion. On the surface, it seems that some people are better able to develop healthy interpersonal relationships than others, but as is true for all subscales of emotional intelligence, it can be learned and improved upon.
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” – Mother Teresa
Higher Range vs Lower Range of Interpersonal Relationships
Someone that falls in the higher range:
• Can more easily establish mutually satisfying relationships with other.
• They are generally more trusting of other people.
• Are able to give and receive affection and intimacy more easily.
• Find it easier to maintain relationships over the longer term.
• Is often more positive towards social change.
• May feel more at ease in social situations and gatherings.
Someone that falls in the lower range:
• May shy away from intimacy.
• Can come across as distrusting, not giving and as a ‘loner’.
• Sometimes find it more difficult to openly share emotions and feelings with others.
• Find social change difficult to navigate and they may struggle to maintain their relationships over time.
Impact In The Workplace
It can be very beneficial to have staff who are able to build good trustworthy relationships with other team members and clients. Leading to greater connection and both happier staff and clients. Ultimately leading to greater effectiveness and profitability for the organisation.
Imagine a salesperson who scores in the low range of interpersonal relationship skills. They may not be very effective in building good rapport and trust with potential clients. If any problems arose, they may also not be able to draw on their relationship with the client to smooth things over.
Or imagine a boss who has low interpersonal relationships skills. Add in that they score very high in self-actualization. They may be the type of boss that comes across as uncaring or only interested in what they want to achieve. Making very little connection with their staff and team. That does not sound like a great environment to work in.
In order for organizations to be dynamic, they need to evolve and respond to varied demands and changes in the marketplace. People who have higher levels of interpersonal relationship skills, are more likely to adapt. Being able to connect and maintain relationships, even when faced with challenging situations.
Ever worked with people who could be considered as “more difficult” to connect with? They may just not score very high on the interpersonal relationship scale. Being able to develop interpersonal relationships makes it more likely to connect and work with such team members. Building and maintaining good interpersonal relationships within the workplace is beneficial both for one’s own well-being and the overall functioning of the team.
Challenging Interpersonal Relationships
Individuals who struggle with interpersonal relationships, may often feel lonely and may even be left out of the social gatherings of other members. They may feel that such a person is a drain on the “vibe” or “mood” of the rest of the group. This can lead to dissatisfaction in the loner and potentially to higher staff turnover as they feel like an outsider.
This type of person may find it difficult to work as part of a team. If they also fall into in the lower range for assertiveness, they may find it difficult to make their thoughts and suggestions known to other members of the team. They may prefer to work on and solve problems alone. Not utilizing the available resources and help available from other staff members. Other team members may also avoid them as they are difficult to approach. Resulting in a more stressful work environment.
Importance in Leadership
As a leader, it important to be able to bring one’s team together and create “esprit de corps.” Leaders with the ability to develop good interpersonal relationships can affect change more easily and bring their staff on board with new proposed plans. They tend listen to the needs of the team. They are also usually more listened too, as a result of creating a mutually beneficial relationship of know, like and trust.
A leader that struggles with building interpersonal relationships may find it much more difficult to build rapport and trust with their staff. Struggling to communicate the organization’s vision. Leaving staff less invested in their job and potentially not understanding what they should be doing within their role.
People generally don’t like to work for someone who has poor interpersonal skills. They may not give their very best and will not go out of their way to take on tasks that may be out of their normal scope of work.
“I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to my fellow-creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” – William Penn
Improving Interpersonal Relationships
It cannot be understated how important it is to develop positive interpersonal relationships in the workplace for the overall benefit of staff and the organisation.
If you feel that this is an area that you or someone you know may want to work on, then help is at hand.
The first step is an emotional intelligence assessment, which is followed up with a highly personalised and efficient coaching program. Helping stakeholders to develop in various areas of emotional intelligence. Understanding the impact in both their personal and business life. Developing skills that will ultimately benefit the organisation and everyone involved.
To find out more about how your organization can benefit, contact us today today for a no-obligation conversation.