Improving Interpersonal Skills

If you ever have to communicate with another person, then you are using interpersonal skills. You have been using these skills your whole life already, and with varying degrees of success. Sometimes it is as easy as breathing to gain rapport and get your point across to others. At other times you might be feeling as if you’re an alien who has landed from another planet, leaving behind you all of the unconscious indicators that you give off and pick up, that tell others you know what you want to say and that you know how to say it. If the words “awkward”, “out of control”, or “totally lost” spring to mind when you think of a specific person or context that you currently interact with, then you need to improve your interpersonal skills.

Having good interpersonal skills will be important to you if it is necessary for you to make a good impression, or to sound as if you know what you are talking about, or need to appear confident and powerful or if you want to feel a connection with those you are communicating with.

NLP uses specific techniques that can help you improve your Interpersonal skills. For example:

Matching and mirroring- This is the process by which we use our physiology, voice and words to create a likeness to the person we are communicating with. People like people who are like themselves, and when you watch people who have good rapport with each other, you will notice that they seem to “speak the same language” or move their bodies with congruence. This is completely unconscious, however by learning how these processes work, you can begin to utilise them to your advantage.

Satir categories- These are the physiological poses that you naturally use. You have probably noticed that some people use their hands a great deal when they speak, but what message are your gestures and posture giving to those you are talking to? You can expect others to respond to you in ways that fit in with the unconscious signal you are giving them. For example, if you look aggressive, you can expect that others will be defensive.

Removing any significant emotional events from previous experiences that have damaged your confidence- Sometimes a bad experience from the past can leave a lasting impression on the way that we feel and behave. For example, if you were humiliated by a teacher in school as a child, you may now find yourself becoming nervous around authority figures. This can be a problem if you have to frequently liaise with your boss with a confident attitude. NLP uses techniques that can help you gain new perspectives on old events and therefore change the way you feel about old memories.

I have belief in myself, what I am saying. I have increased confidence to say thoughts without worrying about being judged on them.

By Gemma Bailey

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