(IGP) IAS Pre Paper - 2: GS - Interpersonal & Communication Skills (Part 1)

Interpersonal &
Communication Skills

Meaning of Communication

Transmission of meaning from one person to another or to many people is communication, whether verbally or non-verbally. Communication from one person to another is commonly depicted as a simple triangle consisting of the context, the sender, the massage, and the receiver. In the work area Communication skills have great importance just as they have in all areas of life. Communication skills such as being able to express one or to understand the others correctly are required for success and satisfaction at least in elementary level for most of the professions. Even though an organization performs its tasks more efficient than expected, one should know that this success will not continue so long if it lacks the same efficacy in communication. The success of communication depends on several factors. Transmission of message by the process of encoding and decoding the message, which may result in short-term perception, is not adequate for the success of communication. Communication should be in such away that will give opportunity for the respondent or receiver to take decision with regard to the message he perceived.

Meaning of Interpersonal Communication

The concept of Inter Personal Communication (IPC) skills was introduced primarily in 1950s. Ability to work well with people, and involve your acceptance of others, without prejudice is called IPC skills. Ability to respond to staff’s needs positively, fostering a non-discriminatory work environment where staff can develop to their full personal potentials, and delegating authority Interpersonal communication competence consists of a set of skills, knowledge about communication, and self-evaluation is IPC skills. The skills involved in good interpersonal communication include

1. Demonstrating caring, concern and commitment
2. Listening and Understanding
3. Problem solving and Motivating.

You can demonstrate that you care by expressing your understanding of the feelings and concerns of the other person and by letting them know that you want to help them. You can reflect the other person’s emotions back to them with facial expressions that show you are concerned. You can also provide verbal feedback to them to show acknowledgement and recognition of their fears and concerns. Listening and understanding involve more than simply being present while someone is speaking. Active listening means genuinely hearing the other person’s words. Often, we think we are listening, but we actually do not pay close attention or do not really hear what the other person is trying to say.

Everybody has their own & unique Ability and strengths. Inspite of how bad you might think of yourself, you are special, unique and one of a kind. Trust in your abilities, recognize your strengths and succeed in life. On the flip side, do recognize that even the weakest individual is better than you or me in some way or another. It may be intelligence or kindness or generosity or even grace

Emerson once said: Every man is my superior in some way. In that case, I learn of him.

Almost everyman you meet feels himself superior to you in some way, and a sure way to win a person’s heart is to let him or her realize that in some subtle way, you recognize his importance in his little world, and recognize it sincerely.

Salient features of IPC skills

  • Think positively, and enter the mindset to work well with others and maintain good relationships. Do not criticize others or yourself.
  • Be sensitive to others, this includes not gossiping.
  • Be patient.
  • Be cheerful and try to make others smile.
  • Treat others and their experience with respect.
  • Learn to listen, experts recommend listening 80% of the time and only talking 20%.
  • If you’re not naturally confident or happy, fake it until you generally possess the desired characteristics.
  • Praise and compliment people when they deserve it,
  • When someone is telling a story, don’t interrupt or try to upstage them with a story of your own.
  • Treat your team members and colleagues as friends and not as strangers or subordinates.
  • When you’re unhappy, try your best to act happy anyway. You will end up feeling better and so will the people around you, your mood is contagious.
  • Smile - even when you don’t feel like smiling.
  • Look for solutions.
  • When someone compliments you, don’t disagree or boast about it simply say thank-you with a smile and move on.

  • Learn to appreciate, be helpful and not de-motivate your team members. Work as a team, not as an individual.
    This will achieve better results.

Behavior Psychology

Deal with people as though they are your client or boss and convey the message you want in a proper manner. (This includes rhythm of voice to make them comfortable with you.)

Beatrice Vincent once said: The people with whom you work reflect your own attitude. If you are suspicious, unfriendly and condescending, you will find these unlovely traits echoed all about you. But if you are on your best behavior, you will bring out the best in the persons with whom you are going to spend most of your working hours.

Robbins and Hunsaker (2003) reviewed a large number of studies and synthesized the IPC skills that surfaced on most lists Most of- these skills. belong to three categories - leadership, the process of communication and motivation .Interpersonal skills under leadership relate to leadership style, handling conflicts, running meetings, team building and promoting change. The process of communication includes sending messages, listening and providing feedback Similarly, motivating is broken down into goal setting, clarifying expectations, persuading and empowering. Other interpersonal skill include negotiating. The dimensions and components of above model are shown in the following table

Concept Dimension Component
Interpersonal communication skills (IPC) 1. Process of communication 1. Effective communication
2. Communication styles
3. Building relationships
2. Motivation 1. Goal setting
2. Clarifying expectations
3. Leadership 3. Self development
4. Stress management
5. Emotional intelligence
3. Leadership 1. Leadership style
2. Values and ethics
3. Handling conflicts
4. Promoting change

Steps to Develop Your IPC Skills?

1. Networking

In addition to strong communication Skills and Personal Skills, Networking uses the Background skills of network building and motivating others. involves working with others in a group towards a common goal. This requires cooperating with others, being responsive to others’ ideas, taking a collaborative approach to learning, and taking a responsibility for developing and achieving group goals. The ability to actively seek, identify and create effective contacts with others, and to maintain those contacts for mutual benefit. Teamwork uses the Background skills of collaboration, mentoring, decision-making and delegation.

2. Leadership

The process of successfully influencing the activities of a group towards the achievement of a common goal is called as leadership. As well as requiring strong communication Skills and Personal Skills, leadership uses the Background skills of mentoring, decision making, delegation and motivating others. A leader has the ability of influence others through qualities such as personal charisma, expertise, command of language, and the creation of mutual respect.

2. Background skills

(i) Decision making

  • Identifying appropriate evidence and weighing up that evidence to make a choice for example, gathering and assessing information to find the best way to perform am experiment).
  • Taking responsibility for a decision and its outcomes (for example, choosing a topic for a group presentation from a number of suggestions).

(ii) Mentoring

  • Being a trusted advisor and helper with experience in a particular field. Actively supporting and guiding someone to develop knowledge and experience, or to achieve career or personal goals (for example, a third-year student mentoring a first year student, helping to adjust to he university experience).
  • A mentoring relationship may be formal or informal, but must involve trust, mutual respect, and commitment as both parties work together to achieve a goal (for example, mentoring a younger member of a team to achieve better performance in the lead-up to a sporting event).

(iii) Group work

  • any activity in which students work together;
  • any activity which has been specifically designed so that students work impairs or groups, and may be assessed as a group (referred to as formal group work); or
  • when students come together naturally to help each other with their work (referred to as informal group work).
  • peer group activity in lab classes, tutorials etc.

(iv) Motivating others

  • Generating enthusiasm and energy by being positive, focusing on finding solutions and maintaining a positive attitude even when things are not going well (for example, when something goes wrong, asking “What can we try now” instead of saying, “That should have worked better.”).
  • Encouraging others to come up with solutions, listening carefully to their ideas and offering constructive feedback (for example, gathering suggestions for a group project, and giving each person’s ideas fair discussion).
  • Being prepared to support others in taking agreed, calculates risks, and not blaming others when things go wrong (for example, one group member’s portion of a presentation receives a poor mark make sure that this student isn’t blamed by the group, and focus on learning from the mistakes).

(v) Delegation

  • Taking responsibility for determining when to ask someone else to make a decision or carry out a task (for example, figuring out what is a fair distribution of the workload in a group project, and sharing responsibility with others).
  • Distributing responsibility and authority in a group by giving someone else the discretion to make decisions that you have the authority to make (for example, as the chosen leader of a lab experiment team, you could assign tasks and decisions to different group members).

(vi) Collaboration

  • Working cooperatively and productively with other team members to contribute to the outcomes of the team’s work (for example, dividing the workload and sharing the results of your own work with others in the group, or assisting members of the group who are having difficulty completing their tasks).

(vii) Network building

  • Creating contacts with other people and maintaining those contacts (for example, meeting someone at a seminar with similar interests, and swapping email addresses with them).
  • Acquiring and maintaining information about people who might be useful contacts for specific purposes (for example, seeking out people established in an industry you hope to work with one day).
  • Using a contact in an ethical manner to help each of you meet specific goals, (for example, collaborating on projects of importance to both of you).

3. Networking

The ability to actively seek, identify and create effective contacts with others, and to maintain those contacts for mutual benefit. In addition to strong communication Skills and Personal Skills, Networking uses the Background skills of network building and motivating others. involves working with others in a group towards a common goal. This requires cooperating with others, being responsive to others’ ideas, taking a collaborative approach to learning, and taking a responsibility for developing and achieving group goals. Teamwork uses the Background skills of a collaboration, mentoring, decision making and delegation

Types of Leadership

Management experts have undergone a revolution in how they define leadership and what their attitudes are toward it, n the past several decades. They have gone from a very classical autocratic approach to a very creative, participative approach. Somewhere along the line, it was determined that not everything old was bad and not everything new was good. Rather, different styles were needed for different situations and each leader needed to know when to exhibit a particular approach.
Four of the most basic types of leadership are:
A. Democratic
B. Laissez-faire
C. Autocratic
D. Bureaucratic
Although good leaders use all the styles, with one of them normally dominant, bad leaders tend to stick with one style.

A. Democratic Leadership Type

The democratic leadership type encourages employees to be a part of the decision making therefore it is also called the participative type. The democratic manager keeps his or her employees informed about everything that affects their work and shares decision-making and problem solving responsibilities. This style requires the leader to be a coach who has the final say, but gathers information from staff members before making a decision. Democratic leadership can produce high quality and high quantity work for long periods of time. Many employees like the trust they receive and respond with cooperation, team spirit, and high morale. Typically the democratic leader :
1. Develops plans to help employees evaluate their own performance
2. Recognizes and encourages achievement.
3. Encourages employees to grow on the job and be promoted
4. Allows employees to establish goals