(IGP) IAS Pre: GS Paper -2 - Interpersonal Skills - Interpersonal Skill : Interpersonal & Communication Skills (Part 3)

Interpersonal &
Communication Skills (Part 3)


Clearing your mind puts things in their right place and it brings a greatly increased emotional and mental clarity. Life can become much more simple and comfortable. The mind contains many wrong answers. To be more precise, no answer is fully “wrong”, but it might be used out of context without awareness of where it belongs. Any emotional response can be useful in some situations, and NOT useful in many other situations.

Clearing is the process of realizing and rejecting the wrong answers one has used. These wrong answers aren’t just thrown away, but they are returned to the time, place and context where they properly belong.

Clearing the wrong answer is very easy once you discover what it is really about. If it is currently not easy, it is because you haven’t yet discovered everything about it. There is something more to learn. Sometimes you might think that you know what is “wrong” with you, but it doesn’t resolve it. It just means that there is more work to do.

The truth of the matter is that there is nothing wrong with you. But, you might have incorrectly identified with answers that are currently wrong for you. Straightening that out can make you much more yourself.


We all depend on a whole lot of mental programs to function in life. These programs are the sub-conscious patterns that determine how we think and respond to situations. Most programs are hidden. For example, when we talk we don’t have full awareness of our choice of words and the grammatical sentence construction. We probably just feel like saying something, and the sentences somehow come out all right

Sometimes our programs don’t work in the most useful way for us. Sometimes we don’t have an appropriate program for what we want to do. That is when we might want to change the programming of our mind.

Programming is the process of establishing useful ways offshoot do things. That might involve the discovery of how we already do things, the construction of more powerful methods, and the re-training of our subconscious. Our mind is basically a set of tools that can help us to get more out of life. We can increase our abilities and our enjoyment by sharpening the tools we have and by adding more tools. That can help us to deal with life in a more resourceful manner.

Permanent personal change doesn’t have much to do with conscious intellectualizing. To be different. we need to feel and respond different, not just talk differently. Therefore it is very important to engage our subconscious mind in any desired change that we wish to make.


A process is a distinct activity that addresses an existing situation and gradually changes it into something else. It basically means that we will work on an issue in a systematic manner. Personal change can be pursued systematically by engaging in various processes.

Processing is the ongoing activity of working on areas where change is desired. Many different techniques might be applied. Typically a technique will be chosen that fits the situation at hand and it will be used until you get a noticeable result from it. Processing is not just random attempts to figure something out, it is the skilled resolution of issues. Processing is not doing something to us. It is simply an educational vehicle to help us change our own way of being for the better.

The practitioner will ask us, the client, questions and will ask us to do specific things in a typical processing session. The questions will be intended to help us discover more about our self. The directions will be intended to help us to experience things differently, and to develop our personal resources

As an overall heading we can call it all Semantic Processing. Semantics is the study of meaning, the underlying mental and spiritual structures that life is based on. Semantic Processing is therefore a fancy way of saying that we work on understanding our life better, and supplying us with a mind that does what we want it to do.


The key to our success in life, in work, and in relationships is Effective communication. Misunderstandings, errors, frustration, and conflict on a daily basis can be reduced with Good communication skills .While it is an undisputable fact the communications forms one of the essential basis of human existence, yet most individuals overlook the need to refine their communication skills, from time-to-time. Effective communication skills is a must whether it is individual or then effective team communication skills.

The aphetic phase: This is the initial exploratory phase, which determines the course of the conversation. This begins with the greetings and accompanying gestures such as eye contact, the smile, etc. In a formal encounter there is more distance between the individuals, as compared to in the case of an informal encounter. This phase is also known as the warming up phase. There is a no meaning and intention, but just the setting for the next level of the conversation.

The personal phase: This is the second phase in which the individuals bring a more personal element into the conversation. During this phase one generally brings down their social guard and begin to interact more openly. They are ready to let the others involved in the conversation more about themselves and the hesitation decreases. Interpersonal interactions generally move into a third phase. Otherwise professional interactions are generally confined to this stage.

The intimate phase: This phase is mainly meant for conversations between friends, family and relatives, where those involved in the conversation share a higher level of intimacy with each other. This phase of communicating usually entails opening one’s heart and sharing rather intimate details, which is not a part of professional conversations.

Keeping in mind these phases, one becomes more aware of how their conversations should progress and where they need to conclude a conversation, or extend it for that matter. Effective skills in communication calls for awareness and attentive listening.

Communication takes place when one person transfers some understandable data to another person. The real meaning of communication is getting the receiver and the sender tuned together for a particular message. It also includes the exchange of thoughts, opinions, sentiments, facts, and information between two or more persons. Feedback is very important as it assures that your message should be properly conveyed to the receiver.

The salient& essential features of an effective communication system are keys for productive communication. The main principles or characteristics of an effective communication system are following:-

1. Reliability and uniformity of the message.
2. Correct timing.
3. To know the main purpose of the message.
4. Clearness and integrity of message to be conveyed.
5. Use of proper medium to convey the message properly.
6. Use of informal communication.
7. Adequate briefing of the recipient.
8. Accurate plan of objectives.
9. Proper response or feedback

The following are some important guidelines to make communication effective

1. Be careful while communicating, of the overtone as well as basic content of your message.
2. Prepare yourself for transmitting the message in a proper way.
3. You must discuss with others, where appropriate, in planning communication.
4. Seek not only to be understood but understand.
5. Try to simplify your thoughts before communicating your message.
6. Take the opportunity to suggest something of help or value of the receiver.
7. You must analyze the intent of each and every message.
8. Consider the overall physical setting whenever you communicate.
9. Follow-up your communication.
10. Be sure your actions support your communication


We use and choose one of four basic communication styles, every time we speak: Assertive, Aggressive, Passive and Passive-aggressive.

Assertive Communication

Assertive style is the most effective and healthiest form of communication. It’s how we naturally express ourselves when our self-esteem is intact, giving us the confidence to communicate without games and manipulation.

We work hard to create mutually satisfying solutions when being assertive. We communicate our needs clearly and forthrightly. We care about the relationship and strive for a win/win situation. We know our limits and refuse to be pushed beyond them just because someone else wants or needs something from us. Surprisingly, assertive is the style most people use least.

Aggressive Communication

Aggressive communication always involves manipulation. We may attempt to make people do what we want by inducing guilt (hurt) or by using intimidation and control tactics (anger). Covert or overt, we simply want our needs met - and right now! Although there are a few arenas where aggressive behavior is called for (i.e., sports or war), it will never work in a relationship. Ironically, the more aggressive sports rely heavily on team members and rational coaching strategies. Even war might be avoided if we could learn to be more assertive and negotiate to solve our problems.

Passive Communication

Passive communication is based on compliance and hopes to avoid confrontation at all costs. In this mode we don’t talk much, question even less, and actually do very little. We just don’t want to rock the boat. Passives have learned that it is safer not to react and better to disappear than to stand up and be noticed.

Passive-Aggressive Communication

A combination of styles, passive-aggressive avoids direct confrontation (passive), but attempts to get even through manipulation (aggressive). If you’ve ever thought about making that certain someone who needs to be “taught a thing or two” suffer (even just a teeny bit), you’ve stepped pretty close to (if not on into) the devious and sneaky world of the passive-aggressive. This style of communication often leads to office politics and rumor mongering.

Communication Methods to Avoid

In the workplace sarcasm should be avoided at all costs. Imagine the case of someone who has just had an awful experience in a meeting and has handled it very badly, and a colleague says ‘You handles that meeting really well!’ Sarcasms fine among a bunch of friends indulging in a bit of friendly ‘mickey-taking’ in the pub, but in the workplace it is a very negative form of communication. Another thing to avoid is talking down to people. It makes them feel insignificant and unworthy, and will lower and perhaps destroy their confidence. Steer clear of phrases such as :

  • I’m not going to give you that job, because you haven’t done it before.’
  • 'I don’t think you should be doing that, because you’re not qualified.’
  •  ‘I don’t think you’re experienced enough.

Don’t make people feel inadequate. Build them up, and they will rise to your level of expectation. Here are some useful phrases that can be used to help build confidence

  • ‘I’d like you to carry this out, because then I know it will be handled properly.
  • ‘I’m going to ask you to do this because I know I can trust you.’
  • ‘You’re the best person to handle this.’

Clearly, for many reasons, the only healthy communication style is assertive communication. Surely you can identify many people in your own life that favor each of the four styles. Most of us use a combination of these four styles, depending on the person or situation. The styles we choose generally depend on what our past experiences have taught us will work best to get our needs met in each specific situation. If you take a really good look at yourself, you’ve probably used each throughout your lifetime.

Understanding the four basic types of communication will help you learn how to react most effectively when confronted with a difficult person. It will also help you recognize when you are using manipulative behavior to get your own needs met. Remember, you always have a choice as to which communication style you use. If you’re serious about taking control of your life, practice being more assertive. It will help you diffuse anger, reduce guilt and build relationships - both personally and professionally.

Principles of Effective Listening

Principle Good Listener Bad Listener
1. Look for areas of interest Seeks personal enlightenment and/or
information entertains new topics as
potentially interesting.
Turns out dry subjects narrowly defines what is
2. Overlook errors delivery Attends to meaning and content ignores
delivery errors while being sensitive to any
message in them
Ignores if delivery is poor misses messages
because of personal attributes of the
3. Postpone Judgment Avoids quick judgments waits until
comprehension of the core message is
Quickly evaluates and passes judgment,
inflexible regarding contrary messages.
4. Listen for ideas Listens for ideas and theme. Identifies the
main points
Listens for facts and details.
5. take notes Takes careful notes and uses a variety of
note taking or recording schemes
depending on the speaker
Takes incomplete note using one system.
6. Be actively responsive Responds frequently with nods “unhuhs” etc.
shows active body state works at listening.
Passive demeanor few or no responses little
energy output.
7. Resist distractions Resists being distracted longer concentrating
span places loaded words in perspective
Easily distracted, focuses on loaded or emotional
words, short concentration span.
8. Challenge your mind Uses difficult material to stimulate the mind
seeks to enlarge understanding.
Avoids difficult material does not seek to
breaded knowledge base.
9. Capitalize on mind speed Uses listening time to summaries and
anticipate the message attends to implicit
messages as well as explicit messages.
Daydreams with slow speakers becomes
preoccupied with other thoughts.
Assist and encourage
the speaker
Asks for clarifying information or examples,
uses reflecting phrases helps to rephrase
the idea.
Interrupts asks trivial questions makes
distracting comments.

Some Do’s & Don’s for Effective Listening

Keith Davis has given some guidelines for effective listening:

1. Show a talker that you want to listen.
Act interested.
Do not read your mail while someone talks.
Look interested.
Establish eye contact and give nonverbal responses.
Listen to understand rather than to oppose.

2. Be patient
Allow plenty of time.
Do not interrupt a talker.
Don’t start for the door or walk away.

3. Stop talking!
You cannot listen if you are talking.
You cannot be an effective listener while you are talking.
Nature has given person two ears but only one tongue, which is a gentle hint that they should listen more than talk.
Listening requires two ears, one for meaning and one for feeling.
Decision makers who do not listen have less information for making sound decisions.
Polonius (Hamlet) “Give every man thin ear, but few thy voice.”

4. Empathize with a talker.
Try to see the other person’s point of view.
“Connect” with the person by sharing a similar experience.

5. Put the talker at ease.
Help a person feel free to talk by making him or her comfortable.
Create a permissive atmosphere by establishing rapport.

6. Hold your temper.
Pause before you speak or respond.
An angry person takes the wrong meaning from words.

7. Ask relevant questions.
Asking questions encourages a talker and shows that you are listening.
It helps develop points further.

8. Go easy on argument and criticism.
These approaches put a talker on the defensive side and she or he may “calm up” or become angry.
Do not argue, even if you win, you lose.

9. Remove distractions.
Don’t doole, tap, or shuffle papers.

Training for Developing Effective Listening Skills

1. Develop an empathetic feeling that is by putting oneself into the speaker’s shoes (in his frame of mind). Mentally be prepared and receptive. You can also have note in short for remembering, i.e., as an aid to memory.

2. Show attentiveness or alertness by facial expressions, gestures or body language as eye contact, raised eyebrow, nodding of head, pleasant expression, and other positive gestures.

3. Pay attention or concentrate on “what a speaker is saying”.

4. Avoid getting distracted by looking here and there, at the door or window, by playing with pen or pencil, etc.

5. Remove everything from your mind; be receptive to speaker’s message only at that moment.

6. Try to read between-the-lines, the hidden message through words, gestures and expressions.

7. have positive approach and attitude towards the speakers.

8. For understanding, ask questions and clarify doubts. Concentrate on speaker’s message (idea and words).

9. Avoid arguments and remember what speaker has said.

10. Be patient and calm.