Interpersonal Skills in the Workplace: Examples and Importance
- 0:06 Interpersonal Skills
- 1:03 Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication
- 2:20 Listening Skills and…
- 3:33 Problem-Solving and…
- 5:21 Assertiveness
- 6:14 Lesson Summary
The ability to communicate within an organization depends heavily upon people's interpersonal skills. These are the tools people use to interact and communicate with individuals in an organizational environment.
Violet Jones of Intestinal Distress Taco Restaurant has recently hired a brand new assistant manager named Fred Beans. Fred has turned out to be an absolute nightmare supervisor who has no social, communication or interpersonal skills.
Interpersonal skills are the tools people use to interact and communicate with individuals in an organizational environment. There are seven main areas of interpersonal communication that Fred fails at with his workers, and this has led to his immediate termination after working only one month. The seven areas are:
- Verbal communication
- Non-verbal communication
- Listening skills
Let's look at the case of Fred Beans to see what happens when employees do not have the interpersonal skills needed to perform at work.
Fred failed miserably in verbal communication with his entire staff. The definition of verbal communication is how and what words are used to communicate with individuals. It is the ability to communicate through words with the correct tone and manner.
Fred's initial week with Intestinal Distress Taco revealed that he was not capable of good verbal communication. He mumbled orders and then screamed when employees did anything wrong. Most employees grew to dread working with Fred because they could not understand his directions. He also was not a good non-verbal communicator as well.
Another type of interpersonal skill is non-verbal communication, which consists of facial expressions, body language and hand gestures. Fred only communicated with negative non-verbal communication, which consisted of frowns and angry stares.
All of the employees prefer Violet's professional demeanor as she speaks clearly and is animated with positive non-verbal communication. She always has a smile on her face and uses her hands to further explain complicated directions. Two-way communication is essential when developing a set of excellent interpersonal skills.
Fred also has very ineffective listening skills, which has led to a store crisis happening each week. Listening skills are the ability to hear attentively and process information correctly. Fred was not paying attention when one of the employees told him that they were low on taco meat. Later that week, the store ran out of meat and had to close down temporarily until a shipment was delivered.
Violet was furious at Fred's tendency to ignore important pieces of employee communication. She quickly put him on probation. Fred's behavior continued to decline during the month.
Negotiation is the next type of interpersonal skill that is important to effective business communication. This term means having the ability to discuss and reach an agreement in a professional manner.
Violet excels in negotiation as the employees and customers are always complaining or asking for favors. She is good at listening and discussing situations and then coming up with a fair solution.
On the other hand, Fred ignores any request for discussions and rules with an iron fist. This has caused his employees to view him as unfair and undiplomatic, especially when it comes to solving problems.
The fifth type of interpersonal skill is problem-solving. This is a very important skill for business people to have as constant problems are a common result within organizations.
The ability to find a solution to a problem after considerable thought is Violet's forte. She has solved numerous issues for the restaurant, including how to increase monthly sales.
On the other hand, when Fred is faced with a problem, he ends up in a panic. Last week, a customer complained about the quality of their taco meal. Fred took the complaint personally and ended up calling the customer picky. Violet had to intercede by offering the customer an apology and a few free meal coupons to use for the future. Analyzing options is another interpersonal skill that Fred has yet to master.
A manager has to be able to analyze situations and develop a professional solution within an organizational environment. Decision-making is a key element of interpersonal skills.
Fred is rash and does not take rational steps to complete a thorough analysis of any work situations. He recently fired an employee he thought was stealing his private candy supply on his desk. He assumed it was the teenage employee because Fred thought that the young kid had a 'thief-look' to him.
Later, Violet pointed out that a veteran employee was caught taking numerous breaks and made excuses to go by Fred's office. It turns out that Fred had fired the wrong employee. The restaurant is now facing legal action from the wrongfully terminated teenager.
The last interpersonal skill that Fred lacks is the ability to be assertive in situations.
The last interpersonal skill that is invaluable in a work environment is the ability for individuals to be assertive. This means that employees are self-assured and confident in their actions.
Violet is very assertive and successful at work. The employees respect her and will listen to her words. She is confident from years of successful restaurant management and customer relations training.
Fred is not assertive at work, and his yelling does not make him more successful. Employees do not trust his decisions as he is always changing his mind mid-project. He altered the price of the tacos four times in one day.
After more than enough time to improve his situation, Violet received instructions to terminate Fred as his lack of interpersonal skills was a big detriment to the organization.
The ability to communicate within an organization depends heavily upon people's interpersonal skills. Interpersonal skills are the tools people use to interact and communicate with individuals in an organizational environment. The seven types of interpersonal skills that are needed to succeed in an organizational environment are:
- Verbal communication
- Non-verbal communication
- Listening skills
If an employee does not have this skill set, they are in danger of making poor decisions, having poor communication skills and causing big problems at work, just like Fred did.
Chapters in Business 107: Organizational Behavior
- 1. The Evolution of Organizational Behavior (8 lessons)
- 2. Management and Organizational Behavior (4 lessons)
- 3. Foundations of Individual Behavior (5 lessons)
- 4. Personality and Behavior in Organizations (8 lessons)
- 5. Emotions and Moods in the Workplace (6 lessons)
- 6. Attitudes and Values in the Workplace (11 lessons)
- 7. Ethics in the Workplace (8 lessons)
- 8. Perception and Attribution (8 lessons)
- 9. Learning in the Workplace (5 lessons)
- 10. Employee Motivation (18 lessons)
- 11. Individual Decision Making in Organizations (6 lessons)
- 12. Workforce Diversity (5 lessons)
- 13. Organizational Communication in Business (9 lessons)
- 14. Groups and Work Teams (12 lessons)
- 15. Group Decision Making (8 lessons)
- 16. Conflict in the Workplace (8 lessons)
- 17. Leadership in Organizational Behavior (12 lessons)
- 18. Leadership Theory in Organizational Behavior (6 lessons)
- 19. Leadership Styles in Organizational Behavior (11 lessons)
- 20. Organizational Structure and Design (18 lessons)
- 21. Job Design (10 lessons)
- 22. Organizational Culture (10 lessons)
- 23. Organizational Change and Organizational Behavior (16 lessons)
- 24. Managing Workplace Stress (4 lessons)
- 25. Career Management (4 lessons)
- 26. Global Implications of Organizational Behavior (12 lessons)
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