Let us start from the beginning. What are interpersonal skills? Well, you come across many people every day in your life. Some you talk to, and some you don’t. Sometimes you just wave at someone, or even a slight nod does the job at times. How you communicate and interact with people falls under interpersonal skills. They include social, soft, life, and people skills, and I could go on and on.
We all live in a society, so everyday interactions are part and parcel. We interact with people at home, work, the street, and at parties, which is our whole life. Around people, each one of us is careful about how we react, what words come out of our mouths, what we communicate without saying a word via actions and how we react to any given situation.
How we interact with people who are around us every day and how we communicate with someone we are meeting for the first time have a difference between night and day. You might be at a job interview you’ve been training for your whole life or on your first date, or it’s the first day of your class, and you are trying to make friends. Our first impressions are a big deal in situations like these. So, how do we make a great first impression for securing a job or a second date?
Here are a few situations where good interpersonal skills might greatly help.
First Impressions at Work
First of all, be the confident person that you are. I know, it is easier said than done. We have all been there where you enter the workplace for the first time and feel like you are a character that entered the show in season 5. Let me tell you something. They are usually the ones who end up being everyone’s favorite.
A person must always be dressed for the occasion. The look is the first and foremost thing anyone notices about you. You must dress for the job you want. Be present in formals and maintain a polite smile and eye contact with everyone around you.
Ask away all your queries and difficulties politely and softly. You are there to learn and are probably in your training period. You are not expected to be perfect but honest, to yourself and to your work.
Your facial expressions are one of the most important interpersonal skills. Be attentive and follow the orders you are given. Have a good night’s sleep, so you do not appear all tired and yawning. Do not look bored or disinterested when you are told to do your job. God knows sometimes we all are, but let’s not show that on our faces right away.
First Impressions at Teaching Institutions
Introduce yourself with confidence. You are all there in that room to learn the same thing. No one in there is inferior or superior to you. Let it be an icebreaker between you and your classmates. Keep in mind your body language by doing so. Relax your tense muscles.
Rules are not made to be broken; they are made to be followed. Stick to the rules and regulations given. Be on your absolute best behavior. This shows your respect towards the institution and your willingness to learn.
If you are one of those people who want their teachers to love them, ask questions and do not be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help if needed. This gives the impression that you attentively listen to everything in class and want to learn as much as possible from it.
Help your classmates when required. Talk to them if they are nervous about the first day of school or have issues with public speaking and cannot gather up the courage to say anything.
First Impressions on Strangers
The first and foremost thing that will be noticed is your punctuality. Be there on time if not before. There is a huge probability that the new people you are meeting might not be interested in the ‘urgent thing’ that held you up and you couldn’t reach on time.
Do not look stone cold. Make small talk, and have general conversations about how things are going. Maintain your body language as friendly as you can, where both parties are comfortable and no one crosses a line. It all depends on how you present yourself and how you come across people. Hold your own dignity.
Know the context in which you are present. You cannot show up in a three-piece suit to a party. Dress, talk and present yourself accordingly. For example, if you are to go to a training internship interview, you are expected to show up in formals and talk about your education, previous experiences and expectations there but if you show up to a date, you might be expected to wear casuals and talk about a little bit of everything happening in your life.
First Impressions on Dates and Dinners
I think by now, we all have memorized the fact that showing up before or on time for any particular event is one of the most important things. This tells a lot about you and your habits, and how interested you are in taking things forward. If you are to land a second date with this person, you better show up for the first one at the decided time.
Small talk is an icebreaker, agreed, but you need to move beyond small talk into the lesser serious stuff to let them know that you are taking this seriously. But it is also important to keep in mind the fact that you are not, in any way, interviewing the person opposite you.
Remember your table manners. Your body language is an important part of developing interpersonal skills. For example, remember to put a napkin on your lap before you start, do not talk while either of you is eating (chewing), do not put your elbows on the table, do not place your belongings on the table etc.
There might be many more incidents in your life where you need to make an impression. So many things are mentioned above, and it is not the end of the world if you mess anything up. It might be fine eventually, but the quote ‘First impression is the last impression’ has been imprinted on our minds in a way that leaves no room for mistakes. You will learn slowly and gradually through experience, but what if you could learn all this in a single place? Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?
The Bottom Line
Orator Academy gives you an opportunity to improve yourself with all the interpersonal skills that you might require. If you have struggled with interacting with people and need to learn the skills mentioned, this is the perfect place and perfect people to guide you through it. They have one on one as well as group sessions, at your convenience. Their aim is to make you ‘communicate with confidence’. Give a try to these training sessions and say hello to the confident speaker and presenter in you.