Subway in New York.
“Good Morning….. Good morning to all of you. Have a wonderful day…” This was the cheerful announcement I heard in a subway train in New York travelling from Queens to Times Square. The enthusiastic greetings were interspersed with interesting happy anecdotes. The compartment which I was travelling was disfigured with some writings which made no sense to me. But the announcements were so pleasing to hear that I was filled with energy to encounter great things in Manhattan (New York).
Linatte Airport, Milan
Then again I remembered when I got down first time at Linatte Airport in Milan, Italy. The announcements were music to my ears. That was my first visit to Italy and I didn’t know one word of Italian language. But the tone, the clarity and the cordiality with which announcements were being made filled me with joy. I thought it was a wonderful country.
I know that comparisons are odious and should be avoided. But if these leave us with lessons to learn, I consider comparisons serve a good cause and should not be despised. So I draw a comparison with my most recent experience.
Last week I went for to Delhi for a day. As per my habit I reached the airport well in advance and was waiting for the flight announcement after my security check. There was no announcement but there was a call on my mobile. Suddenly the caller almost shouted “Where are you Mr. Kakri. You are the last passenger to board the flight.” Hurriedly I went to the gate and boarded the bus trying to avoid the sarcastic looks prowling my entire body.
SpiceJet- Delhi Airport
I did my work and next day & returned by SpiceJet flight. The departure time of the flight was 4 pm. As usual I was early. I seated myself after searching a lone empty chair and started browsing the book my nephew had given me. At the counter I was informed the boarding will start at 3:30 pm. Around that time there was some feeble announcement about Spice Jet Flight. As I could not decode the words spoken an in an inarticulate fashion, I looked for the announcement board. The flight was delayed by half an hour. So I thought the boarding will take place at 4 pm instead of 3:30 pm. After some time a worried looking elderly person told me that the flight was further delayed. However there was no announcement. We were all waiting on the 1st floor while the boarding takes place on the ground floor. So slowly I went down and reached gate no 12 where I was supposed to board the flight. There was a huge queue and I also took my place in the queue. But it did not move for more than half an hour. Some of the passengers lost their temper. There were hot arguments with the airline staff. It was an uncivil ugly sight. This could have been easily avoided with proper articulate and cordial announcements.
Our political leaders often go to foreign countries for study tours. I hope one day they will come back realizing the importance of polite and clear announcements to guide our concerned people.
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Good interpersonal skills form a basic requirement for an individual, today. If you are deficient in interpersonal skills, you meet road blocks everywhere. Life was never so interactive, never so social. We all depend on each other more than ever in the past. So it’s necessary not only to understand but consciously move forward to develop commendable interpersonal skills.
- Simply said, the skills relate to your getting along with people around you. Since we are all individuals, so we think differently. This we must keep in mind all the time. We may present our point of view but if we try to impose on others we will never be excused. Such actions kill the possibility of developing good interpersonal skills.
- In order that we respect others, we must listen to them carefully and understand their perspective. It is only by understanding others that we will know how to deal with them. Even when we are talking with juniors, we cannot take them for granted. Everyone is conscious of their rights of holding on to their opinions. So, in case we want to convince them we may do so respecting their opinions and presenting politely our view point. If you are able to establish the mutual benefit, everyone will appreciate your moves. You will in the process improve your interpersonal skills.
- We all have some hidden assumptions. These assumptions do determine our behavior. For example, if our views about a particular person are negative, we will assume that he/she will never help us. Here the negative assumption will act as a road block. Even if we had an unhappy experience, we should approach people with an open mind. Always assume positive intent and surely it will be helpful.
- It is normal that the conflicts are likely to occur among people who work together. The best way to build harmonious relationship is to understand each of them, respect their personal views and beliefs and resolve any conflict, sooner than later. Unresolved conflicts become hurdles in developing and sustain good relations. One must remember that a team can be victorious only if they work in harmony.
- Language and speech play a very important role in the development of your interpersonal skills. In case of inadequacy of language you may end up communicating a message that may be considered as offensive even when you don’t intend any offence. Your body language is also of great consequence. Maintaining a positive body language and cordiality in tone are extremely helpful. Time spent on mastery of the language will never go unrewarded.
To conclude, I would like to say that developing interpersonal skills consciously cannot be ignored by any management professional. In fact, organizations are hiring experts to train their employees develop this very special art. Better interpersonal skills are conducive to improving efficiency of the organization and also its bottom line. Customer relations solely depend on your proficient interpersonal skills.
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In a way our life depends on our interpersonal skills. If we are good at it, people help us. At home to we have peaceful life. However, if we are lacking in this highly desirable skill we are the losers both at home and at our work place.
The first of the five ‘Best Practices’ may be termed as – At Never React. What does it mean? it means never react to a person nor to any situation, However gloomy or happy. It also mean that even if a person has said something which he/she should not have said; you just do not react and try to give back to him. But it does not mean that you keep quite and except these doing nothing. In fact you should use your mind and carry out those actions which your mind will certainly guide you. But it will guide you only if you remain cool. When you act, you use your mind. But if you react you loose your mind.
‘Best Practice’ No Two- Listen twice as much as you talk. We have two ears to listen but only one voice box which enable us to speak. Therefore, we should always listen more and speak less. Besides, people feel happy if you make them speak. But you must listen. This is observed by the speakers from your body language which you can not fake.
‘Best Practice’ No Three- Never try to appease. You must realize that it is not possible to please to every one at all the time. You should play your role at home, at your work place or even in society just as your mind guides you. Listen to your heart and you will never try to appease any one. When you go out of your way to please you are not a gainer. In fact you are a looser in the long run.
‘Best Practice’ No Four- Don’t ever be judgmental. Each person is an individual an has his/her space. Passing judgement comprises intrusion on personal spaces which is best avoided. Further more you should not gave any unsolicited advice. You may offer your opinion during discussion with out any effort to impose.
‘Best Practice’ No Five- Maintain cordiality in the ‘tone’ of your voice. Often times, how you say something assumes greater importance then what you say. Normally, we do not use offensive language, but the tone of our voice sometimes offends the listeners. Tone in the voice represents your emotions. These must always be controls per requirement of the situation.
Following above practices will ensure that you are able to maintain good relations with everyone.