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Employment Success Is Related to Developing Interpersonal Skills

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Communication in the workplace is vital to all lines of business

The need for communication lies in the differences in people’s opinions, people hold different ideas and beliefs which leads to the necessity to communicate those in order to reach a final desired and agreed upon outcome. People in the workplace need to be alert to their surroundings and most importantly their colleague. The topic of communication covers a wide variety of sub topics, in this section I will cover a few which fall closer to personal skills and building a relationship or rapport.

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“Great Man” Theories which presumes that the capability for leadership is innate (great leaders are born, not made). Great leaders are often represented as valiant and mythic, ordained to ascend to leadership when needed through these assumptions. Trait Theories presume that people receive certain traits and qualities making them better suited to leadership and thus often categorize certain behavioral or personality characteristics shared by leaders. Contingency Theories that might verify which particular approach of leadership is best suitable for the situation focuses on particular variables related to the environment and therefore look upon the fact that the leadership style is not same in all situations. Situational Theories recommends that based upon situational variables leaders opt the best course of action that is the most appropriate and effective styles of leadership for decision-making of certain categories. Based upon the idea that great leaders are made, not born, the Behavioral Theories of leadership, which is entrenched in behaviorism, does not focus on the internal states or mental qualities but on the actions of leaders and as such people can be taught through coaching and observation to develop into leaders. Participative Theories suggest that the best leadership style is one that takes the participation of others into account. Participation and contributions from group members are encouraged by these leaders with the aim of helping group members feel more important and committed to the decision-making process. Also known as transactional theories, the Management Theories focus on the function of organization, control and group performance and is based on a system of rewards and punishments

According to Burns (1978), transactional leadership originates from more traditional views of workers and organizations, emphasizing the leader’s position of power to use followers for task completion. Relationship Theories also called transformational theories focus upon the associations created among leaders and followers. Transformational leaders inspire and encourage people by helping group members see the significance and superiority of the task. Focused on the performance of group members these leaders in addition wish for each individual to accomplish his or her potential.

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The global business environment has become increasingly competitive. Companies are doing their best to gain the necessary presence in the market. According to Anderson (2010, p. 58), competition in the business world is designed to attract consumers to a particular brand. Jordan and Troth (2004, p. 196) point out that companies can use a number of techniques to expand their client base. One of these strategies is consistent and reliable customer service. Effective customer relations call for the application of several sets of skills on the part of the employees. One of these sets is made up of interpersonal skills. The capabilities are essential in improving customer relation and, by extension, the efficiency of an organisation. The reason is that the consumer is a major determinant of the success of any business organisation. Interpersonal skills cannot be taught within a classroom setting. Black and Lois (2008, p. 18) defines them as the character traits of an individual

The attributes are based on the ability of the person to interact with others around them. Productivity of an organisation’s workforce is enhanced when the employees have good interpersonal skills. The reason is that they are able to work as a team towards the achievement of the firm’s goals. Good interpersonal skills help the individual to adopt a positive attitude and outlook in their day-to-day activities. The attitude reflects in their output in the workplace. Black and Lois (2008, p. 18) support the opinion that interpersonal skills cannot be taught in a classroom. However, Anderson (2010, p. 58) argues that these capabilities can be acquired in life depending on an individual’s personal characteristics.

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In fact, interpersonal skills are traits you rely on when you interact and communicate with others. They cover a variety of scenarios where communication and cooperation are essential. These skills involve the ability to communicate and build relationships with others. Often called people skills, they tend to incorporate both your innate personality traits and how you’ve learned to handle certain social situations

Effective interpersonal skills can help you during the job interview process and can have a positive impact on your career advancement.

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Anderson, B 2010, ‘Project leadership and the art of managing relationship’, T+D, vol. 64 no. 3, p. 58.

Black, E & Lois, J 2008, ‘Dealing with personality conflicts at work’, OfficePro, vol. 68 no. 6, p. 18.

Guillen, L & Florent- Treacy, J 2011, ‘Emotional intelligence and leadership effectiveness: the mediating influence of collaborative behaviours’, INSEAD Working Papers Collection, vol. 23, pp. 1-28.

Janasz, S, Dowd, K & Schneider, B 2014, Interpersonal skills in organisations, McGraw-Hill Irwin, London.

Jehn, K 1995, ‘A multimethod examination of the benefits and detriments of intragroup conflict’, Administrative Science Quarterly, vol. 40, 256-282.

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