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A formula for interpersonal excellence

By 23rd March 2023December 11th, 2023Blog, Developing communication skills
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If you want your communication to properly connect, there is a formula for excellence. Getting three straight A’s will minimise misunderstandings and deliver interpersonal excellence.

Have you ever said something and been surprised that the person you are speaking with is confused or perhaps even offended?

It’s not just what we say but how we say it and our body language that provokes a response in others. And their reaction determines whether they reject or connect with what you say.

And rejection broadly equates to inaction – not a winning strategy.

What does having interpersonal excellence mean?

Interpersonal excellence is your ability to connect with others. Basically, it’s whether you are likeable and credible in the eyes of another.

Communication is the route to making that connection but it’s difficult because others make snap judgements about our words and behaviour, often based on communication preferences that are simply different to your own.

The best communicators can spot someone’s preferred style and agilely adapt their own to mirror it, whilst staying true to themselves. They do so because strong communicators are respectful of their audience and always keep them front of mind. They design their communications to work for those who receive them – not as they themselves would like them.

Interpersonal excellence is about forging strong connections with others. It means being mindful of different communication styles to ensure you have the impact you intend.

Interpersonal excellence is critical within business because we are all reliant on complex collaborations for our work to succeed. And, in a busy world where there’s always more work than time, if we want others to give us their attention, first we must connect with them.

The ability to build effective relationships with people is a tremendous skill. If only there were a simple way, a formula for success, to develop that skill, and secure interpersonal excellence. Well, there is… and you need to get Straight A’s in three topics.

The three ‘A’s you need to secure interpersonal excellence

Awareness, Astuteness, and Agility are the three capabilities professionals need to master interpersonal excellence.

The first ‘A’ – Awareness

The first ‘A’ you need is awareness, self-awareness. You need to start by understanding yourself.

  • What makes you tick, or ticks you off?
  • How do you like to communicate?
  • What is your Achilles heel?
  • Where are your blind spots?
  • When are you least and most successful?

Understanding yourself (your preferences and strengths, as well as those things that bore you or drive you crazy), is foundational to building interpersonal excellence.

Awareness then is a first and critical step. But the world is full of people who aren’t like you, so it’s time to explore that next ‘A’…

The second ‘A’ – Astuteness

The next ‘A’ to master is Astuteness. This is all about your ability to notice and read others.

  • What makes another person tick or ticks them off?
  • How do they like to communicate?
  • What is their Achilles heel?
  • Where are their blind spots?
  • When are they least and most successful?

Without noticing their preferences, neither party has their needs met. Consequently, your relationship suffers – hardly a recipe for interpersonal excellence.

Which brings us to that third ‘A’…

The third ‘A’ – Agility

‘Treat others as you wish to be treated.’ Really?

While it’s a familiar phrase, it’s also flawed. It would be true were everyone the same, but they’re not. ‘Others’ are not like you – and they want to be treated the way they want to be treated.

The third ‘A’ you need then, is the agility to move from your preferred ways of communicating and working… to meet the needs of the person you want to build a great relationship with.

Interpersonal skills training

These three mutually reinforcing ‘A’s provide a tried and tested formula to secure interpersonal excellence. That has a positive impact on leadership, engagement, teamwork, productivity and ultimately profit.

If you or your team could benefit from putting these three ‘A’s into action, then we’d love to chat to you about our proven programme, which often includes one-to-one confidential feedback and coaching.

And for the last word on the difference getting Straight A’s will deliver, here is a recent client who used this programme to help further develop his top team…

“There’s been a dramatic increase in self-awareness within the business, and I’ve seen my leadership team proactively leaning in and making visible changes to how they lead and communicate.” – Craig Armstrong, President, Scan-Pac  

If you would like more information you can download our workshop PDF. For an informal chat about this interpersonal skills training or any of our other short courses in our wide range of engagement skills development programmes please contact us.