Develop Interpersonal Communication Skills

On-the-job actions for improving customer interactions while developing interpersonal communication skills.

Aligned with the Sales Skills Assessment.

Interpersonal Communication Skills Development
  • Listening skills.
  • Questioning skills.
  • Cold reading skills.

 

Take these actions to improve listening skills:

  • Before every important conversation, make a short list of what you will be listening for.

    Make your list very specific and then memorise it. When you are in the conversation, recall your list. Your mind will automatically listen for thoughts, hints, and leads that will help you learn what you need to know.

  • Think about the intent, motivation, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes implied by the words spoken.

    Your mind can think two to three times as fast as people speak. Use the time to listen between the words.

  • Suspend your own agenda.

    It interferes with listening.

  • Review and reflect on what you heard, sensed, and understood.

    As soon as practical after your conversation is concluded, seek a few quiet minutes to explore and note your intuitions.

These articles offer further ideas:

 

Take these actions to improve questioning skills:

  • Before every important conversation, make a short list of what you need to find out.

    This can be the same list that you use to develop better listening skills. Make your list very specific and then memorise it. When you are in the conversation, recall your list. Your mind will automatically feed you questions that will invite the other person to think and talk about the things that you want to know about.

  • In preparation for important meetings, make a list of questions that will steer the conversation in the directions you want it to go.

    Aim to have your questions prompt new thought rather than simply seek known information. Prepare questions that benefit your listener rather than merely serve your agenda. Otherwise your motives will be communicated and your questions might be thought of as manipulative.

  • Prepare questions in groups that naturally follow each other.

    This way you will find it easier to seek more detailed information or prompt new thinking and conversation. Questions should fall into each other, like dominos.

  • Ask questions to lead and shape other people's thinking.

    At all costs, avoid telling people what they should think.

    Let listeners draw natural conclusions from your questions. Cause them to form and express the full thought or idea.

These articles offer further ideas:

 

Take these actions to improve cold reading skills:

  • Before every important meeting, make a short list of the things you would like to know about the person or people you will be meeting.

    Your list might include likes and dislikes, influence within their organisation, personal interests, thinking style, decision making, and personality characteristics. Use your list to define the insights you would like to gain and then memorise it. Your mind will automatically observe clues that will guide your intuition, both in your prior research and in the meeting or call.

  • Look up the person or people you will meet.

    Review their LinkedIn profile and any other social media you can find. Google their name. If it is a common name include their company name in the search term. Even very private people who are in senior positions find it hard to keep out of the news and publicity that their organisation generates. Summarise and memorise what you learn.

  • As soon as practical after each meeting or conversation, seek a few quiet minutes to review and reflect on what you learned.

    Summarise your observations and thoughts in writing. Writing things down forces clarification in one's mind in a way that sharpens insight and aids recollection.

These articles offer further ideas:

 

Get the entire collection of over 100 hyperlinked on-the-job sales skills development actions together with our sales skills assessment in a neat indexed PDF document.

If you need to improve interpersonal communication skills or start a performance improvement programme, we can help. Telephone +44 (0)1392 851500. We will be pleased to discuss your needs or talk through some options. Alternatively send email to custserv@salessense.co.uk for a prompt reply or use the contact form here.