Learn Interpersonal Skills for Work/Business and Influence People – Psychology

Ask Study Coach takes a look at soft skills for finding a job or application in business. If you are trying to find employment or to attract more customers to your business, or to attract a certain someone, then you should appreciate the importance of acquiring good IPS (Interpersonal Skills). Broadly speaking IPS is categorised as Verbal and Non-Verbal Skills. Non–Verbal is otherwise known as Body Language; having a good awareness of your Body Language can greatly help you to influence people. As a private training provider Study Coach aims to help people to develop key Interpersonal Skills, in order to build confidence for interviews, build stronger relationships with clients/customers and become more socially influential. Effective use of IPS could help you get hired and win more friends. Learning Interpersonal Skills is a very private matter, as the name infers it is ‘personal’, learners should always be prepared to be open to constructive criticism when reflecting on personal skills. Study Coach is willing to be your critical friend, supporting you to correct issues with Verbal Skills, should you need guidance. Join us to understand and interpret the messages people are sending through the use of their Body Language. Reflect and correct the negative messages you are unintentionally sending to people, and learn how IPS can help you socially to attract that special someone.


Consider the following questions:
• What attitudes am I expressing in my verbal behaviour?
• What attitudes am I expressing in my non-verbal behaviour?
• Does my non-verbal behaviour reflect my internal attitudes?


Verbal forms of communication would include all those means which have speech and language as their foundations. Verbal communication is an interactive process, requiring two basic skills.

1) Transmitting information
2) Obtaining feedback

Spoken words are one of the most powerful tools we have for transmitting and receiving information, whether we are simply having an informal chat with a friend, or explaining our work experience to an interviewer. Spoken words are therefore of vital importance in our public and private lives, and if we lack confidence as a speaker, the whole experience can leave us feeling extremely stressed. More importantly, if we have difficulties with verbal communication, we are likely to perform badly at interviews and fail to get the job.

People (theorists) who write about Interpersonal Communication, such as Argyle, Duck, Egan and others, suggest to us that in any verbal communication there is a sender and a receiver or receivers. In simple terms the speaker is the sender and the listener is the receiver. It therefore means that in order for people to have effective communication there cannot be more than one speaker at any one time. Now, I know that this might be difficult, particularly if it is a cultural norm for your friends and family to all talk at the same time. It might be part of the fun of chatting, part of the banter; the problem is that a one way verbal communication will be judged negatively by others. If we are not aware of the measuring yardstick that society uses to judge us, then we are further disadvantaged. Study Coach is here to provide guidance to help you to assess your verbal skills, to help you reflect on your skills and to help you make improvements. The Interpersonal Skills learnt will be applicable for your work, business, and personal relationships.

Non-Verbal Communication (Body Language)

• Shrug of Shoulders
• Half-Smile
• Frown
• Kissing Teeth
We send messages through our non-verbal behaviour, and so it is important to understand the cues that the interviewer or client or potential lover may be sending, and we need to be acutely aware of the messages we are sending them. There are numerous non-verbal cues for discussion; Study Coach’s blogs will focus on a range of cues, hopefully the information will be applicable to you.
Non-verbal cues assist us when we are speaking, and we sometimes use them to replace speech (for example a shrug of the shoulders). We do however need to know when a shrug of the shoulders will be deemed to be an unacceptable behaviour.

Non-verbal behaviours regulate conversations; they communicate emotions, modify verbal messages, and provide important messages about the social relationships between people. Non-verbal communication otherwise referred to as Body Language provide clues that people don’t always verbalise what they are thinking. Our job is to learn that non-verbal behaviours can often mean a number of things, therefore in interpreting unspoken messages we need to look at the human context in which messages take place. We need to understand that should we give an unintentional half-smile or a frown during an interview, our receiver(s) may interpret the behaviour negatively. They might not understand the reason behind the half-smile or frown, and furthermore they might not ask for an explanation. If we are in the practise of kissing teeth – then we need to think again and change our behaviour. We need the job (not them) therefore it is for us to ensure that we understand IPS and that we effectively manage our communication.


Effective non-verbal communication is a vital skill for business people, and just like other skills it will become almost second nature to us once we have mastered it. In building relationships with customers, it is essential for business people to be able to maintain good eye-contact with business partners and customers.

Some business people may however be highly insecure or due to cultural norms, they avoid eye-contact with people. Eye contact is central to everyday interactions, so if we are doing business but feel uneasy about giving eye contact, we really need to reflect on this. If we are in the habit of looking cool, wearing sunglasses when doing business – think again (unless you are working in the entertainment business).

Customers are unlikely to comment if appropriate eye contact is not given; business partners are also unlikely to make a judgement, they may however choose to limit interactions with your business. In our society we make judgements all the time (rightly or wrongly) and if people do not feel comfortable interacting with us, it is sufficient reason for people to stop doing business with us. Learn Interpersonal Skills for business and for social interactions, the two are entwined. At Study Coach we pride ourselves on supporting adult learners’ to develop new skills, we are aware that for many people this might be the first time to learn about Interpersonal Skills and other soft skills. We are here to help empower you and to help you in your business and social life.
• Raised Eyebrows
• Sitting
• Gestures
As previously stated there are numbers of non-verbal cues, so do focus on what is applicable to you.

Gestures are specific actions, usually made with the hands and arms during communication. They are used to amplify and illustrate speech, and may have precise cultural specific meanings. Particularly from a business point of view we need to be aware that some gestures which are deemed to be acceptable in our culture may cause great offense to someone of a different culture. Furthermore, too many gestures could be interpreted as a sign of a deficit in verbal skills.

Morel: BSc (Hons) Psychology (see website for other academic credentials).

Thank you for all your help, you have built my confidence.

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