List the top Skills of successful people you
know or have heard of…
How are humans like porcupines ???
They huddle together for warmth
Then, their sharp quills prick each other…
So they pull away…
But, then, they get cold…
They keep adjusting their closeness and distance
to keep from freezing and getting pricked by
their fellow porcupines….
Their closeness is the source of both their
Humans…connection vs. autonomy
We need to get close to each other to have a
sense of belonging to a community – to feel
we are not alone in this world or work place
But, we need to keep our distances from
each other to preserve our independence, so
others don’t impose or engulf us
This duality reflects the human condition –
we are individual & social creatures…
We need other people to survive – but, we
also want to survive as individuals…
How do you identify
yourself ?
Take a few minutes to list
as many ways as you can
to identify who you are…
Try to include all the
characteristics that
describe you…in your
Please SHARE your self-concept…
Your moods or feelings
Your appearance
Physical condition
Social traits
Talents you possess or
Your strong beliefs
Your social roles
People and Perception…
Some people are naturally quiet and others,
 At work, we see human relations problems
of leadership, supervision, attitudes towards
employees and communication
 ‘Perception’ is one parameter that changes
everything one sees or perceives as true. It is
the person’s perception that makes things
‘bad’ or ‘good’
 People view the world in radically different
ways – presenting major challenges for
successful communicating
Functions of relationships…
People meet their three basic needs
through friendships, work and
 How you relate to people you work with
– has a bigger impact on your career
than how you do your job !!!
People with strong IP Skills tend to be
more successful and influence
important decisions and experience
lesser conflicts
Interpersonal Communication…
IP involves building and sustaining
relationships with seniors, supervisors, peers,
subordinates, workers, clients and customers to
promote a healthy work environment. It
encompasses both professional & personal
communication and helps in:
Promoting effective coordination between
people and groups
Facilitating team work & collaboration
Motivating individuals to put in more work
Creating a supportive working climate
built on trust and loyalty
Interpersonal Communication…
Unhealthy IP relationships are characterised
by conflict, manipulation, negativity, distrust
and discord. Some repercussions of which
may be:
Low morale and lack of motivation
Unwillingness to put in more effort
Decreased loyalty & increased
High turnover of staff & poor
Groupthink &
Silo mentality
Let us attribute some reasons for maintaining good IP
relationships between:
• Employees & Supervisors
– Employee with Supervisor
– Supervisor with Employee
• Peers in the same department
• Employees & Customers
Relationships between employees & supervisors
There is a ‘perceived dependence’ on the development of the IP
relationships. It can have any one of the following characteristics:
RESPECT: Rupesh is a good follower. He genuinely believes that
he should form a personal relationship with his supervisor. This is
reciprocated by his supervisor as well.
FEAR: Rupesh fears that if he does not do a certain task, he might
face repercussions from his supervisor in the future
AMBITION: Rupesh has a certain career strategy in mind. He
hopes to be in his supervisor’s good books.
Relationships between Supervisors & Employees…
On the other hand, the supervisor also strives to maintain a level of
interpersonal relationship with Rupesh. This can be attributed to:
MORALE: The supervisor may believe that reciprocating such
relationships improves the morale of employees and motivates
them to perform in a congenial environment
GRAPEVINE: The supervisor encourages the interpersonal
relationship as she feels that it will help her become familiar with
the grapevine in the organization
PERSONAL AGENDA: The supervisor may also aim to utilize the
services of Rupesh for personal work
Relationships between peers who work in the same
department and believe in maintaining a good
interpersonal relationship with each other
This belief can be attributed to any or all of the following:
RESPECT: They genuinely believe that it is important to be
pleasant. They respect each other for their contribution and
RECIPROCAL EXCHANGE: They have a specific strategic intent.
They are pleasant because it serves their purpose to be so. They
may hope for reciprocal behavior in the future.
FAÇADE: Peers hope that by being nice to each other, a façade of
group cohesiveness is maintained to the external world.
In a sales relationship an employee (Vicky) depends on his customer;
values him and truly believes that the customer is king. Vicky likes
to keep the customer happy. This can be attributed to the following:
VALUE: Vicky values the client. He has been loyal to the
company; for which Vicky feels he must maintain the relationship
by rewarding the customer from time to time with new company
schemes, special discounts, offers, freebies, and so on
 GAIN: Vicky hopes to accrue future gain from the customer by
way of referrals, continued business and goodwill. On the other
hand, the customer may like to maintain a personal relationship
with Vicky to keep abreast of trends, new schemes, and the like.
External relationships between employees &
Perception, the self and communication…
Our self-concept has a powerful effect on our own
communication behaviour
The messages we send can shape others’ self-concepts
and thus influence communication
The image we present to the world differs from one
situation to the other
We all have our own story of the world around us and
the story is quite different from those of others
Social scientists call the personal stories that we and
others create to make sense of our personal world as
‘Perception checking’ can help bridge the gap between
different narratives….
Concerned with ‘verbal exchanges’ between people. ‘Johari Window’
developed by psychologists, Joe Luft & Harry Ingham in the 1950s’.
It is a simple and useful tool for self-awareness training,
personality development, interpersonal communication, team
development, group dynamics and inter-group relationships.
It is also known as the disclosure/feedback model of self-awareness.
It represents a person/team’s attitudes, beliefs, skills and
experiences in relation to others from essentially four perspectives
called windows or quadrants. Each of which represents
information in terms of it is known or unknown by the individual
or team in question and whether it is known or unknown by others
Interpersonal Semantics:
People have the innate ability to adopt four approaches to
interpersonal relationships with respect to themselves:
Ability to disclose a lot of information about themselves
Ability to not disclose any information about themselves
Ability to receive feedback in a constructive way
Ability to resist any feedback about themselves
Rationale behind Johari Window:
This is always in relation to others – (that is how others perceive the
individual in question)
What do others know about that individual?
What is unknown by them?
What do others not know about the individual that the individual
should know?
What do they know about the individual that the individual should
The Johari Window addresses the following
questions :

The OPEN area or the Arena. Known by the person as well as
others about self. Includes physical, psychological, or
behavioural traits that everyone is well aware of.
Usually, this kind of information is known when the
individual discloses these facts, which may be passed on to
others or the individual behaves in a particular manner that
is visible to all
Mature individuals are careful to divulge only ‘useful’
information which help to build up an image or a perception
in the minds of the audience.
Thus, they choose to communicate in a selective manner that
is not detrimental to their self-interest.
The OPEN area or the Arena. Known by the person as well as
others about self. Includes physical, psychological, or
behavioural traits that everyone is well aware of….contd
Believing the maxim that ‘perception is reality’, these
individuals carve an image conforming or not conforming to
organizational demands
Examples of interpersonal semantics in this case are:
“I am very fastidious about report writing” (to a subordinate)
“I love bungee jumping” (to peers)
“I hate conflicts” (to team members)
The BLIND area. Unknown by the person himself, but known by
others. Includes physical, psychological, or behavioural traits
that everyone is unaware of….
This occurs when:
The individual is not receptive to feedback
and others start withdrawing from him/her
The individual ignores comments about
Others deliberately keep the individual in
the dark
Others fear the individual and hesitate to
be honest around him/her
The BLIND area. Unknown by the person himself, but known by
others. Includes physical, psychological, or behavioural traits
that everyone is unaware of….contd…
Examples are:
‘A’ thinks himself to be meticulous & systematic; but others think ‘A’ is
unnecessarily fastidious and slow
‘B’ thinks she is an able leader; but others consider her to be
authoritarian and arrogant
‘C’ thinks he is careful with budgeting, but others think he is a miser
of the worst order
Some examples of such interpersonal semantics:
“I do not want to listen to unnecessary gossip. Do I make myself clear
“I am the team lead and the team lead is always the most efficient of
all the team members. Don’t you know the boss is always right ?”
The FAÇADE…What is known to the person about himself, but
is unknown to others. The person keeps up a façade :
The façade is to deliberately mask an
undesirable trait or past action/event. This
happens when:
The individual feels that the trait is not
important for others to know in the current
The individual feels that it is a personal
failing and that he or she would be better off
if others did not learn about it
The person has a hidden agenda
The person has manipulative intent
Some incidents can be considered as examples
of a façade :
Anjali is a team leader, but she has a
tremendous fear of public speaking – no
wonder she always nominates one of the
other team members to present on her behalf
in the guise of developing leadership skills
among employees.
Example of interpersonal semantics:
“Ravi, why don’t you attend the meeting and
make the presentation ? I personally feel
that all of you are getting good leadership
training from my side.”
Some incidents can be considered as examples of a
façade :
Ajit goofed up on a major project in his previous
company. As a result, he was asked to leave the
organization. Now, into his sixth year in the
current job, the memories of the event still
rankles. He did not tell anybody about the
incident; it was hushed up nicely. But, Ajit know
that is confident demeanour is a façade that can
slip any moment.
Example of interpersonal semantics:
“This is a team project. All of you will be
responsible for its completion and success.”
The UNKNOWN area…what is unknown to oneself and to
others. Includes certain talents, exemplary behaviour in a
crisis, extraordinary skills that haven’t been tested and even
a negative tendency.
This happens when :
The person has poor self awareness
The person has low self-esteem and a passive
The person is not a risk-taker and therefore fails
to recognize hidden qualities
Others do not pay much attention to the
The UNKNOWN area…what is unknown to oneself and to
others. Includes certain talents, exemplary behaviour in a
crisis, extraordinary skills that haven’t been tested and even
a negative tendency…contd.
The following incidents can be taken as examples:
X was a reticent manager who rarely spoke up at meetings,
discussions and seminars. Consequently, he was a lone ranger
until the day he had to make an impromptu presentation to an
international client when the senior manager reported sick.
Everyone was amazed at the ease with which X handled the
questions fielded by the client, who was a tough customer. X
was articulate and forceful, something no one had anticipated
from him. Indeed, even X was taken aback at his own skill. If it
had not been for the crisis, he would never had spoken up at
such an important client presentation
The UNKNOWN area…what is unknown to oneself and to
others. Includes certain talents, exemplary behaviour in a
crisis, extraordinary skills that haven’t been tested and even
a negative tendency…contd.
The following incidents can be taken as examples:
Sheila, a management trainee, always preferred desk jobs as she
felt that field work was not suited to her personality. Meeting
clients, soliciting deals, and making presentations made her
However, during the induction module, she was posted to a field
job for two months. It was here that she got a surprise: clients
consistently praised her for her assertiveness, persuasion skills
and her excellent relationship management.
Self-disclosure in Interpersonal Skills…
Deliberately revealing information
about oneself that is significant &
would not be known by others
People volunteer personal information
for relationship maintenance and
enhancement – to strengthen the
Also, for self-clarification – to sort out
confusion to understand ourselves
Guidelines for Appropriate Self-disclosure
Is the other person important to you ?
Is the risk of disclosing reasonable ?
Are the amount and type of disclosure appropriate ?
Is the disclosure relevant to the situation at hand ?
Is the disclosure reciprocated ?
Will the effect be constructive ?
Is the self disclosure clear and understandable ?
Ways of getting along with others…
It is always easy to get along with
people we like…but we have to
communicate with people we
dislike, too
One essential quality of an effective
communicator is the ability to get
along with everyone…even more
important in the workplace
We have to work with others to get
things done and a healthy
relationship helps…
To maintain a healthy IP Relationship…
It is always good to check one’s
assumptions…after hearing a disturbing
Do not assume that people have ignored you…
Do not take a refusal of a request personally…
Try not to ‘typecast’ people
Learn from people…rather than cultivating a
competitive attitude
Trust your own judgement rather than that of
Barriers to Interpersonal Communication…
EGO: people are wary of
aggressive and passive
averseness to building any
‘personal’ relationship outside the
‘professional’ needs
STRESS: choose to remain aloof
and withdrawn from others
Barriers to Interpersonal Communication…
POSITION: feelings of
inferiority/superiority due to rank,
prestige, status and authority
DISTANCE: separation by geographical
and spatial distances are now being
overcome through e-mail and telephones
CULTURE: informal mixing between
people of different cultures is sometimes a
TECHNOLOGY: E-mails have been
common…f2f is inhibited and IPC
Interpersonal Communication Styles…
Command & Control: uses influence & power – not
receptive to feedback – most effective during crisis,
but when used indiscriminately, alienates people
Cooperative: encourages employee involvement,
participative decision making and collaboration.
Purpose is to share and cooperate rather than to
direct, command & control. Leader acts as a
supporter to people working with him or her
Systematic : rule-bound & schedule-specific. Useful
for project planning and implementation when
bound by strict schedules. Used with other styles.
Interpersonal Communication Styles…
Inspirational: leader assumes a dynamic style of
communication to motivate people to act. Using
words of inspiration to instill confidence in group
Passive : laid-back style. Leader content to let
employees have centre-stage. Shifts responsibility to
team for task. Suitable when team is capable and
knowledgeable but can backfire when members are
seeking authority & guidance from leader
Avoidance: sometimes, managers choose not to
communicate. They avoid any social contact or
interaction with the team and are unwilling to
contribute to decision-making. This will not work for
issues concerning the team, project or performance…
Interpersonal Communication Styles
Under Stress…
People tend to respond to stress in two
ways: to get away from the situation or
person; or to ‘fight it out’. Forms of
communication in conflict situations
High assertion-low cooperation: “I will
tell you who is the boss here, and I will
not listen to any arguments.”
Moderate assertion-moderate
cooperation: “If you say so, I will come
to work during the weekend, although
my parents will be visiting me during
that time.”
Interpersonal Communication
Styles Under Stress…
High assertion-high cooperation: “I do apologise that I
cannot come in this weekend to finish the work.
However, I promise that I will come early and work
late on Monday & Tuesday to complete the pending
Low assertion-low cooperation: “I would humbly like
to suggest with your permission that this task is
beyond my jurisdiction.”
Low assertion-high cooperation: “With all due respect,
I will be in office till midnight in order to complete this
assignment. I am here to serve the company.”
Bases for selecting a conflict communication mode
The importance of the relationship: When we value a
relationship more, we tend to avoid, accommodate or
compromise on a matter.
The importance of the issue: If the issue is closely
linked with the value system of the person, s/he uses a
competing or collaborative mode to get the point across
The importance of the potential consequences: People
avoid conflict if they anticipate potential loss of job,
goodwill, promotion, plum assignments, and so on…
People generally engage in ‘conflict’ when they
feel that they are ready for the consequences !
Conflict resolution & Communication…
Manager to Anil: “ Submit the report to me latest by 4 pm today. Is
that clear ? Not a minute’s delay, mind you !”
Anil may give any of the following three responses:
First : “ Yes, of course sir !” – knowing 4 pm is a tough deadline
Second : “Sir, that is a tight deadline. However, I will do my best.
If there is no emergency as such, can I request the deadline to be
moved to tomorrow 11 am ? I will be able to put together the last
minute reviews that I had conducted on our brand by then.”
Third : “Sir, I had told you at the beginning that I would not be
able to do it by then. I have entrusted it to Ravi on my team, who
will follow up on it. You should give us healthier time lines for
projects, so that we can be better prepared for them.”
Three steps to assertiveness…
Step 1: Listen effectively. At this stage, don’t
interrupt the speaker and listen with a calm mind.
It is not a good idea to ‘jump the gun’ and use
defensive strategies at this stage. Understand the
real issues. This neutralises the sender’s argument
to an extent.
Step 2: Present your views in a rational manner.
There is no apology involved, but instead phrases
like: “I agree with you; however…” or “You may be
right; nevertheless………” help to make one’s stand
on the issue clear.
Step 3: This step helps to ultimately resolve the
issue by mutual consent. It suggests an action plan
or agenda for the resolution.
Understanding professional relationships…
They provide a fulfilling work experience: As we spend more
hours at work – it becomes more enjoyable when we have built
trusting, respectful relationships, where you can exchange
advice, time, information & assistance with others
Presents more opportunities to succeed: working with others
presents team opportunities
Provides the ‘right’ resources: knowing the right people give you
access to supplies, equipment, files, information, approvals,
resources – when requested
Influences decisions & helps you keep the job: good IP skills can
positively influence decisions that affect you and performance
reviews, task assignments and promotion decisions may be in
your favour. A professional network can help you look for and
keep a job.
Respecting Social Protocols…
Respect how your organisation works: there are protocols for
arriving at work to requesting for new equipment. Never
criticise such protocols – follow them to be in sync with others
Follow the chain of command: every employee has a direct
supervisor who is responsible for their activities
Recognise Power Centers : develop informal communication
channels with power centers to improve your chances of
getting information and resources you need
Acknowledge groups and cliques: groups when tight knit form
cliques and have their own agendas, promote collective goals
and look out for each others’ interests
Consider time & schedules: make it a habit to be on time,
work steadily to meet deadlines and use a scheduling system.
Networking professionally…
Network before it is necessary: that is ALWAYS !
Look for networking opportunities: seek chances
to meet a mentor or professional contact at
business & social gatherings
Distribute & collect business cards : make it a
habit of carrying your card and exchanging them
during introductions and saving them
Prepare to converse: prepare to talk about yourself
and ask questions to encourage others to talk
about themselves
Follow up with people and stay in touch: send
short messages and keep your relationship fresh.
Share a relevant article or address to an
interesting website to maintain a network
Showing basic office courtesies…
Exchange pleasantries: greeting people politely
Treat everyone with respect: everyone is respectful
to their bosses…make a special effort to be respectful
to others too…
Offer assistance : open the door, hold the elevator,
carry packages, distribute copies. Generate goodwill
Honour others’ privacy & respect shared areas and
resources: refrain from reading others’ computer
screens, print outs, mail, faxes and listen in to their
conversations. Leave things better condition than
you found it.
Contribute when asked: to a cause, the community or
wedding/birthdays. Be cheerful and donate
Socializing professionally…
 Keep your guard up
 Limit the alcohol
 Avoid uninvited guests
 Rule out flirting
 Approach people you do
not know
 Welcome new people
Displaying optimism & enthusiasm
Smile frequently
Show appreciation
Listen actively
Support team
Show a sense of
Recovering from difficult interpersonal situations
Apologise in person or over the telephone: whether the
mistake is via e-mail, letter, meeting – apologise face to
Time the apology carefully: immediately after you
recognise your mistake. Doing so can cool emotions
before they heat up and boil over. A belated apology is
usually seen as insincere
Assume responsibility: do not suggest the mistake was
caused by circumstances alone. Assume responsibility for
your mistakes…don’t blame others
Correct mistakes: shows that you care about the
Be patient: if not immediately accepted, do not retract it
or become defensive. People want to forgive – slowly !
 Oxford University Press – UNDERSTANDING
 McGraw-Hill Irwin – MANAGERIAL
COMMUNICATION – Strategies & Applications
 Tata McGraw-Hill – COMMUNICATION

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