PART II: Human Relations Category

In the previous article I wanted to explain the concept of Human Abilities as well as its three categories. This article is about Human Relations and I will dedicate the next three articles to each of the categories in order to show you what they are about and to help you understand their key importance.

I would first like to talk about Human Abilities as something Universal. As much as there are cultural differences between countries, and there are: Erin Meyer demonstrates this with her famous Cultural Map, we talk about universal Human Skills, behaviour that are valid in all countries. This is also the current trend that is emerging and is here to stay. In this globalized world, we are moving towards a universal culture with local specificities of course but with a predominance of universal style.

We will start with category number 2: Relational.

What do Interpersonal Relations mean?

All interactions between one person and another. The first thing that comes to mind is oral interaction, but we should not forget about written interaction (emails, social networks, messages…). Throughout this article, we are going to talk about interactions between two people but we will also mention group interactions, i.e. between a person and a group.

Subcategories of Interpersonal Relations

1- Communication and Public Speaking

Communication and public speaking are by definition closely linked. Although there are always nuances, when we refer to the art of public speaking, although it is clearly a communication, we link it here to the fact of speaking in front of a group of people, for example: conferences, seminars…

In order for a communication to be effective, we must focus on the message we want to convey. This is the most important step: what do we want to say? Then, we have to think about our interlocutor (whether they are one or several people) and adapt our vocabulary so that they understand our message, To be able to communicate well, we have to transport our interlocutor. How? By making them imagine what you are saying, by putting emotion into it, by revealing something personal. The only thing that really matters is that the message you wanted to convey gets through. For more tips on the art of public speaking, you can take a look at our article here and, of course, take a look at Aristotle, who is always relevant.

2- Conflict Resolution

I personally like to relate Conflict Resolution to Communication. Why? Because when there is a conflict it can only be solved by communicating, by interacting. I always say that behind the most horrible conflicts there are two people who have not wanted to meet each other. The key to conflict resolution is not to let our imagination play tricks on us and to talk, ask questions as soon as we feel that there is something that we do not understand or that surprises us. For example: We are making a presentation to two colleagues and suddenly we hear a murmur, at first it is better not to do anything because it may be an impression, we have misheard… but if we hear a murmur several times, it is worth stopping for a moment and ask the other person with concern if it is OK. That’s what I mean when I talk about the key to conflict resolution. By being clear and extremely polite, most professional conflicts can be resolved.

3- Persuasion and Influence

Persuasion and influence are different skills but they are so connected that for this article I prefer to put them together. They are necessary skills for life and are not necessarily bad, despite the often mistaken meaning we have of them. It all depends on the use they are put to, i.e. the purpose for which they are used. For example, using influence to raise funds for a hospital fighting against rare diseases is great! Or even, why not, persuading a Director to give us that pay rise that we deserve so much and that is not forthcoming. Persuasion and influence would be close to conviction but it is more subtle, more invisible and very, very powerful. We will come back to these issues in other articles and I can already recommend a very good book about it by Robert Cialdini: Influence and Manipulation.

4- Negotiation

Wage bargaining is fundamental and very important in order to reach our professional goals. However, negotiation helps us in many different situations in our lives. It is necessary to learn how to negotiate in order to control our lives and not leave everything to chance or let others decide for us. A good negotiation is not one in which you get everything you want, as there is a clear loser and it will bring you negative consequences. An excellent negotiation is when both parties are satisfied with what they get and do not hold a grudge against the other party. Every negotiation requires preparation, which means that you first have to know what is at stake and what you want. The second step is to know what the other party wants. Very often it turns out that we thought we both wanted absolutely the same thing, but then we realize that this is not the case and the negotiation becomes a cakewalk (this happens in most negotiations).

Other times, you want the same thing or your interests are opposed, in this case, you have to empathize with the other party and obtain an agreement favourable to both parties. If you have specific questions, we are here to help you, do not hesitate to contact us!

5- Relational Mode

This subcategory looks at the type of relational character of each. It is divided into three parts: open, closed or mixed relational mode. The most appropriate is the mixed mode as having an open relational mode all the time can be negative and harmful to oneself in certain situations. The same applies to a closed relational mode although this type is even more damaging as without communication, there is no trust and without trust, there are no relationships.

A mixed relational mode is balanced, someone who knows when to be open and unreserved and when, on the contrary, to be discreet and in the background. They also recognize their place in each situation and know how to be in all kinds of environments and events. Any relational mode needs to be respectful, otherwise the relationship cannot work (but we will talk about all these behavioural characteristics in the article dedicated to the third category: behavioural).

With this article, we have given the first touches on Human Relations, one of the three categories within the human skills. All the elements are very important to be able to progress professionally.

To give you an idea of the importance of human skills: without them, there is no such thing:

  • Promotions or it will come very slowly,
  • Builds trusting relationships with CEOs and other leaders.
  • Salary Increase
  • Interesting positions within the company
  • Find a better job

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, we will be happy to help you! We love to do it !

Maria Escuer
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