Interpersonal competence is the fifth key of career and life success. No matter how self confident and how good at creating positive personal impact or how great a performer and dynamic a communicator you are, you will not achieve life success without interpersonal competence. By taking the time to understand yourself and others, build strong relationships and resolve conflict positively you are well on your way to achieving life success. The greatest life success is found by those who truly seek after these things.
Understand Yourself - and Others
When it comes to finding life success it is vital that people with interpersonal competence understand themselves. Understanding themselves helps them understand others which allows them to build stronger, more beneficial relationships and resolve conflicts in a positive manner which is key to creating life success.
You have to understand yourself if you want to understand others and achieve life success. Take a few minutes and analyze your life success strategy with these questions:
• Do I like to spend time with people, or do I prefer to be by myself?
• Do I learn best with a step-by-step method, or by getting all the information at once and finding the connections myself?
• Do I make decisions with my heart or with my head?
• Do I resolve things quickly, or wait until the last minute to commit to a course of action?
Understand the answers to the above questions can help you examine the similarities and differences between you and the people around you to help you communicate more effectively as part of your quest for life success.
For example, if your life success strategy is to make decisions with your heart, you will have a difficult time convincing someone whose life success strategy involves making decisions with his head to do something that is "the right thing to do." Instead, you'll need to present a rational argument. The more you understand how you are similar and different from others, the more influence you have over others and the closer you are to achieving life success.
Build Strong Relationships
As part of achieving life success, interpersonally competent people are also good at building strong, lasting relationships. My best advice for attaining life success through relationship building is to "give with no expectation of anything in return." It seems that the world has come to expect quid pro quo. That's why when you do something nice and unexpected for others without expecting anything in return; you build stronger relationships which, again, are key for life success.
Here's an example. In a recent ezine, I featured a book by Valerie Sokolosky called "Do It Right" because I thought it was a book that my readers would benefit from on their personal journeys for life success. I also hoped that it would give her some additional exposure for her book. She was thrilled and emailed to thank me. My readers, Valerie and I all benefited-because I took a little step without expecting anything in return and I gained a good friend out of the deal. Interpersonally competent people build relationships by doing for others without keeping score. They know that in the long run, life success will come back to them if they do good things for others.
Resolve Conflict Positively
Finally, interpersonally competent people resolve conflict in a positive manner. In your quest for life success, no matter how interpersonally competent you are you will inevitably find yourself in conflict. People will not always agree with you nor you with them.
My favorite method for dealing with conflict to achieve life success may seem counter intuitive. Instead of focusing on where another person and I disagree, I focus on where we agree by looking for a small point of agreement and building on it. Most people get caught up in proving their point and hold onto it more strongly when attacked. By turning the discussion around with, "Let's focus where we agree and see if we can build from there," you make the situation less personal and both parties can let their guard down and work together towards a solution that promotes life success.
By taking the time to understand yourself and others, build strong relationships and resolve conflict positively you are well on your way to achieving life success. The greatest life success is found by those who truly seek these things.