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Importance of Interpersonal Skills to College Students
For most college students, the core focus while at the university is to do well with subjects and finish the degree. However, you must remember that your university life is also an opportunity to meet people and gain network. It is crucial that you have good interpersonal skills so that you can relate more with people and establish a good relationship. This relationship can also be one of your tools to be successful in life.
What are the Common Interpersonal Skills?
Let’s talk about these so-called soft skills, and how you can improve each of these while still at the university.
When we talk about verbal communication, we also need to stress the importance of being assertive. Many college students are aggressive and would always want to say their piece without considering what other people would feel. Likewise, others would just keep silent even if they have great ideas. And this is being passive. So we must always find the middle ground where we could freely give our ideas yet without offending anyone.
For years, we were trained to speak with confidence, but we notice that most people lack proper listening skills. Remember, it is not enough that you are articulate. Proper listening skill is highly important.
And here’s another thing, this is not limited to the spoken words but also understanding body language. By knowing the principles of proper listening, you will be able to react accordingly. Thus, providing a more meaningful conversation every single time.
Talking about the unspoken words, we must also be cautious with our body language. Some actions might send a signal that you are not attentive enough. For example, you must remember how to maintain eye contact. Crossing your arms over your chest might indicate that you do not welcome ideas. Checking your watch is also a big NO when you are speaking to other people. You see, these might seem trivial for most, but it can send a wrong message.
While we all want to excel on our own, you have to remember that we need to work with others to achieve our full potential. Thus, it is important that we know how to maintain teamwork. It’s about respecting other’s opinions, and at the same time, learn how to agree to disagree.
To further hone this skill, you can join different organizations and school groups and be active with their programs. From there, one way or another, you will be tasked to organize events, and this will require teamwork.
Above everything else, you must learn and understand the feelings of others. From here, you will know how to properly communicate and use the best strategies to get your point across. This skill couldn’t be learned overnight. After all, we have different perspectives in life, beliefs, and upbringing, so it is not always easy to accept ideas far from yours.
Where Can You Use Interpersonal Skills in College?
Here are a few instances where you can use good interpersonal skills while at the university.
Talking to Your Classmates for Lessons
At some point, you will have to talk to your classmates. Perhaps there are lectures that you don’t fully understand. Or maybe, they are the ones that need to ask you about the lessons. Either way, knowing the right approach when communicating can be beneficial to you and your classmates.
Approaching Your Professors Outside the Lecture Proper
If you have issues with your professors, being aggressive or passive isn’t the way to go. This is where being assertive comes in. Do not get intimidated of your professors. In fact, they will appreciate how you handle the conversation like a responsible adult.
Working on School Projects
As we’ve mentioned earlier, teamplay is important. And apart from events that your organization will hold, you can also use it when creating projects for your courses. Of course, there will be different ideas that you need to consolidate. Trust us, there will be days that your patience will be tested because of clashing opinions. But if you have good interpersonal skills, this should be addressed right away.
Networking to Professionals
And lastly, as early as now, you have to network with different professionals from the industry that you are eyeing for. But of course, you can’t approach them using your infantile ways. You need to speak to them using the right interpersonal skills. This can be your leverage if you want them to refer you to good companies in the future.
Simply put, technical skills are always important. But you must also improve your soft skills. There must be a balance between these two.
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