- How to Maintain Strong Interpersonal Relationships
- 1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically
- Warming up
- Stay hydrated
- 2. Focus on your goal
- 3. Convert negativity to positivity
- 4. Understand your content
- 5. Practice makes perfect
- 6. Be authentic
- 7. Post speech evaluation
- Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation
- Improve your next speech
- Interpersonal Relationships: Develop Yours In 10 Steps!
- Interpersonal relationships at work
- 10 steps to develop your interpersonal relationships
- 1- Create a culture of feedback
- 2- Learn how to deal with differences
- 3- Be resilient
- 4- Ask for help and be helpful
- 5- Invest in non-aggressive communication
- 6- Welcome interaction
- 7- Avoid conflict
- 8- Don’t bring your personal problems to the workplace
- 9- Learn how to forgive
- 10- Know yourself
- How To Maintain Good Interpersonal Relationships With Family Members After Marriage
- The importance of interpersonal relationships
- Interpersonal Relationships After Marriage
- Be Open
- Show Empathy
- Be Respectful
- Be Available
- Establish Boundaries
- Be a Good Listener
How to Maintain Strong Interpersonal Relationships
Last Updated on July 20, 2021
You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.
Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.
Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:
1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically
According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.
“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor
Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:
If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.
If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.
Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:
- Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
- Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
- Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.
Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.
To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.
Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.
Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.
Meditation is a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.
Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which ly includes floundering on stage.
Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:
2. Focus on your goal
One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.
Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’
Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.
Decide on the progress you’d your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.
If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.
3. Convert negativity to positivity
There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?
‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’
It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.
Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”
Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.
Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:
4. Understand your content
Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.
However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.
“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor
Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.
Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.
One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.
5. Practice makes perfect
most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.
In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.
Public speaking, any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!
6. Be authentic
There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.
Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.
Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.
To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this you normally would with a close family or friend. It is having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting.
A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.
With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.
Presenters Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:
7. Post speech evaluation
Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.
Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation
We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.
You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.
Improve your next speech
As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:
- How did I do?
- Are there any areas for improvement?
- Did I sound or look stressed?
- Did I stumble on my words? Why?
- Was I saying “um” too often?
- How was the flow of the speech?
Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.
If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:
Interpersonal Relationships: Develop Yours In 10 Steps!
Do you know what interpersonal relationships are? You have probably heard about it if you have ever worked in any type of organization.
Interpersonal relationships are the relationships between people in different contexts.
And one of the main contexts in which this issue comes up is within corporate environments, especially because relationships in these environments are complex. This is because relationships between employees, and between them and their leaders, directly influence the work.
In other words, everyone should pay attention to their professional relationships, aiming at the quality of the work as well as their career development.
Therefore, when we talk about interpersonal relationships, we’re talking about knowing how to relate; in other words, the ability to get along.
It has nothing to do with personality and personal traits. Actually, it’s a skill that can be worked on and improved by all.
Below, you will learn a bit more about interpersonal relationships at work and the steps to improve your own. Shall we get started?
Interpersonal relationships at work
Whether within the corporate environment (teamwork), or even in relationships with customers, to get along with them without any problems, you need to know how to deal with other people.
At work, interpersonal relationships are a game, in which if you aren’t careful with the rules, or make a wrong move, your development may be in jeopardy.
And the company also loses, because relationship problems influence in the organizational environment and hinder the progress of businesses.
Thus, every professional must keep in mind the importance of taking care of their professional relationships regarding their career and their own experience within the company.
When people have good workplace relationships, they feel happier and more motivated.
But we know that it isn’t always possible to maintain positive relationships, especially because the corporate environment is very competitive. Besides, each person has different experiences and particularities.
So, as we mentioned earlier, knowing how to maintain good relationships isn’t 100% natural, it’s a game in which those who want to keep playing and are willing to make it work, need to make an effort towards it.
Fortunately, this effort is worthwhile and has positive results, check it out!
The importance of good interpersonal relationships for your professional life:
- You get along better with your coworkers
- You feel more motivated
- You’ll have someone you can count on when you need help
- Your performance improves
- You have better chances of growth in your career
- You’ll probably be admired more in professional terms.
On the other hand, companies also benefit greatly when there are good interpersonal relationships between employees, leaders, customers and suppliers.
Therefore, they feel that it’s important to encourage and promote integrations in order to generate positive results for the business.
Some of the advantages of good interpersonal relationships for companies are:
- Improvement to the organizational environment
- Higher employee productivity
- Lower employee turnover
- Increased customer satisfaction
- Higher profitability.
10 steps to develop your interpersonal relationships
Well, by now you can understood what interpersonal relationships are and their importance in the workplace.
Now, we’re going to show you the steps so you can develop this skill.
You might only need a few of these tips. So, identify them and put those you need to work on into practice, so you can achieve good relationship skills.
1- Create a culture of feedback
The culture of constant feedback is a great way to develop the work and encourage communication among the team.
By providing and asking for feedback, you demonstrate an interest in a relationship with your coworkers. Providing feedback shows them that you want to help, and asking for it, shows that their opinion is important to you.
This is a win-win situation, isn’t it?
2- Learn how to deal with differences
A lot of countries have an ethnically diverse population and also people with different personalities; everything changes from person to person. And this is great, because diversity makes the workplace a better, more innovative and creative place.
Nevertheless, we might not be used to coexisting with people who are very different from us, but we can work on it.
In order to get along better with your coworkers, you need to be willing to open up your mind and learn how to coexist with diversity.
This will help you have good interpersonal relationships and make your daily life better.
In addition, you’ll also realize that you can learn a lot from the experiences of people who are different from you, which is great for the development of your cognitive intelligence.
3- Be resilient
Resilience, in the professional sense, means knowing how to adapt to daily changes and adversities. In other words, in order to have better relationships at work, it is also necessary to be flexible when something goes wrong.
For example, a typical situation is when you throw yourself into a project that needs to be approved by a team, and after it’s approved, an adverse situation occurs and they ask you to do it over again.
You feel shouting at everyone, but this is where resilience comes in. With a little patience mixed with the wisdom of trying to understand what happened, and talking to the team in order to find a group solution.
It’s not easy, but with a lot of practice and willpower, it will come naturally.
Oh, don’t confuse resilience with the acceptance of anything thrown at you, including injustices; this is another issue. Therefore, the wisdom of trying to understand why the adversity occurred is a key point of resilience.
4- Ask for help and be helpful
It might sound silly, but asking for help strengthens workplace relationships.
If you’re aware that someone is an expert in something that you have questions about, or something you’d to learn, just ahead and talk to that person.
This attitude brings people closer, because at work, we don’t have much contact with our coworkers’ personal lives, which makes it harder to start a conversation. Therefore, asking for help might be a great way of getting close with someone.
Being helpful works more or less in the same way. It’s a way of showing that you are there for others and that you care about teamwork, in addition to also being a great way of getting closer to people.
5- Invest in non-aggressive communication
We usually don’t realize this, but how we communicate with others might sound aggressive.
This oversight is terrible and destroys workplace relationships, which should be good.
Therefore, being aware of how you communicate is extremely important for good interpersonal relationships.
To find out if you communicate aggressively, start paying attention to how you talk to other people.
If you notice problems, such as lack of clarity, impositions, orders and judgments, try to apply the tips below so you can practice non-aggressive communication:
- Make observations instead of judgments
- Express your feelings
- Express motives and needs
- Ask instead of ordering.
By doing so, your communication will be more effective, generous and empathetic. As a result, you’ll have better relationships with your coworkers.
6- Welcome interaction
Even if you’re an introvert, don’t allow this trait to get in the way of your interpersonal relationships.
It might be hard, but it’s quite easy. Try not to isolate yourself and welcome interaction, i.e., talk to those who talk to you.
Start with something simple a general good morning or goodbye. Over time, create the habit of making daily and constant interactions to strengthen your relationships.
7- Avoid conflict
Okay, problems, disagreements and stalemates will always happen. But be careful so that such situations don’t get in the way of good relationships.
Take a deep breath and think before saying something when you’re mad. Always keep an eye on your main objective: having a pleasant environment in which to coexist at work.
8- Don’t bring your personal problems to the workplace
This is classic! We all go through struggles, don’t we?
Ideally, you shouldn’t allow problems unrelated to work affect your professional relationships.
Therefore, don’t bring your personal problems to the workplace so you don’t take them out on others who have nothing to do with them.
If you need to, take the day off or let your coworkers know that you’re having a bad day.
9- Learn how to forgive
Even if a conflict already exists, there is a way out.
Forgiveness is the path to re-establish relationships and demonstrate that you fight for a good coexistence in the workplace.
So, know when to forgive and to ask for forgiveness in the name of good interpersonal relationships.
10- Know yourself
Finally, but not less important, we have self-knowledge. A very important step in knowing how to create good relationships.
Here, we talked about interpersonal relationships, but as important is intrapersonal relationship, which means knowing oneself.
Your relationship with others is part of what you are; therefore, it’s only fair that you develop your self-knowledge in order to improve your external relationships.
While we’re on the subject, one way of achieving self-knowledge is through self-assessment. So check out the 7 tips for a self-assessment and propel your professional development!
How To Maintain Good Interpersonal Relationships With Family Members After Marriage
When you're newly married, it's easy to get your relationships mangled, because you're taking time to «focus on building your new family».
Interpersonal relationships comprise every relationship that fulfils a range of physical and emotional needs for you. These are the people who you’re closest to in your life.
And while your spouse is the eighth world wonder, you need these people too.
Romantic relationships are interpersonal, as well as those of family members and friends. There’s also such a thing as secondary interpersonal relationships. These include acquaintances, neighbours, and others who you interact with on a regular basis.
In short, you have some kind of interpersonal relationship with everyone you know.
Whether you're married or single, relationships are important for our emotional and physical well-being. So it’s necessary to learn how to develop and maintain them.
The importance of interpersonal relationships
Some reasons for these relationships are listed below:
- Interpersonal relationships are important for your overall physical and emotional happiness. Relationships help fight loneliness while also giving you a sense of purpose in life.
- The closeness you feel with family and friends is an essential part of your social support. Relationships in other aspects of your life outside of romance and family can also have a positive effect on you; such as getting together with acquaintances for a shared interest or hobby.
- All interpersonal relationships are built on loyalty, support, and trust. Close relationships may also be built on love. Mutual respect and reciprocation of these qualities is important in maintaining all your relationships. Otherwise, the relationship can become one-sided.
- Family, friends and intimate relationships are necessary for everyday life.
Interpersonal Relationships After Marriage
When you get married, especially in an African setting, your circle of family widens to include in-laws. We cannot fully discuss interpersonal relationships after marriage without considering your relationships with in-laws as well. The significance of these relationships will show in many facets of life, including the quality of your marriage.
Although your relationships with in-laws share some similarities with relationships with your parents, you form your in-law ties as an adult. So you don't necessarily share a long history with them.
Any strong relationship needs to have the willingness to be open. This means the ability and desire to share what you’re thinking and your feelings about different subjects.
When you are open and willing to share, it shows the other person that you care about the relationship; that you want to create a close connection by being truthful and receptive to the other person’s thoughts and feelings.
There's a limit to your openness in a marriage. You want to cultivate a beautiful relationship with your old and new family; but you want to protect your marriage too. And honestly, the latter is more important.
Here’s a saying you may have heard before:
“People will forget what you said. They will forget what you did. But they will never forget how you made them feel.”
Powerful stuff. One of the deepest human desires is to feel understood. When you show empathy towards someone else, you are showing that you care enough to understand how they feel. And that goes a really long way in maintaining strong relationships.
Remember to show empathy whenever the opportunity presents itself in your relationships. This helps all of us feel more supported, understood, and most importantly, connected. And this goes for your family members, your in-laws, and even your spouse. Let's also include your friends, your co-workers, and everybody you meet.
It goes without saying that in order to help build and maintain strong relationships, you will need to be respectful — respectful of the other person’s time, opinion, feelings, and so on. This is vitally important in one on one relationships such as a marriage or close friendship.
The same really holds true in close relationships that involve a group type dynamic.
Giving your time is giving a gift. Time is the one thing we all have the same amount of — same 24 hours in a day, same amount of days in a week, etc.
How you choose to spend that time says a lot about you. And being available to someone shows that you value them enough to spend your time with them. That is absolutely huge.
Family visits, picnics, and annual reunions will go a long way to strengthen your bond.
Being giving of your time shows the other person that you care enough about them and the relationship to share your most valuable commodity. Being available to someone will do wonders for maintaining strong personal relationships.
Boundaries are critical for healthy relationships. A boundary is a belief, or way of life, or conviction that you have. It involves your beliefs, values, and limits.
It’s important to be clear to other people in your life, especially the strong interpersonal relationships, about what your boundaries are. It helps to create self-esteem and respect in the relationship.
It’s basically showing others what you stand for and what you will and won’t allow in your life.
Be a Good Listener
Something most people tend to forget is that listening is half of all communication. And when we get really good at listening, it becomes more than half of our communication. That’s because being a good listener will do wonders for your strong relationships.
Showing that you are actively listening will help boost the other person's self-esteem because it shows that you truly care about what they are saying. This makes them feel important and shows that you seek to understand. It also means that you care about how the other person feels.
Also read: Nigerian lawyer Awele Ideal's inspiring story