Discovering Good Interpersonal skills with kids

I – Interpersonal Skills

Dictionary says Interpersonal skills refers to the ability to communicate and interact well with other people.

The concept:

Interpersonal skills would involve various aspects of communication:

  • How to express your thoughts & feelings
  • Listening to the said words
  • Listening to the unsaid through the body language.

Trust, Empathy, commitments, bridging the gaps, influencing positively and giving in without giving up are all fundamental pillars of good interpersonal skills. I can’t focus enough on the importance of interpersonal skills in the global society we live in today. Individuals with strong interpersonal skills are excellent team players and can get along very well with others in their professional, social and personal lives ensuring a high probability of personal, relationship and career success.

Great examples by my young kids to understand inter-personal skills better

Lightning Mc Queen in the movie Cars is shown to develop many pillars of the interpersonal skills during the length of the movie. From a phase of indulging in limited communication in the “Radiator Springs, he is shown to develop many intimate relationships, develop trust, demonstrate empathy, and commitment to developing strong relationships as opposed to self-gratification only. It beautifully demonstrates the learning curve of a person moving up on interpersonal skills.

Lightning McQueen

  • Cars movie depicts how Lightening Mcqueen moves up the learning curve of good interpersonal skills.

Sofia the first is a great example of a person who communicates, motivates and takes everyone along on the adventure or the mission in hand. She has good interpersonal skills and develops trust in her relationships.

And now remember the character of Minimus, the Great – a flying horse whom Princess Sofia chooses to be her racing partner in Disney’s Sofia, the First series? The character is always doubtful of his abilities and lacks confidence, is unable to communicate well and take responsibility– it is only Sofia who pushes him to keep performing better.

  • Minimus of Sofia, the first is the perfect example of someone who is low on interpersonal skills. 
How can we coach our kids to develop interpersonal skills?
  1. The first place to start is to awareness. Identify their strengths & opportunity areas.
  2. Communications being the first step towards effective interpersonal skills – we have to start working on their basic skills like listening and verbal communication. Awareness of our emotions and being honest to not mask our true feelings, and communicate those feelings without upsetting the other person are the things that we should focus upon.
  3. Understand and practice non-verbal communication skills with them – primarily body language, facial reactions, tone and voice modulation.
  4. Keeping up to your words, being committed in your agenda are few things that kids imbibe the best while they see their parents model. So here is what we have to do to set great examples for them.

Happy Parenting!