Learning interpersonal skills
This is a write up of the talk given by Prashant Shah (http://spiritual-living.in) on several occasions and before many groups in both India and USA
Most of our life is an interdependent reality. We have to work with people, live with people and deal with people. Further, we often share responsibility with others, but we don’t have the authority to direct them. We can work well by ourselves, but when we have to get things done through others we experience many difficulties. Hence, the common saying is: “The people problems are the worst!”
Human relationships can be either enjoyed or suffered; they can be either encouraging or frustrating. What we get will always depend on how we conduct ourselves! To succeed with people, first we have to understand the psychology of the ‘other person’. Next, we have to see things from the other person’s point of view and understand what motivates their behaviour. Only thereafter we can know what we need to do to get the right response from the other person.
The skill in dealing with people can be learnt and it will be very valuable for everyone in society — for a businessman, a professional, a colleague, a housewife, and a member of any group in society. And this skill will become increasingly important as we climb up to the higher positions in our social system. The business tycoon, J. D. Rockefeller, once said: “I will pay more for that ability (to succeed with people) than for any other ability under the sun.”
Why do we neglect learning interpersonal skills?
In college we are educated to think rationally. We are trained to direct our efforts towards personal efficiency, towards learning scientific techniques, and towards earning money. But in the process our emotional nature remains uneducated. Hence, we do not easily understand the ‘psychological side’ of human nature. For this reason in modern society people’s inner life gets easily messed up. They just don’t know how to be happy by themselves or by relating with people.
Why is this subject not taught in our colleges?
There are some things that we really appreciate only after things have gone wrong in our life; after we have made a mess in our relationships. People feel the need to invest in the emotional side of life only after they have stumbled a few times. The common saying is: “Wisdom arises only after our hair has already turned a little grey with experience!”
Further, there is not much in the form of newer ideas to learn here. The bigger task is to implement these ideas in your life. To succeed in human relationships it does not matter how much you know; what matters is how well you implement what you know. Hence, it is not a matter of learning the technique. Professional psychologists will not necessarily do better than you!
What is the KEY to success here?
It is to become genuinely concerned about other people’s feelings; to change how you regard them; and to change your assumptions about other people. Without this basic change you can only make some small cosmetic changes in your relationships.
It is admitted that it is always difficult to change yourself. The normal human tendency is to want the other person to do all the changing! A course participant once said: “I’ll give you a 1000 dollars if you teach this course to my mother-in-law.” I could only smile, but in my mind I said: “You are paying me too much for that, but it’s a very small price for changing your relationship with your mother in law; and it may also not work out because she will want you to do all the changing.” To succeed with others the only price you have to pay is to change yourself. However, when you succeed here, I assure you that you’ll never be alone in your life or be lonely wherever you go!
This talk is based on some of the ideas that were originally developed in Dale Carnegie’s classic: “How to win friends and influence people”. Other topics that are discussed in our larger workshop are:
- The art of negotiation
- Man and woman relationships
- The win-win option
- The stages in maturity
To know more click here https://darshanacentre.wordpress.com/2016/01/28/introductory-workshops/