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Relationship Reflections


Interpersonal Interactions in the Workplace

May 4, 2017


Interpersonal communication between coworkers is a viable and necessary tool. It increases production in the workplace and can have beneficial factors for the employees as well. It is one of the most important skill an employee could have. Interpersonal communication can determine how effectively a team can operate and accomplish their goals. It is the foundation for basic functions in the workplace such as managing, training, selling and resolving conflicts. It can also help increase the level of satisfaction the employees have with their job. The main function of interpersonal communication can be broken down into 4 different sub-skills.

Problem solving and decision making is the most effective way to maintain a professional relationship. This skill gets team members pointed towards the goal of the team. Without this skill, the team can not be successful.

Another sub-skill that is important to interpersonal communication is listening. This in invaluable as it can help a person understand messages and respond accurately and appropriately. If the team members are not able to understand and synthesize the message, it can cause problems for the entire team.

Assertiveness is a sub-skill that is undervalued and not always addressed. This can help leaders drive their team toward their common goal. Taking charge and effecting change is a mark of a good team leader.

Negotiation is another key element as it can help with conflict resolution. Finding a common ground and getting to a shared goal can help employees work effectively with each other.

Having these skills is just the beginning. Applying them to your current situation can be difficult if you are unsure of how they effect the situation. Researching and planning will help to ensure that your message is clear and accurate. Make sure you’re considering your audience when crafting your message. Be sure to understand your own weaknesses when it comes to communication. It helps to ask for feedback from your fellow employees. Also, monitor your expectations. Because interpersonal communications is a soft skill and will never receive the same outcome from each interaction, you have to be ready to adapt to whatever changes you may come across.


In studies conducted in 1924-1932 at the Hawthorne Works, it was found that employees who were free to communicate with each other, were actually more productive than those who were given incentives for more work. Researchers also noted that this free marketplace of ideas would create a culture inside the group of workers itself. The group would self-regulate and monitor how well each individual was working. With these closer ties, it would cause the employees to want to work more, so as not to look bad or inferior to other members of the group. In the end, it showed that employees who were allowed to communicate freely with each other, were more pleased with their work.

So having good interpersonal communication skills, can not only improve a companies bottom line, it can also improve the workplace environment for their employees.


Franke, R., & Kaul, J. (1978). The Hawthorne Experiments: First Statistical Interpretation. American Sociological Review, 43(5), 623-643. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/2094540

Hussung, T. (2017, February 10). Developing Effective Interpersonal Communication Skill in the Workplace. In Concordia University – Saint Paul. Retrieved from http://online.csp.edu/blog/business/interpersonal-communication-in-the-workplace