This article is loosely based on my research paper that I presented at the 6th Annual HR Meet, which was held in New Delhi.
Work is not just about technical skills. Knowing the technicalities of work are of course a necessity, because one has to know what is required to do. However, there are a number of other skills that go hand in hand with the technical skills that are highly important.
Any kind of work requires some kind of interaction with others. An individual in a workplace has to interact with all kinds of people. The person has to interact with the boss, colleagues, and people who are at lower positions. Therefore, getting along with people becomes essential. If the interaction is improper then it may create a lot of discomfort within the work environment.
Interaction with all kinds of people does not only imply people belonging to different positions, but it also implies individual differences, such as differences in personality. Every person has their own way of behaving. To have a congenial environment in the workplace, the individual has to have a proper interaction with each and every person keeping in mind their individual differences.
In a workplace, very often, an individual is required to work in a team. He/she may have people that are completely different from the individual. There may also be people who are somewhat moody and can be irritable. Some may also want things to go according to them, no matter what happens. Such people can be quite difficult to work with. Despite all this, the individual has to get along with everyone and work effectively with them.
At work, most of the interaction that takes place is work-related and thus getting along well with others becomes a factor in being successful on the job. Research shows that the major reason for which people lose their job is not because they do not know their work properly. It is because of inappropriate behavior and having difficulties with interpersonal relationships. Those who do not lose their job are stuck in one position and are not promoted.
Apart from appropriateness of behavior, having good interpersonal skills have been found to be very important in a workplace. Interpersonal skills include a varied range of skills, such as appropriate understanding of the situation and reacting accordingly, understanding the specific mood and emotions of others, being able to resolve conflicts, being able to channelize one’s own mood and emotions, not letting our emotions get the better of us, etc.
Having good interpersonal skills has been found to be majorly useful for managers. Research shows that the difference between a successful manager and a not-so-successful one is having good interpersonal skills. Good interpersonal skills are highly effective for team building and leadership activities. To make his/her subordinates to comply, a leader has to have good interpersonal skills.
Getting along well with others has also been found to be related to a highly significant aspect of work, which is job satisfaction. Working effectively with others not only enhances the quality of work, but it also enhances the quality of work life on the whole.
An individual spends a lot of his/her time at the workplace and thus having good relationships helps a lot in liking that particular job. It has been found that no matter how exciting a job maybe, if the individual does not get along well with others then he/she may not find the job to be interesting enough. On the other hand, if the individual has good and healthy relationships at the workplace then even the most routine job will seem to be enjoyable.
The work of a person constitutes a very significant aspect of one’s life. In some ways, the work a person does forms the identity of that person. Keeping this in view, it becomes very important that an individual enjoys the job that he/she is doing. To enjoy one’s job, it becomes important that the individual likes the surroundings and feels very comfortable at the workplace. Getting along well with others plays a very important role in achieving this.
An individual has to spend a lot of time with his/her co-workers. Perhaps the time spent with co-workers is more than that is spent with friends and family. Having good interpersonal relations and working effectively with others makes work hassle-free.
In today’s day and age everyone goes through a lot of work pressure, which leads to a very stressful life. A congenial work environment helps to a great degree in dealing with the work pressures and coping with stress. All this enhances the quality of work life, which in turn enhances the quality of our entire life. A stress-free work environment leads to a stress-free life.
Social skills can affect our work life in more ways than one. Having appropriate social skills in a workplace enables success on the job, enhancement of quality of work, job satisfaction, enhancement of the quality of work life, and good mental health. Therefore, appropriate social skills are equally important to the technical aspects of work, if not more than that. Socials skills, thus, play a very important role in our work life.