Interpersonal communication is most commonly communication between two people. This communication is based on the two people knowing each other which is usually the case in a work environment.
When these interpersonal relationships are strong in the workplace, it’s like communicating with a friend or a family member but when things go wrong the relationship can falter often including negative emotions and at times suffering that normally ends with a drama in the workplace that needs dealt with.
Interpersonal relationships are interdependent, meaning that a person may ignore an insult or a derogatory comment from a stranger, but the same remark made by someone in an interpersonal interaction is a lot harder to take. Employees normally like to fit in and have good interpersonal relationships but can become offended quickly due to the fact those relationships exist in the first place.
Strong interpersonal communication within the work context often creates a positive vibe and productive outcomes through the flow and understanding of information which builds the effectiveness of a team. That said due to the nature of these relationships the workplace can be negatively impacted. Some examples are:
· Where there is a strong interpersonal relationship between manager and employee, this may lead to bias and favouritism
· Where one person has authority over another, particularly when there needs to be a difficult discussion around performance or behaviour
· Productivity can reduce due to people’s discomfort with each other and the focus on the relationship rather than the meeting of objectives
Ultimately, positive interpersonal communication, interactions and relationships enable a better workplace through people being interested in listening to, interpreting, and understanding communication and respecting those people that they have constant interpersonal communication with.
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