The Role of Technology in Developing
Personality-Oriented Interpersonal Skills
Previously, whenever developing interpersonal skills was discussed, the focus was on maintaining good personal relationships. However, that's not the case anymore. Irrespective of the industry you are in, the same skills are just as vital if you want to excel in your professional life.
But why is this? And why do these so-called soft skills matter just as much as technical or hard skills?
Today there is a high demand for candidates with strong interpersonal skills alongside professional efficiency. This is because, no matter how virtual or remote our work, if someone lacks communication skills, then businesses will have to pay the price in terms of lost clients, lower productivity, and management issues.
No company can afford this in the age of cut-throat competition. But did you know that there are various aspects of technology that help both employers and employees navigate the challenges?
Before we start to examine the role of technology in developing interpersonal skills, let's briefly consider the types of personality skills we are talking about.
Personality Skills - What Are They?
Technical skills, or what we might also call hard skills, are tangible and can be measured. In contrast, personality skills are intangible and are usually referred to as soft skills. Most employers look for a mix of both hard and soft skills in their employees.
In fact, these soft skills are vital if you want to succeed in your professional endeavors. Ideally, the following traits are a part of your interpersonal skills.
- Critical thinking
- Social skills
- Time management
Individuals who have the right balance of the skills mentioned above are considered reliable and can, for example, work effectively as part of a team and meet deadlines. Besides, individuals with strong, soft skills are motivated and have better leadership skills to contribute to their success.
But can technological advancement help employees develop these skills naturally and in an effortless manner? Let's find out!
Technological advances can:
Promote Smooth Collaboration
No one can handle all aspects of a project single-handedly. However, you must have oversight of and be in control of all the details. For this, you must be skilled in working as part of a team: teamwork. Nowadays, technological advances offer an abundance of options to collaborate with people both within and outside your team.
Such technology helps people to reduce any redundancy or confusion. For instance, business communication software such as Slack enables you to simultaneously handle work with both in-house and remote team members. Eventually, your teamwork and social skills will improve naturally.
Promote Effective Communication
There are hundreds of tasks that one needs to complete the moment a project starts. And, as mentioned earlier, no one single person can handle everything. You need help from different people to complete the task.
This is where your communication skills help you develop a bond with your colleagues. Did you know that ineffective workplace communication may result in companies losing more than $420,000 a year? I am sure no business would want such an overhead if it can be easily avoided.
Effective communication is not only about forwarding messages or asking questions regarding projects. It could be anything from relaying information regarding system issues, such as cache, disk error, and how to remove them. The more you communicate, the better your productivity and task efficiency will be.
With technology, you have a variety of methods to deliver your information. For example, messaging apps, emails, or tools like Skype or FaceTime allow users to improve their written and verbal communication skills. In addition, social media platforms can help you further nurture your interpersonal skills.
Enhance Problem Solving Capabilities
Not everyone will be well-versed with the new technologies, as you need to develop an understanding of the concept to practically use it. With technology options, such as online videos and podcasts, users can further improve their critical thinking skills.
Other than that, technological tools like Mind Maps allow users to enhance their critical thinking or creativity. For instance, if you are running a business and want to start an online website, you can't simply ask a designer to make a website using a template.
A website will require content, a site structure, and other details to make an impression. For that, using technological tools, you can brainstorm different ideas and simultaneously collaborate with your teammates to finalize what structure or content strategy would be effective.
Improve Time Management Skills
Experts confirm that technology helps to instill time management qualities in people, irrespective of their age. With cloud-based platforms, everyone can access every information anytime and anywhere, so there won't be a single chance that you miss your deadline. And with constant reminders, you'll further feel motivated to get things done on time.
You can also use the same tools to keep track of documents, notes, and images, as they will also act as a single repository to complete the task.
In the End
Even in such technical lines as engineering, about 15% of one's financial success is due to one's technical knowledge, and about 85% is due to skill in human engineering, to personality and the ability to lead people.
Dale Carnegie (American Writer and Lecturer)
Earlier, there were different groups of people, some introverted and others extroverted. Much emphasis was given to technical skills, and whether or not you communicated hardly mattered. However, with remote working and the concept of outsourcing flourishing exponentially, the need for personality-based interpersonal skills is more than just an option. Instead, it's the need of the hour.
So, you won't achieve your best if you work hard on just your hard skills. Soft skills are vital if you wish to excel in your niche. This is why the use of technology in the classroom is increasing and aims to inculcate these skills right from the start. By using tools like video conferencing, videos, social media, amongst others, you can quickly grasp the required skills and practically infuse them into your life.
All in all, technology is helping everyone develop their skills and personalities at the same time- thereby helping them on a personal and professional level. Hence, the chances of succeeding in their endeavors rise accordingly.
About the Author
John is a content marketer and a soft skill trainer who helps corporates and individuals to develop communication skills by combining real-life experience and research-based facts. His expertise in the fields of management and leadership allows him to help employees and employers further improve their competency.