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Soft skills and business development:

Interpersonal intelligence and professional diplomacy

“My organisation is able to win institutional customers and influence people in business, largely because of the interpersonal intelligence and professional diplomacy of my people” said Managing Director and CEO of Premium International Prasantha Kularatna.

“Premium International has a history of only ten years. But within these ten years, we have penetrated the market and we are the market leaders today. Our success is entirely due to the interpersonal intelligence and professional diplomacy of our people”, said Kularatna.


People with a higher degree of interpersonal relations attract new customers to their organisation

Director, Elsuma Ltd. Capstran Lambert said, “One of the deepest desires of human beings is the desire to be appreciated. The feeling of being unwanted is hurtful”.

“Sincere appreciation is one of the greatest gifts one can give to another person. It makes a person feel important. The desire to feel important is one of the greatest cravings in most human beings. It can be a great motivator”. “The biggest problem today is not stress, but the feeling of being unwanted”.

These comments highlight the importance and significance of Interpersonal intelligence in business development.

Always winners

Professionals with a higher degree of interpersonal relations shine well in an organisation. They understand, interact, and relate well with others. Others, in turn, will usually consider them ‘dependable’ responsible’ and ‘personable’. They perform well in teams and interact successfully with customers. They are always winners! They always win business deals!

Professionals with excellent interpersonal relations:

* Are able to interact well with people, are team players, are responsible and dependable, have good social skills and move well with others.

* Can cope with work demands, effectively ‘size up’ and deal with problem situations, are generally flexible, realistic, effective in understanding these problem situations and competent at solving them.

* Can deal with stress, generally clam, rarely impulsive, and work well under pressure.

* Enjoy work, have an optimistic, cheerful hopeful outlook and create a healthy positive motivational work environment.

Personal Code

Be friendly and cheerful. Be positive in your interactions. Look for the brighter side of everything, and don’t unnecessarily burden others with your problems or negative outlook:

Speak less than you listen. Remember that you have two ears and one mouth and use them accordingly. Ask questions and listen.

Maintain a calm manner, remember that the way you say something is more significant than what you say.

Keep an open mind and avoid defensiveness. Practise disagreeing without being disagreeable. Seek mutual understanding, not a “victory” based on arguments and conflict.

Maintain a balance between constructive criticism and praise. When giving guidance, be sure it is constructive. Watch for opportunities to give sincere praise and give it.

Keep others informed in a positive way. Share insights into potential challenges and opportunities - but avoid promises. When you do make commitments, be dependable.

Avoid gossip, negative comments about others, and spreading rumours. Don’t support or participate in unconstructive gossiping sessions behind the back of others.

Be sensitive and considerate regarding the limitations, feelings and anxieties of others.

Hold others in high esteem. Appreciate others as human beings with personal feelings, including their need for self-esteem and recognition.

Discover your interpersonal intelligence

Interpersonal intelligence is defined as a “personal code of organisational behaviour”. Below is a list of 42 statements to discover your interpersonal intelligence. Answer them “Yes” or “No”.

I am always a patient listener than an eager speaker.

I am always positive rather than negative.

I am always enthusiastic rather than disheatning.

I am confident, adventurous and willing to take risks.

I am always ready to appreciate others.

I am always quick to admit my own mistakes.

I always motivate myself and others.

Criticism must be made in absolute privacy.

I like to have lots of variety in what I do.

I enjoy talking to people at social gatherings.

I have a systematic way of doing most things.

Preface criticism with a kind word or compliment.

I am a practical-minded sort of person.

I always begin my conversation in a friendly way.

I seldom suffer from feelings of stress.

It’s better to get a job done than aim for perfection.

I like coming up with new ideas.

I am happy to make speeches in public.

I never indulge in gossip.

Criticise in a friendly manner.

I am cool-headed when under pressure.

I always give credit for what others have done.

Everybody feels that he is the most important person.

I enjoy socialising with large groups of people.

If I say will do something, I always do it.

People describe me as having good common sense.

Everybody craves for approval and recognition.

I’m good at getting people to do things.

I always get keyed up before important events.

I don’t leave job’s unfinished.

I am always cool, calm and confident.

I find it easy to put myself in someone else’s position.

I’m a down-to-earth sort of person.

I take a relaxed view about most things.

I always get results from my team.

I never leave things to the last minute.

People often comment on how patient, I am.

I am always encouraging rather than obstructive.

I am always friendly rather than hostile.

I am always up-beat rather than gloomy.

I am always constructive rather than destructive.

I always act with confidence and determination.

If you have scored more than 35 “Yes”, responses, congratulations: You are gifted with excellent interpersonal intelligence. You can get things done! You will be very influential! You will shine!.

You have a bright professional future and a shining career path! Good luck for an excellent professional future.

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