The extent to which you have developed and used interpersonal techniques and skills as a source of personal power.
For this type of power to be really useful, it has to be far more developed than those around you. If you are exceptional in this regard, it will be a great source of power. If you are similar to everyone else, you might need to look at the other types of power to take the edge.
Strengths: High scorers know the value of being approachable so that others confide in them, and are fully aware of the benefit derived from being a good listener, asking good questions and being tactful and diplomatic. Interpersonal power is especially useful when influencing one-to-one where the full range of skill can be demonstrated. People with high degrees of interpersonal power draw others into their confidence easily, obtaining valuable information which may be disclosed to them due to the strong sense of trust that excellent interpersonal skills can signal.
Limitations: Where Interpersonal Power is over-developed or relied upon, this can be interpreted by others as being “touchy feely” or soft, perhaps lacking in assertion or in some contexts, the necessary toughness required for success. They might even be perceived as being overly focused on the needs of people at the expense of the work and be open to manipulation by tougher or more politically savvy individuals who can exploit this perceived weakness.
Someone who models Interpersonal Power will…
- quickly build rapport and put people at ease.
- reflect back what they’ve heard to check understanding.
- ask good open questions to build understanding.
- debate and defend their position without damaging the relationship.
- maintain good eye contact.
- ensure their feedback is focused on performance not the person.
- choose their words carefully to avoid misunderstanding.
- display consideration to the feelings of others.
- use body language to reinforce their message.
- respond appropriately to body language cues.
- Learn to actively listen. Concentrate on what the other person is really saying rather than composing your reply in your head at the same time.
- Understand the importance of non-verbal communication. Learn the most important “clusters” of behaviour and signalling.
- Learn to ask open questions to signal your interest in others and to open up conversations.
- Learn “mirror-and-match techniques” to establish rapport more quickly.
- Take time out to ask people how they are feeling, as well as what they are thinking.
- Make eye contact, but don’t overly sustain it.
- Learn how to “read” body language and spot unspoken clues.
- Ask for feedback at the end of one-to-one sessions.