As a Rangatahi going through adolescence, I never got to understand the term interpersonal communication, and I found it weird that after my studies, the workforce was saying that interpersonal skills are a highly sought-after skill, potentially higher than that the actual job position. So, what is this skill? How could I have learnt of this sooner? And what influenced my ambition to work on it. This is my story of interpersonal skill development.  

Most resources out there say that Interpersonal communication is a key skill to cultivating successful relationships in the workplace, peers and for whānau. In a way yes, it is important, but how do you even develop this skill? 

My first realization of this skill was my influence of it. Growing up, my parent’s theory on how to treat other people, was “treat people the way you want to be treated”, and yea this did serve me well around others, but I felt like it didn’t teach me how to respond in a critical way. This brought my attention to question and think of what do I want out of the conversations and relationships in my life?     

I found that when I talked to people, am I talking to respond? or am I talking to listen and adapt the conversation? Is my goal to prove a point? or is it to create a shared understanding of what we would both want? Questions like these seemed binary to me, but I found that there’s so much creativity in how these are interpreted. Just knowing and having the power of questioning the way we respond, creates a step in the realm of limitless potential, it enabled me to create a decision on how I react and process, which gave me the power to create an outcome I would want or liked. Doesn’t sound that bad, I think? 

When going through adolescence, are we questioning ourselves enough on the skills outside of our view? or are we focusing too narrowly on what’s in front of us? Not to sure what that means, but I love questions, so I pose this one, “if your to do or become a certain person, are you currently that person? If not, how could you get there by doing the same thing you are currently doing?”. 


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