Human relations are an extremely broad concept. Before we consider what patterns of development or problems are peculiar to it, we need to define what exactly we are talking about. The expression itself is a common one. In psychology, it is customary to use another term – “interpersonal relations”. And despite the extreme vastness of this concept, it has very clear, albeit generalizing characteristics.
What can be considered an interpersonal relationship?
These are all kinds of variations of interactions between people. The reciprocal actions themselves can be of any kind and bring together different numbers of people.
This means that the concept includes both the types of relationship building between a couple of people, as well as the confrontation of the individual and the collective, the merging of individuals into social groups, and much more. For example, if a person enters a large elevator, where there are already many people, and he is asked what floor to get to, or asked to let him pass to the exit – this is nothing but one example of interaction, that is, interpersonal relations.
If a young man comes on a date with a bouquet of flowers, this is also an example of the way human relationships are built. A morning meeting in the office or a kind of “workout” performed by the entire team under the watchful eye of the manager is also an example of human interaction.
What are interpersonal relations based on?
Human relations are based on the communication of people and the mutual exchange of information and connections between individuals. Accordingly, direct means of communication are of paramount importance for their development and maintenance.
What is included in this concept? Of course, first of all, speech. It is the verbal way of transmitting information that is the basis of all relationships that develop between people. Information in this case should not be understood as a “dry” chronicle of any events or a statement of knowledge accumulated by previous generations. In the context of interpersonal relations this concept also includes an exchange of ideas and conclusions about something. In other words, every conversation is nothing more than an exchange of information. Even if two elderly neighbors are discussing the behavior of young people, they are still exchanging information with each other.
The nature of human relationships is not based on speech alone. The second component of the foundation of this concept is all means of non-verbal communication. It is they that allow to establish the primary interrelations between people. Such means traditionally include:
- facial expressions;
- gait and posture.
That is, everything that contributes to the composition of a person of a certain opinion, disposes to him or, conversely, repels, can be attributed to non-verbal means of communication.
What is the essence of interpersonal relationships? Why are they important?
The essence of human relationships is that they make possible both the personal development of the individual and the advancement of civilization as a whole. In other words, the progress and evolutionary development of society is nothing less than a direct consequence of interpersonal interactions. If people did not relate to one another, there would be no modern world.
What is the importance of human relationships, beyond their role in the construction and development of civilization? Interpersonal interactions are the foundation of the entire social organization of human communities, from the smallest, such as the family, to the global.
What does this mean in practice for the average person who does not think about his role in the social structure of a megalopolis or the development of civilization? It is the interaction with other people that makes up every day of one’s life, beginning at birth. Only after being born does a person begin to interact with his or her parents, to send them signals and receive a response.
Later, people start talking, socializing, reading books, watching movies, discussing them and sharing their impressions-it’s nothing less than a world of human relationships. Every morning when one wakes up and goes to work, one inevitably comes into contact with others, interacts with them.
Even if we are talking about a freelancer who lives alone and never leaves his apartment, he is still involved in interaction with other people. Watching the news, communicating on social networks – these are also types of interpersonal relationships.
How are relationships between people classified?
Since this concept is very broad, it simply cannot exist without a classification. And, of course, there is one. It is customary to divide the interpersonal relationships established between people:
- by purpose;
- by interest.
These large groups, in turn, are divided into smaller ones.
Relations by purpose
The classification of human interactions by purpose includes relationships:
Primary relations are understood as a combination of interactions and the presence of connections between people, arising naturally, due to necessity and beyond the conscious pursuit of them by individuals. For example, handing over money for a fare on a crowded bus is nothing but a primary type of relationship and interaction between people united by a common goal.
Secondary relationships are the conscious actions of an individual toward another person. Of course, we can speak not only about the action of one person toward another, but also about groups of people.
For example, a person calls an ambulance to a sick person. This is an example of a secondary relationship between people who share the same goal. In the context of the ambulance example, the goal is recovery. The paramedics who arrive are a group of people. They help the patient. That is, they also enter into a secondary relationship while pursuing the same final goal as the patient.
There are two types of relationships between people. The first is a formal interaction. The second type is, of course, informal relationships.
Relations by interest
There are two types of relationships between people by interest. The first is a formal interaction. The second type is, of course, informal relationships.
What is a formal relationship? This is a kind of formal, business way of building interactions. This type of interpersonal relations is characterized by the following:
- availability of norms, rules, requirements, mandatory to comply with;
- lack of opportunity to choose the circle of communication, partners;
- extremely low level of emotionality;
- a certain appearance and behavior.
An example of this type of relationship building could be any business cooperation, political negotiations, and even the discussion of everyday work issues. That is, if the boss calls the employee into the office and explains the current goals and objectives to him, it is a formal or official communication. But if a person talks to his boss during lunch about the weather, it is already an informal interaction. Accordingly, one of the things that determine the formal type of relationship is the topic of communication.
Informal relationships are diametrically opposed to formal interactions. They are characterized by freedom in the choice of partners, topics, appearance, and everything else. Accordingly, a casual chat with a friend over a cup of coffee is nothing less than an example of an informal type of interaction.
However, there is a thin line between these concepts. If a person in the boss’s office drinks tea with the boss and discusses family problems, this is no longer formal communication, even though it takes place at work and during working hours. Similarly, it is impossible to consider a conversation with the boss that concerns only work-related issues but takes place in the evening at a restaurant to be informal communication.
Is it possible to manage relationships between people?
Yes. Moreover, human relations management is one of the most important disciplines that future managers master. That is to say, it is nothing less than human resource management.
The main functional concepts that make up the key to successful relationship management are the “three pillars of management”: inducement, communication and motivation.
Many novice professionals often confuse such concepts as “motivation” and “inducement”. The meaning of these functions is not the same.
Inducement is the manager’s ability to arouse interest in the necessary action in the employee. Motivation, on the other hand, is the search for ways and means of influence, thanks to which the employee brings the initiated matter to a conclusion as quickly and efficiently as possible. Communication in this case is a combination of different ways and mechanisms of transferring information to employees and receiving it from them.
Accordingly, it is not only possible, but also necessary to manage relationships between people in the professional sphere. Thanks to the combination of the “three whales of management” not only achieves effective results, but also creates cohesion in the team, a clear understanding by employees of their role, awareness of the goals and objectives.
However, this method is only effective in a formal form of relations. If people try to manage relationships outside of the formal type of interaction, it is already called manipulation and rarely leads to anything good.
Basic rules for building interpersonal relations
It is important to understand that there are no strict rules in this area, rather there is a certain algorithm that will help build the most favorable interpersonal relationships:
1. Form an area of positive emotions:
- Try not to accept another point of view with hostility;
- Be in solidarity with your partner in some respects, agree on some points that are less important to you today;
- If you feel tension, do not exacerbate the situation, give your partner a chance to cool down.
2. Form a problem-solving area:
- Make suggestions, don’t be afraid to talk about your ideas and vision for building interpersonal relations;
- Pointing out exactly what and why you do not fit today and now will help find a solution to the difficulties;
- Your opinion should be expressed, at least to make it known;
- Try to be 60% partner oriented in the process of building communications.
3. Form a problem-setting area:
- Feel free to ask for the information you need;
- Talk about what you would like to hear from the other person;
- To establish the problem area, you need guidance, otherwise things will be interpreted differently by each participant.
4. The area of negative emotion
It is impossible to build interpersonal relationships without it, but it is not to be feared. You just need to remember that in any communication people always have disagreements and a desire to defend their position. There are moments of tension and aggression, and here it is important to learn not to be afraid of it, but to clarify why it arises and what is behind it.