18 Best Practice Tips for Interpersonal Communication

On Tuesday, April, 29th, 2014 close to 100 employees from Capital Health gathered at the Holiday Inn Harbourview, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia for the Collaboration: Working Together – 2014 Spring Interprofessional Development Day.

The purpose of the session was to create an opportunity for Capital Health employees to reflect on their experience of working in collaborative teams and to inspire them to plan for and take action around working better together – every day, everywhere and with everyone.

Barefoot Facilitation Inc. was pleased to serve as a resource over several months of planning and as the facilitator for the event.

During one component of the day, participants worked through a stepped process to share and prioritize recommended best practices (tips) for interpersonal communication.  Here’s a summary of 18 of their best tips – in their own words:

  • Listen actively – universally, people want to be heard.
  • Minimize internal and external distractions.
  • Be present.
  • Slow down.
  • Give your full attention.
  • Smile or use appropriate facial expressions.
  • Understand the power and impact of matching and mirroring body posture.
  • Pay attention to personal space.
  • Be concise and use words selectively.
  • Be open.
  • Think before you speak.
  • Refresh your communication skills.
  • Make sure your voice matches what you are saying.
  • Engage in timely,  assertive discussions.
  • Avoid the use of devices when in conversation – put away your phone.
  • Treat people as equals – don’t talk down to people.
  • Be respectful.
  • Be inquisitive and ask good questions.


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