Interpersonal Communication: Types, Examples and Tips

Understand what interpersonal communication is with its types, examples and tips and how it can influence your personal and care

January 12, 2024
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How would you describe your job to a five year old?
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Would you go in the mother-ship with aliens if they landed on Earth tomorrow?
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If you had to move to another country, which one would you choose?
You are the best criminal mastermind in the world. What crime would you commit if you knew you would get away with it?
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What person from history would you add to Mount Rushmore?
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Were the Spice Girls a good team?
Imagine you can instantly learn any language. Which would you choose?
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Show us the weirdest thing you have in the room with you right now.
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Who is someone in your community that makes a difference?
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Choose one famous person from history you want on your team during a zombie apocalypse.
What is a good way to give back to the community?
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Is Hugh Grant funny?
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Would you want to have an imaginary friend today? Did you have one as a child?
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You can only eat one food again for the rest of your life. What is it?
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Pick any band to play at your funeral.
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What emoji best describes how you are feeling right now?
If you could live in any country, which country would you pick?
Would you rather live in a city or a town?
What is your favorite holiday?
What is something you accomplished as part of a team?
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What is your favorite season?
Have you ever won something as a team?
Imagine you are a professional baseball player. What is your introduction song?
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Do you know how to speak more than one language?
On a scale of 1 – 10, how much of a team player are you?
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What bucket list item do you most want to check off in the next six months?
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If you could be great at any Olympic sport, which would it be?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
When did you start liking/hating mushrooms?
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Have you ever met your idol?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Would you rather live 100 years in the past or 100 years in the future?
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Imagine you no longer have to work. How would you spend a Tuesday?
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Communication is a necessary skill that every individual must have to excel in both their personal and professional lives. 

Clear and open communication fosters trust, understanding, and a sense of shared purpose. It allows individuals to share their thoughts and teams to work together seamlessly, leveraging each other's strengths and overcoming challenges as a unit.

Good communication is the heartbeat of a thriving workspace. Without it, work becomes a messy and frustrating experience, like trying to build a puzzle without seeing the full picture.

So, let's take a closer look at what interpersonal communication is, how it impacts our daily lives, and ways to improve it further.

Let's start with the definition first…

What is interpersonal communication?

Interpersonal communication is the exchange of information between people. It includes both verbal and non-verbal elements such as words, facial expressions, gestures, body language, and tone of voice.

In the workplace, interpersonal communication can take various forms such as team meetings, client calls, memos, emails, performance reviews, and casual conversations during lunch or while taking breaks.

Interpersonal communication skills are soft skills that we develop since childhood, and they vary from person to person. 

Why is interpersonal communication important?

Interpersonal communication is the lifeblood of our social world, weaving together our relationships, careers, and personal growth. 

Effective communication is essential in the workplace, enhancing teamwork, collaboration, and productivity. It facilitates the exchange of ideas, reducing misunderstandings and conflicts. Its importance lies in its ability to:

  • Build connections
  • Enhance group productivity and collaboration
  • Boost efficiency and task accomplishment
  • Facilitate idea exchange and creative problem-solving
  • Minimize misunderstandings and disputes
  • inspire and guide teams
  • Improve understanding and connection
  • Contribute to fulfillment in various life aspects

Overall, strong interpersonal communication skills are an invaluable asset in the workplace and can significantly impact your career growth and success. By investing in developing these skills, you can unlock a world of possibilities and become a more valuable and well-rounded professional.

Types of interpersonal communication

Interpersonal communication isn't just about throwing words like confetti. It's a symphony played across four distinct instruments: verbal, listening, written, and non-verbal. Mastering these instruments is key to forging meaningful connections and navigating the social landscape with ease.

1. Verbal communication

This isn't just about vocabulary and grammar. It's about harnessing the power of your voice, choosing the right words for the occasion, and delivering them with clarity and purpose. 

Imagine presenting a groundbreaking idea with stumbling sentences and mumbled jargon. Or delivering a heartfelt apology with a sarcastic tone. 

The right words, spoken persuasively, can build bridges, inspire action, and mend torn bonds. Remember, a well-placed "wow" can be as impactful as a grandiloquent speech.

2. Listening

While most think communication is about "getting your point across," the true magic lies in actively listening. 

It's the art of giving the speaker your full attention, not just with your ears, but with your mind and heart. Imagine a friend pouring out their woes while you scroll through your phone. 

Empathy and understanding blossom from attentive listening. Techniques like reflecting, summarizing, and asking clarifying questions help the speaker feel heard and understood, paving the way for deeper connections and more effective problem-solving.

3. Written communication

From emails to social media posts, written communication has become our digital voice. But it's more than just stringing words together. 

It's about crafting clear, concise messages that resonate with the reader. Imagine expressing gratitude in a work email riddled with typos and emojis. Or sending a condolence message devoid of any semblance of empathy. 

Good written communication skills encompass elements like grammar, clarity, tone, and even the use of emojis. 

4. Non-verbal communication

Words may paint a picture, but our bodies tell the whole story. From subtle facial expressions to confident gestures, non-verbal cues dance alongside our spoken words, often revealing our true emotions and intentions. 

Imagine crossing your arms while delivering a compliment. Or nodding politely while your eyes glaze over. A smile, a furrowed brow, a clenched fist – each movement speaks volumes. 

Understanding and interpreting these silent signals is crucial for building trust and ensuring your message is received as intended.

Examples of interpersonal communication

Interpersonal communication isn't confined to grand speeches and formal debates. It's the lifeblood of our daily interactions, woven into the fabric of our lives. Here's how these five common scenarios showcase the different types of communication at play:

1. Meetings

Whether huddled around a conference table or peering into video squares, meetings buzz with a symphony of communication. Verbal exchanges drive the agenda, passionate arguments and nuanced agreements come alive through non-verbal cues, and attentive listening ensures everyone feels heard. Written notes and documents add another layer, while emojis and GIFs in online meetings inject a touch of levity.

2. Presentations

Giving a presentation means taking center stage which demands mastery of verbal communication. Persuasive delivery, clear language, and strategically chosen words paint a compelling picture. Non-verbal cues like confident posture and eye contact add conviction, while listening to audience reactions and adapting the message on the fly demonstrate flexibility.

3. Phone calls

The humble phone call remains a vibrant stage for interpersonal communication. The absence of visual cues amplifies the importance of vocal variety, where inflection and tone become the brushstrokes painting emotions onto the conversation. Active listening becomes crucial, with "uh-huh's" and "mhmm’s" acting as bridges between words, while clear and concise language ensures the message lands without needing visual aids.

4. Emails

The written word takes the spotlight in emails. Clarity and conciseness are key, as ambiguity can breed misunderstandings. Tone, carefully crafted through word choice and punctuation, can convey warmth, professionalism, or even humor. Mastering the written form in emails fosters asynchronous communication, allowing information to flow across time and space.

5. Text messaging

Brisk and informal, text messages rely on immediacy and brevity. Emojis and abbreviations add personality while understanding context and reading between the lines becomes essential. Texting showcases the informal side of interpersonal communication, where quick exchanges and shared humor build casual connections.

Tips to improve interpersonal communication skills

1. Identify what you need to improve

Effective communication is a multifaceted gem, and self-awareness is the key to polishing its facets. Take a step back and observe yourself in interactions. 

Do you struggle with actively listening? Perhaps your message clarity needs refinement. Maybe navigating difficult conversations leaves you flustered. 

Identifying your vulnerabilities allows you to prioritize areas for improvement, guiding you on your communication journey.

2. Practice different communication skills & styles

Communication isn't a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Mastering various soft skills empowers you to adapt your approach to different situations and audiences. 

  • Active listening: Pay close attention to the speaker, both verbally and non-verbally. Ask clarifying questions, summarize key points, and show genuine interest in their perspective.
  • Empathy: Place yourself in the other person's shoes and try to understand what their feelings and motivations are. This fosters connection and builds trust.
  • Assertiveness: Communicate your needs and opinions clearly and confidently, without being aggressive or passive-aggressive.
  • Clarity and conciseness: Tailor your message to the audience and avoid unnecessary jargon or ambiguity. Strive for directness and conciseness to ensure your message resonates.
  • Non-verbal communication: Keep a check on your body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice. These silent cues can significantly impact the message you convey.

3. Get control over emotions

Strong emotions can lead to misjudgment and poor communication. Learn to manage your emotions effectively, especially in stressful situations. 

Techniques like deep breathing, mindfulness, and taking breaks can help you regain composure and approach conversations with a clear head. 

Remember, communication is a two-way street; listen actively and respond thoughtfully, even when emotions run high.

4. Use internal communication tools

Modern communication platforms like Assembly offer powerful tools to streamline internal communication and foster closer collaboration. 

Utilize features like instant messaging, file sharing, and task management to keep teams informed, aligned, and engaged. 

Assembly's intuitive interface and robust capabilities make it easy to build a culture of open communication and shared knowledge within your organization.

5. Utilize team collaboration tools

Effective collaboration is key to achieving shared goals. Utilize project management tools to collaborate, break down complex tasks, assign roles and responsibilities, track progress and keep everyone in the loop. 

Platforms like Slack or Microsoft Teams can help teams stay organized, communicate effectively, and celebrate successes together. They provide shared workspaces, and communication channels, ensuring everyone is on the same page and contributing effectively. 

By streamlining collaboration, you can foster a collaborative environment where everyone feels empowered to contribute and communicate openly.

6. Ask for feedback

Seek feedback from trusted colleagues or mentors on your communication. Ask them to observe your interactions and provide constructive criticism on areas for improvement. 

Be open to feedback, and remember, it's an opportunity to refine your skills and become a more effective communicator.

Organizations can also conduct a 360-degree review feedback to assess their employees’ skills, talents and weaknesses and connect them with mentors to work on weaknesses. 

Power of interpersonal communication skills

Mastering interpersonal communication is a journey, not a destination. These tips are your compass, guiding you toward more meaningful connections, collaborative experiences, and personal growth. So, embrace the power of communication, and watch as your relationships and career flourish with each brushstroke.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Assembly SOC 2 compliant?

Yes, at Assembly, security is a top priority. Each quarter, we have ongoing security work that is everyone’s responsibility. While we maintain a strong security posture, it was important for us to prove to our customers that we do everything we claim to do. This led us to pursue a SOC 2 Type II report that would provide evidence of our compliance with industry gold-standard security practice.

What's the ROI for employee recognition?

There is study after study showing that employee recognition leads to increased engagement. This in return creates an environment where employees are happier and more motivated which increase productivity and reduces voluntary turnover significantly. In order to filled critical roles, companies tend to spend nearly twice the value of an annual salary. Assembly is an investment in your employees that supports your bottom line.

Does Assembly offer longer-term contracts?

Yes, we will offer contracts for companies with longer-term agreements to help larger customers have more certainty around future costs.

The minimum agreement term is a 12-month subscription.

Does Assembly offer onboarding support?

We do and for FREE! Any new customer needing further support to get started with Assembly to ensure you're set up for success can request custom onboarding support. Improving your employee experience is about much more than just using our amazing software; it’s about transforming your business to create a workplace that people love. That’s much easier to do with the personal support and advice from our passionate people experts.

Is there a free version of Assembly?

Yes. We offer a completely free plan for up to 50 team members. This plan is intended for teams or organizations that are looking to get started with an employee engagement tool. Keep in mind, this plan is limited in features.

All customers can open an Assembly account for free and get started without a credit card. Then you can change plans as necessary.

How much do rewards cost?

At the time of redemption (when your employees exchange their points for a paid reward) you'll pay face value. If a reward is a $10 Amazon gift card, your cost will be $10. All paid rewards are billed for on a monthly basis.

The good news is that you don't have to pay for rewards upfront because we only charge you when points are redeemed, not when they're earned.

Does Assembly offer discounts?

We offer discounts or educational or charitable organizations. In order to secure a discount, you'll first need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

For all other organizations, we are willing to consider longer-term agreements in exchange for discounts. To set up annual plans or longer, you will need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

How do I cancel my plan if needed?

If you're on a month to month plan, you can go here and cancel anytime. If you're having concerns or need help setting up your account for success, you can always book a demo with a customer support specialist.

If you're on a longer-term custom plan, you'll need to reach out to your customer support specialist to cancel your account or email us at

What customizations are available?

Great question! You can customize your core values to match your organization's to boost and track alignment. You can change your currency from the 🏆 emoji (our default) to any emoji of your choice. You can swap our logo for your own. You can also set up company culture rewards such as, "Lunch with the CEO," "Buy a book on us," and so much more!

Who can give or receive recognition?

While we recommend a peer to peer set up where anyone in your organization can give or receive recognition, you can set up Assembly however you want. If you need to limit the people who can give or receive recognition, that's perfectly fine and can be done from your Admin, here.

What integrations are available?

Assembly connects to the tools your employees use every day to offer an easy, seamless experience with minimal change management.  

Assembly has integrations with HCM/HRIS systems like ADP, Google, Office 365, and Slack. We also integrate with communication tools like Slack and Teams so you and your employees can access Assembly wherever they work now.

What's your average adoption rate?

That depends on the company's permissions set up. That said, over 90% of the employees on Assembly's platform are recognized on a monthly basis. That means nearly every employee across all of our customers are receiving regular recognition from their peers, managers, or leadership. We're extremely proud of this.

Must rewards be set up to use Assembly?

They are not required. You can use Assembly without having rewards set up. However, we don't recommend it if you intend to have a high adoption and usage rate. You can always keep the costs down by offering internal culture rewards that are fulfilled by you internally.

Are points required to use Assembly?

No, you can remove allowances from anyone or everyone. It's up to you but we do recommend using points whether they're worth a real dollar value or not. Companies that use points have a much higher engagement rate even if those points don't exchange for real dollars.

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