Life and relationships are virtually inextricable. In one way or another (within the social set up), living things with bias to human beings find themselves relating with one another either consciously or autonomously in an effort to fulfill the inherent factor that human beings are social beings. However, the degree and the context in which such relationships take place varies along different situations and the inherent characteristics of the individuals who form the subject of such relationships.
Ideally, interpersonal relationships are part and parcel of human life. Definition wise, interpersonal relationship is a term that refers to the connection between two or more individuals, ranging from short-lived relationship -lasting for just a short time- to long lasting or rather percent relationship of which the relating individual remains connected for a long time. Generally, interpersonal relationships are based on specific tenets or pedestals; the latter of which forms the basis on which the relationship is established (Cushman & Cahn, 50). Often, such foundations include, love, general fondness, and normal business relations as well as the wide range of other general life social commitments. Consequently, the environment in which interpersonal relationships take place are rather diverse and multifaceted, ranging from churches and religion meeting places, families, marriage unions, social neighborhood, work places and offices and clubs to places that constitute the social set up. In addition, interpersonal relationships are synchronized by laws, societal values, beliefs and customs and reciprocated agreements among the relating parties. Similarly, the objective and functions of various forms of interpersonal relationships differ with the setting. For instance, despite the fact that relationships between colleagues in work place and intimate relationship in a marriage are both forms of interpersonal relationship, the goals of formation and existence of each, the context in which each exists as well as the rules and regulation on which each is established and run forms a point of clear distinction between them.
Despite the fact that socialization is inherent in human beings and that socialization among them in whatever form and context that it takes is autonomous, the existence of healthy interpersonal relationships is not obvious. Consequently, there are varying factors that surround and influence establishment and existence of interpersonal relationships, the latter of which can either hinder of foster health interpersonal relations. Such includes, poor communication skills (Cushman & Cahn, 50), conflicting interests, diversity in personality and character, lack of compatibility, and mistrust among others (Anonymous, Para 5). The purpose of this paper therefore is to offer a detailed analysis of the role of healthy interpersonal relationship in effective human resources management. This choice is the most Ideal because healthy interpersonal relationships in organizations are critical for its success yet it is a daunting challenge to develop and maintain such relationships in work places.
Interpersonal relations development: the Levinger’s model
Basically, interpersonal relationships exist in complex, multifaceted and highly dynamic systems that vary steadily and continuously throughout the existing life of the relationship thus forming a complex process and at times, a cycle of events. Chandler (Para 7) argues that similar to other living thing, interpersonal relationships usually have the starting point, definite time in which it exists and an ending point. According to chandler (Para 7), interpersonal relationship growth is characteristically directly proportional to the length of the time of its existence. As such, there is a tendency of such a relationship growing and improving steadily as the relating parties or individuals become closer to each other emotionally and physically and as such, parties become more acquainted with each other. Similarly, interpersonal relationships get to fade more and more as such parties or individual become more and more disintegrated from one another. George Levinger, a renowned psychologist, proposed a model to explain the process on interpersonal relationship development.
The process on interpersonal relationship development: relational development
Under the Levinger’s model, interpersonal relationships development involves five key steps which include, acquaintance, the build up stage, continuation, deterioration and the termination stage; after which the relationship no longer exists. Irrespective of the fact that the Levinger’s model was basically developed to describe the process of heterosexual relationship development, evidence shows that Levinger’s ideology to interpersonal relationship development is also applicable in the context of other forms of interpersonal relationship including the work place interpersonal relationships which form the pillar of success in human resources management (Weber Para. 6). The acquaintance stage of the development process forms the initial contact between the associating parties the meeting of which the foundations of the relationships are laid down. This process is greatly influenced and affected by multivariate factors which includes but not limited to the past relationship experiences, the context that necessitates and forms the pillars of the relationship, the physical closeness, the initial impression and the ensuing hollow effect among other factors.
Events of acquaintance stage may determine the outcomes of the relationship as well as the quality of the subsequent stages. Failed assistance will hinder the progression to the next or lead to the lengthening of this initial stage. When the relationship progresses to the buildup state, confidence, trust and mutual care between or among the parties involved in the association begins to be built. As a result, ensuing interaction must autonomously generate the highest level of compatibility and generate common goals and background; as such factors may determine whether the relationship continues to exist of fails. The continuation stage on the other hand involves individuals developing shared commitment to a long term relationship. Being a lengthy and stable process, much internal development takes place in the stage, of which, trust among the parties involved is an imperative recipe to see through the relationship’s sustenance.
Despite the fact that not all relationships deteriorate, the results of this stages in situations where it takes place marks the end of a relationship, the outcomes of which are virtually unsuitable for the relationship to go on. Therefore, deterioration stage is characterized by such signs as world-weariness, hatred, dissatisfaction, reduced communication, and diminishing trust between the parties, open conflicts, unfaithfulness as well as keeping secrets between such parties or curtailed openness, an indication that the interpersonal relationship is moving towards extinction. The final stage in the interpersonal relationship development process is the termination stage. As such, the stage virtually brings the relationship to the end. Termination could be as a result of natural factors leading to an end of a healthy relationship such as one party becoming deceased or separation due to inability to manage the problems of interpersonal relationship as exhibited by the deterioration stage in the development process (Cushman & Cahn, 49).
Implication of the Levinger’s model to the human resources management
Work places form one of the most ideal platforms in which the most complex form of interpersonal relationships exists. The establishment development and maintenance of interpersonal relationships in organizational set up is perhaps the most critical yet challenging aspects of organizational management (Anonymous Para. 7). To build healthy and lasting relationships in the organizational models, human resources managers must have the skills and ability to manage all the four stages of the interpersonal relationship development process and at all cost, avoid termination unless such termination is caused by natural and inevitable factors such as death of the organization members. For instance, integration between the organizational member’s starts either before or during recruitment and selection processes and are expected to continues until natural separation either due to natural death or retirements when the age is due; a process that involves a long period of nurturing and developing of a long lasting relationship between the parties (employees and the employer). Consequently, the parties enter into acquaintance at their first contact mainly during the recruitment interviews and develop relationships throughout the employee’s lifespan in the organization. The human resource manager’s role in relations establishment and development is critical thus calling for high level of appropriate relations development skills on the part of the manager
Effective human resources management basically involves successfully creating lasting and healthy bonds between the individuals who constitute the organization. Consequently, healthy interpersonal relations in organizations involve resourceful and health associations between people at all levels of the organizational management and include fostering health employees to employees relations, supervisors and subordinate bonding, managers-employees relation, inter line managers relationships associations and collaborations, and managers and senior management relations among others, all of which are particularly vital for the organizational success. All these are preconditions for existence of a suitable organizational environment critical for successful achievement of the organizational goals and objectives. However, there are many factors within the organization that hinder the existence of healthy interpersonal relationships among the parties involved. Such include biased policies, unsuitable organizational structure, unhealthy competitions among the parties, conflict of interests, and mismatch of expectations, unmet demands of one party, inferiority complex, and poor management of diversity inherent among the organizational members among other factors (Anonymous, Para 8,10). For example, signs of unhealthy relationships in the organization exhibit themselves in the form of ensuing conflicts between the members, industrial actions, destination among the members, rivalry among the members, workplace delinquencies, resignation, employees dismissal and early retirements and high employees turnover due to one form of dissatisfaction or the other. The totalities of such symptoms are sheer manifestation of ineffective human resources management which is bound to translate to organizational inefficiency. Therefore, management of interpersonal relations development process is critical for effective HRM. Skills that are essential for the manager to effectively manage interpersonal relationships process for ultimate healthy relations in work place include the conflict resolution skills, relational development skills, listening skills, communication skills, ability enhance trust and self-disclosure among the employees among other factors (Cushman & Cahn 49).
Conflicts resolution skills for effective interpersonal skills development
To a great extent, it is pragmatically almost impossible to avoid conflicts in organization in totality (Anonymous, Para 8). The latter points out that this is perhaps because the causes of such conflicts in organizational set up are varied, some of which are naturally inherent in the individuals that form the organization. Such factors include but are not limited to conflicts of interests, mismatch of expectation and diversity in personality and character, competition for ordinance among the members and mismatch of expectation on the part of one party leading to mistrust among parties. For example, industrial action in organization which is the most common form of organizational disagreements results from deteriorating positive relationship between the employees and management mainly due to the displeasure with one aspect of management or the other, which may range from maltreatment of the subordinates by the seniors to dissatisfaction with the organizational compensation systems. Therefore, effective conflict resolution requires to peacefully resolve the conflicts to bring the warring parties into a common agreement while being careful not to hurt the interpersonal relationships between the management and the employees. As a result, managers and all members of the negotiating team must develop and use appropriate communication skills, listening skills, creative thinking, relational development skills, and diversity management based on solid understanding of psychological variable as well as a host of other appropriate skills essential for appropriate conflict resolutions, if at all healthy interpersonal relations are to be fully restored and improved at the end of the resolution.
Interpersonal relationship refers to the involvement between two or more people within an established context. As a result, effective interpersonal relationship skills are critical in enhancing positive relationships between the associating parties either in the normal social set up or in work or organizational environment. Consequently, the organization being a complex set up that is made of people consistently and steadily interacting in one way or another forms an ideal platform in which interpersonal relationships in the most complex form are established, nurtured, developed and maintained to achieve mutual pre-established organizational goals. This is made possible mainly through effective human resources management. Therefore, the basic functions of effective human resources management is establishing and successfully managing interpersonal relations among all members that form the organization and autonomously mobilizing them towards the achievement of preset shared goals and objectives. The implication of this fact therefore is that strategic relations building and maintenance skills are preconditions basic to any human resource manager and all other managers in an organization if they are to be effective in accomplishment of their roles. Basically, such managers should have effective communication skills (Cushman & Cahn, 49), effective conflict resolutions skills, diversity management skills and negativity management skills among others. Furthermore, they should possess the ability to establish, nurture, develop and foster positive interpersonal relations between the organizational members at all levels; of which effective conflicts resolution, diversity management, listening skills among other appropriate skills for relations development are key to HRM effectiveness and organizational wellbeing.
Anonymous. “Work with People: Interpersonal Relationships, Conflict Resolution.” About.com. 2008. Web.
Chandler, Daniel. “The Transmission Model of Communication” The Transmission Model of Communication. 2009. Web.
Cushman, Donald & Cahn, Dudley. Communication in interpersonal relationships. Albany, State university of New York, 1985.
Weber, Mark. “The Importance of Interpersonal Relationships.” The Importance of Interpersonal Relationships. 2007. Web.