Want to improve your relationship with your spouse, children, employer, employees, customers, strangers or even yourself? It's not complicated.

Stop focusing on yourself! Start seeing things from their perspective. The following are the cornerstone interpersonal skills to master that can change your life include:

  • Attentiveness: Making eye contact, listening without interrupting and accepting nonjudgementally the other person's inherent world.
  • Acknowledgement, Appreciation: Noticing the others efforts to be helpful or nice and commenting on them positively.
  • Empathy: Recognizing other's circumstances, imagening what they must be like, acknowledging in a respectful manner how they must feel.

Think about someone with whom you are having difficulty. Do you practice each of these skills with them?

What about the people you just see on the street or around the office? How quick are you to judge someone without knowing their curcumstances?

Was the chewing out you just got really about you or something you did, or did something else happen that you don't know about? The minor issue they had with you could have simply been the small thing that pushed the person beyond their breaking point. How do you think they feel about their reaction to you?

Ask yourself these questions next time you meet or just observe someone sitting across the table or walking down the street.

Time and time again, I have seen people regularly who never looked happy and look unapproachable… until I say hello to them. Often they look up say hello back and get the biggest smile on their face. This small gesture, a smile, a kind word, a cup of tea and especially a change in perspective can often be all it takes to transform a relationship.