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Human relations: essence, development and problems

Human relations is an extremely broad concept. Before thinking about what patterns of development or problems are inherent in them, you need to determine what exactly is being discussed.

This expression itself is everyday. In psychology, it is customary to use a different term – “interpersonal relations.” And despite the extreme breadth of this concept, it has very clear, albeit generalizing characteristics.

What it is? Definition and examples

Interpersonal or human relationships are nothing more than a combination, a combination of various variations of interactions between people. Themselves mutual actions can be any and unite a different number of people.

This means that the concept includes both the types of building relationships between a couple of people and the confrontation between the individual and the team, 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 about which floor to get to, or he is asked to skip to the exit, then this is nothing more than one of the models of interaction, that is, interpersonal relationships …

If a young man comes on a date with a bouquet of flowers – this is also an example of a way to build human relationships. A morning meeting in the office or a kind of “exercise” performed by the whole team under the watchful supervision of a manager is also an example of interaction between people.

What are interpersonal relationships based on?

Human relations are based on the communication of people and the mutual exchange of information, connections between individuals. Accordingly, direct means of communication are of paramount importance for their development and maintenance.

Personal relationships

What is included in this concept? Of course, speech first. It is the verbal way of transmitting information that is the basis of all relationships that develop between people. In this case, information should not be understood as a “dry” chronicle of any events or a presentation of knowledge accumulated by previous generations. In the context of interpersonal relationships, this concept also includes the exchange of thoughts, conclusions about something. In other words, every conversation is nothing more than an exchange of information. Even if two elderly neighbors discuss the behavior of young people, they still exchange information with each other.

The nature of human relationships is not only based on speech. The second component of the foundation of this concept is all means of non-verbal communication. They make it possible to establish primary relationships between people. These funds traditionally include:

  • gesticulation;
  • facial expressions;
  • appearance;
  • gait and posture.
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That is, everything that contributes to drawing up a certain opinion about a person, disposes to him or, on the contrary, 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 relations lies in the fact that thanks to them, both the personal development of a single individual and the advancement of the entire civilization as a whole are possible. In other words, the progress and evolutionary development of society are nothing more than a direct consequence of interpersonal interactions. If people did not enter into relationships with each other, then there would be no modern world.

Silhouettes of people in front of the map

Why are human relations important, in addition to 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 global ones.

What does this mean in practice for an ordinary person who does not think about his role in the social structure of a metropolis or the development of civilization? The fact that it is precisely from interaction with other people that every day of his life is formed, starting from the very birth. Only after being born, a person begins to interact with his parents – to give them signals and catch a response.

Later, people begin to talk, communicate, read books, watch films, discuss them and share their impressions – this is nothing more than the world of human relations. Every morning, waking up and going to work, a person inevitably comes into contact with others, interacts with them. Even if we are talking about a freelancer who lives alone and does not leave the apartment, in principle, he still participates 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 extensive, it simply cannot exist without classification. And of course it is. It is customary to share interpersonal relationships that are established between people:

  • by target;
  • the nature.

These large groups, in turn, are subdivided into smaller ones.

Classification of relationships “by purpose”: examples

The classification of human interactions by purpose includes relationships:

  • primary;
  • secondary.

Primary relationships are understood as a combination of interactions and the presence of connections between people that arise naturally, due to the need and outside the conscious aspiration of individuals to them. For example, transferring money for travel on a crowded bus is nothing more than the primary type of relationship and interaction of people united by a common goal.

Informal communication

Secondary relationships are the conscious actions of an individual towards another person. Of course, we can talk not only about the action of one person in relation to another, but also about groups of people. For example, a person calls an ambulance for a patient. This is an example of a secondary relationship between people who share a common goal. In the context of the urgent example, the goal is recovery. The arrived doctors are already a group of people. They help the patient. That is, they also enter into secondary relationships, while pursuing the same final goal as the patient.

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Classification of relationships “by nature”: examples

By their nature, relationships between people are divided into two types. The first is formal interaction. The second type is, of course, informal relationships.

What are formal relationships? It’s kind of a formal, business-like way of building interactions. This type of interpersonal relationship is characterized as follows:

  • the presence of norms, rules, requirements, mandatory for compliance;
  • lack of opportunity to choose a circle of communication, partners;
  • extremely low level of emotionality;
  • certain appearance and behavior.

An example of this type of relationship building can be any business collaboration, political negotiation, and even discussion of day-to-day work issues. That is, if the boss calls the employee into the office and explains to him the current goals and objectives, this is formal or formal communication. But if a person talks to his boss during lunch about the weather, this is already an informal interaction. Accordingly, one of the defining moments of the formal type of relationship is the topic of communication.

Informal relationships are diametrically opposed to formal interactions. They are characterized by freedom in choosing partners, topics, appearance and everything else. Accordingly, casual chatting with a friend over a cup of coffee is nothing more than an example of an informal type of interaction.

Interpersonal communication in the office

One nuance is curious enough. If a person in the boss’s office drinks tea with the boss and discusses family problems, this is no longer formal communication, although it happens at work and during working hours. In the same way, it is impossible to refer to informal communication as a conversation with a boss that concerns only working moments, but which takes place in the evening in a restaurant.

Is it possible to manage relationships between people?

Human relationship management is one of the disciplines that future managers master. That is, it is nothing more than personnel management.

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The main functional concepts that make up the key to successful management of human relationships are the “three pillars of management”:

  • motivation;
  • communication;
  • motivation.

Many novice professionals often confuse concepts such as “motivation” and “motivation”. The meaning of these functions is not the same.

Motivation is nothing more than the ability of the leader to arouse interest in the required action in the employee. Motivation is finding ways and means of influence, thanks to which the employee brings the started business to the end as quickly and efficiently as possible. Communication in this case is a combination of various methods and mechanisms for transmitting information to employees and receiving it from them.

Manager and subordinates

Accordingly, it is not only possible, but also necessary to manage relations between people in the professional sphere. Thanks to the combination of the “three whales of management”, not only an effective result is achieved, but also coherence in the team, a clear understanding of their role by employees, and awareness of goals and objectives.

If people try to manage relationships outside the formal type of interaction, this is already called manipulation and rarely leads to anything good.

What is meant by the development and the problem of interpersonal relations?

The development of human relations is one of the scientific directions in psychosociology. As a rule, it deals with issues that are directly related to the art of personnel management, workforce or student audiences.

It is based on the theory of “human relations” developed at Harvard University by Elton Mayo at the beginning of the last century. This scientist was the head of the Business School. It was something akin to modern management courses. A school was opened at Harvard University, but, of course, its graduation was not accompanied by the issuance of a diploma from this institution.

Formal communication

The problem of the human relationship, according to this theory, is that social and psychological factors, rather than material ones, have a fundamental influence on labor productivity and employee performance. However, if you exclude the material component, then social and psychological motivators will have no effect at all. However, with the exclusion of psychosocial components, there is enough material incentive to complete the task, but the work will be done very poorly. It was in this paradox that the author of the theory saw the problem that science should deal with in the study of interpersonal relations and their management.


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