Improving your Interpersonal Skills: was created by Paul “The Ripples Guy” Wesselmann with the mission of inspiring others to achieve their full potential in life. He does this by traveling around the country giving presentations on interpersonal, leadership and motivational skills. Many companies and organizations contact him to give group presentations on: personal and professional growth, interpersonal skills and motivational skills. I learned about while attending one of his presentations at George Mason University but anyone can review his presentations on his website for free. In this blog I will discuss his presentation, Reaching Out: Achieving High Levels of Interpersonal Effectiveness and demonstrate how it is related to peace education.

Reaching Out: Achieving High Levels of Interpersonal Effectiveness is a presentation about how to get along with others, especially those you don’t like by using effective interpersonal skills. Interpersonal skills are essential to peace education because  how you communicate and interact with others matters! Therefore by using effective interpersonal skills you can prevent conflict, promote peace and make the world a better place.

I recommend that all resident directors or supervisors use this resource to ehance their staff’s interpersonal skills. Wesselmann’s presentations should be taught at a conference or at a weekend retreat. This  allows employees to step away from their work and really absorb the material. In my opinion, his presentations should be taught to high school students and above because effective interpersonal skills are needed when working with others on teams, projects, jobs and organizations.

In Reaching Out: Achieving High Levels of Interpersonal Effectiveness, Paul gives us three techniques to improve our interpersonal skills: Vegetables are Gross, Create Deposits and Get out of Your Chair. Veggies are Gross is a theory that explains that to stay healthy you have to eat vegetables. However you don’t have to like vegetables to eat them; you just have to eat them to stay healthy. When applying this concept to interpersonal skills in the workplace it means to work with people you don’t have to like them; you just have to work with them.  Creating deposits is the concept that explains what you put in something, is what you get out of it. When applying this concept to interpersonal relations we can say that we invest more in people we like then people we don’t like. With that said, if you don’t like someone try depositing more in them, try building a relationship with them and see if your attitude towards them changes. The third technique is Get out of Your Chair in other words make an effort to interact and get to know people you don’t like, instead of writing them off. In addition, by learning to work with other more effectively you are better equipped to prevent and resolve conflicts and inequalities in the workplace. With that said, there is no guarantee that these techniques will prevent conflict in the workplace because conflict is inevitable but in some cases these techniques will help.

Ways to use this resource is to contact  Paul “The Ripples Guy” Wesselmann  to come and do a presentation. However, if you have already attended one of his presentations, you can shared the information with others by visiting his website.  As a supervisor, I would incorporate this presentation after  your employees are well acquainted with each other. During this time, it will help strengthen their current relationships as well as challenge them to interact with other co-workers that they don’t necessarily get along with.  It will also encourage them to step outside of their comfort zones and enhance their interpersonal skills. This resource should be used along with team builders, ice breakers and group outings to check the temperature of the group and the group’s dynamics. Paul’s presentations are useful because they help employees grow on a personal and professional level.

Participatory and experiential peace education methods are most supported by this presentation. By utilizing this resource employees will enhance their communication, interpersonal and leadership skills as well as develop a change in attitude towards interacting with people they don’t like. For more information on how to build peace in the workplace you can check out the 7 Pillars of Peace Education by clicking on the hyperlink.


Cambridge, Daryn. (2012). 7 Pillars of Peace Education. Retrieved February 21, 2012, from

Wesselmann, Paul. (2012).Contact. Retrieved February 21, 2012, from

Wesselmann, Paul. (2012). Great Work, Great Life: Five GREAT Actions for Success in Work & Life. Retrieved February 21, 2012, from

One thought on “Improving your Interpersonal Skills:

  1. Interesting food for thought (veggies are gross-really? I like them). So how might people use these ideas if they can not bring Paul to their school? How might they be put into practice or explored?

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