Learn why good interpersonal skills in the workplace are essential for effective workplace communication, career growth and development.
Today, apart from hard skills that include technical knowledge, top soft skills, like interpersonal skills, are the key to navigating workplace relationships and building a successful career.
But how do you define interpersonal skills and how can you learn them? In this article, you’ll learn the importance of interpersonal competencies in the workplace and how to learn interpersonal relationship skills.
What are interpersonal skills?
Interpersonal skills – meaning your ability to interact with other people, communicate with and build relationships that allow you to work well with them.
Interpersonal skills are also known as people skills. Interpersonal relationship skills are essential to form good working relationships with your co-workers and team members.
Interpersonal skills are a combination of personality traits and your ability to handle social situations. Having good interpersonal skills and group discussion skills can help you do better in interviews and even play a role in advancing your career.
Those in leadership roles who manage teams of people are expected to have good interpersonal skills as it is one of the best soft skills for effective communication in the workplace.
Most people have their own way of interacting with others based on their family dynamics and use of communication patterns. These are not always healthy and can sometimes result in inappropriate ways of communicating and dealing with people in the workplace.
But even if you never managed to build good interpersonal skills as a child, you can unlearn unhealthy patterns and learn new and better ways to communicate and manage your interpersonal relationships through soft skills courses and soft skills training.
This list of interpersonal skills includes a number of different types of communication skills in the workplace. They qualify as interpersonal competencies because communication skills and personality development go hand in hand:
- Active listening
How do interpersonal skills play out in the workplace?
The business world highly values interpersonal skills and they are considered one of the most important soft skills because all business is based on building relationships with others.
If you have a good, respectful, working relationship with your colleagues and co-workers, they, in turn, will be more willing to help you succeed in your job.
Today, many organisations have implemented a collaborative agile framework with virtual communication tools and this requires employees to communicate across time zones and reach a consensus.
Hiring managers are looking for team leaders who can manage other people, communicate well, and lead a team at a company. This is where interpersonal skills come in handy. Job seekers must use every chance to showcase their ‘people skills’ if they want to stand out in interviews.
Since it can be tedious for a recruiter to gauge your competency level just with a CV, having a list of soft skills for resumes can help your profile stand out and showcase your abilities to succeed in the workplace.
Effective interpersonal skills are essential for project managers, team leaders as well as team members. Having good interpersonal skills and learning to implement team projects effectively will benefit both you and the company.
When you know how to conduct yourself in front of colleagues, seniors, or even juniors and interns, you will get more professional and personal respect, and people will be more willing to cooperate and work with you.
7 interpersonal skills examples and how they matter
This soft skills list includes some interpersonal skills examples and the ways in which they play a role in workplace dynamics:
Having good self-confidence can help you open doors and create an impact in the workplace. It can help you develop good communication skills and get the respect you deserve.
To succeed in your career, you need to grow your self-confidence in handling people and situations. Industry seniors know that confidence can be an asset and help you handle difficult situations at the workplace.
Although self-confidence largely comes from experience, there are a number of self-confidence practices that will help you strengthen your confidence at work.
Ravina lacked confidence when speaking to people. Doing a free online personality development course on the Glow & Lovely Careers career portal, helped improve her confidence and perform well at her job resulting in a promotion.
Your emotional intelligence and empathy are soft skills based on your sensitivity to the feelings of others. Empathic people have the ability to understand the feelings and needs of others in the workplace.
When team leaders and managers display a high level of empathy and compassion, it can help create a positive, high-functioning, working environment and is beneficial for the employees and company as a whole.
Developing verbal communication skills like attentive listening are ways of building empathy and compassion in the workplace.
3. Leadership skills
Leadership skills are highly-valued interpersonal skills that you must learn if you want to grow in your career. Leaders know how to inspire the entire workforce to follow their vision and work towards it effectively and productively.
Regardless of job role, employers and hiring managers value people who take ownership and demonstrate good leadership skills to help the organisation achieve its business goals and objectives.
Effective decision making is one of the essential soft skills for those in a leadership role and you need good interpersonal skills to be able to make decisions that benefit your team.
Leadership skills, along with other interpersonal skills such as empathy, emotional intelligence, assertive skills, and top-down communication skills, will help your personality shine and get you noticed in the workplace.
4. Relationship management
Irrespective of the industry you’re in, the importance of interpersonal communication in building and strengthening relationships cannot be ignored. Being able to build effective relationships and manage them successfully is essential if you want to progress in your career.
Even for an entry-level employee, the ability to navigate relationships and foster mutual trust and respect with co-workers, partners, and clients is a very important interpersonal skill in any business environment.
5. Body language
Non-verbal communication skills are one of the oft-overlooked interpersonal communication skills that are very important to get your message across in the workplace.
You cannot get people to trust you if your words are saying one thing but your body language is saying another. Factors like eye contact, facial expressions, personal space, and posture are all considered non-verbal communication techniques.
The ability to work with a team and collaborate effectively is highly valued in any organisation as it is essential to completing work tasks and getting results.
Teamwork, accompanied by flexibility, active listening, and responsibility together are a set of interpersonal skills that you will if you want to grow and progress in your career.
7. Conflict management
Teamwork often leads to interpersonal conflict in the workplace, and this can reduce productivity and lead to negative energy. So, the ability to manage conflict is a highly-valued interpersonal skill for team leaders and project managers.
Good conflict management skills require empathy, tact and diplomacy, communication, negotiation and persuasion skills.
How to develop interpersonal skills
So, how can you learn interpersonal skills? With the growth of free online courses, it has become much easier for anyone to improve their interpersonal skills.
Communication skills are very important for any business because improving communication in the workplace can improve productivity and efficiency.
These 5 ways to improve your communication skills will also help you build strong interpersonal skills:
1. Identify areas of improvement
The first step is to do a psychometric test to understand your personality and your way of relating to people and look for areas that require improvement.
In addition to working on your self-awareness and doing a self-assessment, you can seek objective feedback from friends, family or from a career counsellor, because it is easy to develop ‘blind spots’ about yourself.
2. Learn basic communication skills
As one of the most important soft skills in the workplace, effective business communication is the basis of all interpersonal skills. For many Indians, poor communication skills often result from a lack of English speaking skills.
Priyanka wanted what so many girls want, to succeed in academics and in her career, but her lack of English skills held her back. The free online English courses on the Glow & Lovely Careers portal helped her gain the confidence to pursue her dreams.
Doing these free online courses is one of the best ways to improve your communication skills because you can learn at your own pace and in the privacy of your home.
Physical, emotional, or mental blocks can all impact your interpersonal skills. Once you learn strong communication skills, you can work on developing more effective verbal communication and written communication skills.
3. Learn active listening skills
When you work on your speaking skills in communication, it’s as important to learn how to listen as to speak. Don’t focus only on developing oral communication skills, but also on improving active listening in communication.
If you want to have excellent communication skills, you must learn active listening skills in the workplace – a type of interpersonal skill that improves relationships by making the other person feel heard and valued.
It is one of the most important strategies to improve communication skills.
4. Learn written communication skills
Because most communication in business today is done through virtual communication on email and workplace apps like Slack, effective written communication skills are an essential communication competency and one of the most important types of business communication skills.
Even people who can speak well often have very poor writing skills. Writing half-sentences and assuming that your colleagues have understood things without explaining them properly in an unambiguous way is the cause of many misunderstandings and mistakes in business.
This free course on Academic and Business Writing will give you an introduction to academic and business writing for English language learners, focusing on grammar, vocabulary, structure, editing, and publication, for improving your communication effectiveness.
Effective written communication requires concise communication. This free course in Business Communications will help you sharpen your writing, presentation, and interpersonal communication skills, learn strategies for honing your communication style, improving clarity, conciseness and impact.
By the end of the course, you will be able to think strategically about all forms of communication, learn how to communicate effectively in a business setting, understand and communicate with diverse audiences.
5. Reflect and keep learning
The primary reason to learn interpersonal skills is to strengthen your personal and professional relationships. Self-reflection is the final element in mastering interpersonal skills because it helps you understand how you’re progressing and what else you need to learn.
You need to constantly learn, develop, incorporate, and implement new skills to enhance your people skills. Interpersonal skills have an impact on personality development, leadership, and communication competencies, which will ultimately help you grow and advance in your career.
Did you find these tips useful in learning how to develop strong interpersonal skills and improve your communication skills? Do share your feedback in the Glow & Lovely Career Community on SHEROES.
About the author:
Priya Florence Shah is the Group Editor at SHEROES and author of Devi2Diva, an emotional self-care book for women.
Very interesting article! Thanx
Very interestjng article! Thanx