Look at any job advertisement today, they don’t just ask for educational and technical proficiency. Job advertisers also mention interpersonal skills as a necessary qualification for the job. But what are interpersonal skills? In simple terms, you can describe interpersonal skills as personal skills, people skills, soft skills or life skills.
Interpersonal skill is a term that refers to our ability to communicate, build trust-based relationships and work well with others. We can master the art of listening and public speaking, but skills such as control and management of emotions are also included in strong interpersonal skills.
If you’re dreaming of success in life, you should master these essential skills. You’ll be surprised to know that no less than 90% of people believe that good communication skills are essential for success.
This underscores the critical nature of excellent interpersonal skills in life. Read on to learn more about different types of interpersonal skills and how you can develop these skills to get ahead in life.
Types Of Interpersonal Skills
There are different types of interpersonal skills that you can develop for personal and professional reasons. Interpersonal skills help you build the following abilities:
Expertise in communication, both spoken as well as written
Strong work ethics and positive approach
The ability of people to be effective and highly productive team players
Management skills as ideal employees should be well organized and capable of optimally managing time, tasks, and available human resources
Whatever your motivation, here are different types of interpersonal skills you can work on:
Communication skills are critical when you want to make a point, interact with coworkers, seniors or juniors or communicate with clients. Some components of communication skills are:
Verbal Communication: By verbal communication, we refer to a person’s ability to understand things they say and the way they say them. Once you master the art of verbal communication, winning hearts is a cakewalk.
Non-verbal Communication: You might not have focused on it, but the spoken word is not the only way you communicate with others. Sometimes, it’s your body language, tone or gestures that can communicate your thoughts or message. For instance, if you greet another person with a joyful tone and a smile, your gestures communicate happiness and so on. Today, 93% of communication is through non-verbal means.
Listening Skills: To be a good communicator, you need to be able to receive and correctly comprehend what others try to communicate.
How often do you feel that things could be different if you had reacted differently to a situation?
Truth be told, emotions can be a strength when channeled effectively. By developing the ability to understand and manage our own as well as other’s emotions, we can become successful in life. This ability to control and channel emotions is known as emotional intelligence.
Do you take pride in being a lone wolf? Does it upset you when you need to collaborate with others and exchange information as well as instructions while working as a member of a group?
If the answer is yes, you may need to work on your teamwork skills. Those who are better accustomed to working with others in a group or team environment may find it easier to succeed in a professional context, especially in an organization.
The good news is that this ability can be refined with practice.
Whether it’s bargaining for the best price with a seller or convincing a customer/client to pay the desired price for a product or service, the ability to negotiate well rests on good interpersonal skills.
Once you master the art of negotiation, you’ll be able to frequently extract a mutually agreeable outcome from a discussion. A good negotiator makes everyone feel like a winner while also getting what they want out of a deal or negotiation.
Conflict Resolution And Decision-Making
When you work in a group with others, there are times when conflict becomes unavoidable. It might be the functionality of an app, the content on a webpage or simply the color of a product that you and your team members can’t agree upon.
No matter what the problem is, you need to apply your conflict resolution skills to de-escalate the situation. You can’t just walk out of discussions and leave matters pending when important and quick decisions are to be taken.
Therefore, there’s a need for us to develop skills of understanding, empathy and positivity to get through such a muddle. Through your skills, you can make others see your point of view and make them agree to a solution that works best. The ability to consider the pros and cons of a situation and take all points of view into consideration is important for effective decision-making.
How To Develop Interpersonal Skills
The benefits of interpersonal skills are life-changing. Now let’s understand how to leverage the advantages of interpersonal skills.
Develop The Power Of Effective Communication
Clear and effective communication can go a long way in avoiding misunderstandings between colleagues and family members. Hence, if you wish to reap the benefit of interpersonal skills, you need to pay attention to all-round communication skills, including active listening.
Whenever you’re in a conversation with someone, strive to make the other person feel that you’re interested in the discussion through the power of active listening. You can do so by repeating the words of the other person and responding positively whenever needed.
You can appreciate people by identifying a positive aspect of your team members and appreciating it. This creates a positive and trustworthy image of you and people feel comfortable in seeking your advice/help when needed.
Positive Body Language And Attitude
Positive body language is key to enjoying the benefits of good interpersonal skills. A warm smile can draw your friends, colleagues and even strangers to you. Also, you need to have a positive outlook on your work and life. This will, in effect, make you appear as someone whose presence is motivating and reassuring to people.
Leadership And Conflict Resolution
You must focus on your ability to inspire and lead your co-workers. Avoid any gossip about your co-workers. You should be seen as a fair and sensible person who can handle a crisis or difference of opinion among your team members.
Build Meaningful Relationships
Interpersonal skills help you build lasting relationships in life and at work. With teamwork, you can easily collaborate with others to deliver high-quality outcomes. Your interpersonal relationships play into your professional growth. Building a network that’s based on mutual interest and benefit can help you when you need to change jobs or advance in your career.
The way you apply and use your interpersonal skills may vary. However, the thing that remains constant is the fact that they are the glue that holds people together. In the workplace, you have to engage with people regularly. If you can appeal to them in a way that draws them to you, you’ll likely achieve your goals in a more efficient and effective manner.
Areas Where Interpersonal Skills Can Be Used
When we talk about interpersonal skills and areas where they can be implemented, there’s virtually no limit. The importance of interpersonal skills is evident in every walk of life.
You can use written and spoken communication skills to do well in job interviews or at your workplace. The art of active listening is highly beneficial in every profession. By using leadership and conflict resolution skills, you can ascend the corporate ladder.
Even in personal relationships, attributes like empathy, positivity and self-confidence can make you an ideal person for every situation. Emotional intelligence is a quality that can be used in all forms of personal and group communication.
Benefits Of Interpersonal Skills
Better personal and/or professional relationships: The significance of interpersonal skills in personal relationships can hardly be overstated. These skills help you in establishing a faster and stronger rapport with people.
Excellent interpersonal skills help you gain trust and mutual respect in all relationships. Here are some benefits of interpersonal skills that you can observe:
Life Management Tools
Interpersonal skills are also about social or peoples’ skills. Expertise in communication, social engagement, and the art of understanding others is essential for life enrichment.
Improve Your Employment Potential
Interpersonal skills make you more employable. They open the door of new opportunities and job offers. One of the best examples is networking ability. It can help you find relevant people and stay connected with former or current colleagues or potential employers.
Win In A Job Interview
How would you fare in a sales job interview if you got dressed in jeans and kept fiddling with your phone or looking down during the interaction? Not so well, perhaps.
You could do better by gaining mastery over interpersonal skills. Today, 77% of employers believe that soft skills are as important as an employee’s qualifications. Thus, interpersonal skills make your chances of getting your dream job brighter.
Interpersonal Skills Make You A Great Leader
A good leader is like a light bulb that makes everything look brighter and more pleasant. You can convey your leadership potential by practicing interpersonal skills such as decision-making, conflict resolution, empathy, and communication.
Interpersonal Skills Can Make Your Business Successful
Great interpersonal skills can also help you impress your clients, customers, investors, or potential business partners, vendors, etc. Empathy, punctuality, transparency, and communication skills, etc. are abilities that can be reassuring for your customers, clients, and other stakeholders.
Interpersonal skills can benefit you in various ways. It may be to build connections with your coworkers, become a better communicator and team player or even if it’s to understand others.
If we were to describe interpersonal skills, we would say that these are a set of skills that prove beneficial to us in almost every aspect of life. In any activity that requires us to interact with other people, whether it is a job interview, a personal relationship, or a business deal, interpersonal skills help you achieve success and happiness. Good interpersonal skills are essential to succeed in all walks of life, whether it’s the workplace, personal relationships or politics.
You can learn more about how to build your interpersonal skills with Harappa’s specially curated courses. Communication skills, teamwork and problem solving are essential 21st-century skills that you’ll need to tackle a changing business environment. Start preparing today to get ahead of the game!
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