Interpersonal skills can be the difference between commanding admiration and respect and not, being accepted and being rejected, being influential and being seemingly unimportant. Interpersonal skills can open doors of success where none before existed. Good interpersonal skills lead to better understanding and better relationships.
But what are interpersonal skills?
Interpersonal Skills Definition:
Also called “people skills” and “social skills” . Interpersonal skills are the skills we use when communicating and collaborating with others. They are the skills that enable us interact well with others.
Interpersonal skills enable us to communicate, learn, ask for help, get needs met in appropriate ways, get along with others, make friends, develop healthy relationships, protect ourselves, and in general, be able to interact with the society harmoniously.
Here are the 6 most important interpersonal skills you should have.
1. Communication Skills
Communication is at the centre of our day to day interactions. It’s the root of all events, daily interaction, social affairs and anything that requires the purpose of human dealings.
The ability to pass a clear message can’t be overemphasized. When communication is effective, it leaves all parties involved satisfied and feeling accomplished. Delivering clear messages leaves no room for misunderstanding or alteration of messages, which decreases the potential for conflict. Effective communication is also a key factor to ensuring that situations are resolved in a respectful manner.
Good communication skills is an ace up your sleeves any day. Communication skills includes:
- Verbal communication skills which involves using verbal communication elements like tone of voice, voice speed and volume, language, vocabulary and grammar.
- Non-Verbal Communication like the use of body language( facial expressions etc.), gestures, paralinguistics, body language and posture, proxemics , eye gaze , haptics(communicating through touch), appearance, artifacts etc
- Listening Skills – how we interpret both the verbal and non-verbal messages sent by others. Listening skills includes active listening cues like eye contact, nodding the head, smiling etc. Also verbal affirmations, such as “yes,” or “ah,” or “mhmm”. These cues let the speaker know the listener isn’t simply hearing them but is actively listening, also inquiry skills like asking questions, and then researching ,interpreting, sharing and reflecting on answers.
2. Emotional intelligence
Being able to understand and manage your own and others’ emotions. Emotional intelligence skills includes: empathy, sympathy, compassion, sensitivity etc.
Emotional intelligence skills enable us communicate our feelings in a more constructive way. We are also able to understand and relate to others better. Understanding the needs, feelings, and responses of others leads to better interactions and stronger and more fulfilling relationships.
3. Conflict Management And Resolution Skills
What do you do when a conflict arise? Conflict management and resolution skills are crucial to success as conflicts are a constant part of life. Effectively managing or resolving conflicts is essential for healthy relationships and better interactions generally.
When it comes to managing or resolving conflicts, it’s easier said than done, however certain skills can come in handy. These skills includes: constructive criticism, counseling, mediating, problem solving, diplomacy, emotional awareness, effective communication, empathy and others.
4. Negotiation Skills
Negotiation skills helps you work with others to find a mutually agreeable (Win/Win) outcome.
- To negotiate effectively, you have to:
- Be clear on your negotiating goals
- Determine your negotiation strategy
- Understand your negotiation signature
- Build motivation
- Analyzing and cultivating your BATNA( Best Alternative To Negotiated Agreement)
Good negotiation skills are essential for business and career success. You also negotiate with others every day. From determining what will be done at work, to where you might go for lunch, to what your schedule will be, you are negotiating all of these details. Negotiation skills increases your bottom line, reduces conflicts and it’s a must have interpersonal skill.
4. Leadership Skills
Irrespective of our work description, we all need leadership skills l.
The job of a good leader is get the most out of others by demonstrating specific behaviors, attitudes, and skills which can be used to inspire and guide those following to be willing to push themselves to get the most out of their potential and reach a higher level than they’ve ever been to before. Leadership can help you add value to those you interact with which no doubt leads to better relationships.
Leadership skills includes: encouraging, inspiring, communicating , being trustworthy, instructing, delegating, managing, mentoring, motivating, being positive, being receptive to feedback, making positive reinforcement etc.
5. Team Work Skills
Team work skills enables you to work effectively in or with a team. Success requires leveraging the skills and abilities of others plus yours to increase efficiency and result. As Andrew Carnegie once noted, teamwork “is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”
Teamwork is crucial to achieving more at work and in life.
Team working skills includes : intercultural awareness, problem-solving skills, emotional awareness, conflict management communication skills, active listening , reliability respectfullness, collaboration, group facilitating etc.
6. Positive Attitude
Showing positivity, even in difficult situations, is important and a great interpersonal skill.
Because no one likes to be around negative people. Who wants to feel worse? Your attitude impacts everything. It directs your thoughts, your energy and most of all, the actions you take. If you are full of negativity then you will certainly scare people away.
Positive attitudes like developing rapport, being friendly, having humor, being social, being open-minded, generous, considerate can all make for better interactions.
By effectively using these interpersonal skills you will quickly connect and build rapport, earn respect, gain influence, and become more likable and accepted.