What are Interpersonal Skills and How Can You Use and Improve Them?

What are Interpersonal Skills and How Can You Use and Improve Them? | Career | Emeritus

Strong interpersonal skills are a great asset to your career. They can help you effectively navigate your daily tasks and build strong relationships at the workplace. While technical skills are indicators of your knowledge and experience of a field, these skills reflect your people skills, emotional intelligence, and ability to work in collaboration. Without these to back up your technical skills — however strong they may be — employers might not feel you are a good fit for a particular position.

This article provides a complete overview of people skills, their importance, and some examples to explain what they are. It also contains a list of the most sought-after skills, and ones. It also delves into on how to highlight them in your resume and interview. That’s not all. We also offer a quick guide on how you can develop them.

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What are Interpersonal Skills?interpersonal

Interpersonal skills, or people skills, are what we use daily to communicate and interact with others in our personal and professional lives. These skills include verbal and nonverbal communication, conflict management, teamwork, positive attitude, listening, and leadership. 

Strong interpersonal skills enable you to effectively communicate and tackle conflicts among coworkers, teams, department heads, managers, clients, and vendors and establish a successful career in the long run. These skills are critical to boosting employability and successfully navigating workplace relationships. Such skills are vital in every profession. Even in fields that don’t primarily require working in teams, these skills can help you excel at your job. 

When we speak of interpersonal skills, it includes many different skills. Given below are some examples of the same:

1. Communication

Knowing how to clearly and effectively express yourself verbally and in writing is one of the most important interpersonal skills for any profession. Communication is critical to working in a team, understanding others, and resolving issues. 

2. Listening

Being able to actively listen and interpret verbal and nonverbal messages is also essential. Good listening skills enable you to understand the needs of your clients, employers, and coworkers and establish stable relationships at work. 

3. Teamwork

Teamwork is often one of the most necessary skills for any job. Knowing how to leverage your team’s strengths and collaborate wisely is important to complete projects successfully and on time. Additionally, it is also one of the most widely considered skills during recruitment and promotions. 

4. Conflict Management

Conflicts can occur at any workplace at any time. The ability to positively resolve interpersonal conflicts and diffuse challenging situations is, therefore, a critical interpersonal skill. If you are able to counsel, mediate and solve problems while remaining level-headed, it can help you grow in your organization and, ultimately, career. 

5. Positivity

A positive attitude is important. Finding the right tone of communication and establishing a positive rapport can help you network and set you apart in your organization. 

6. Empathy

When working in any profession, be it at a managerial position or an entry-level job, the ability to empathize and understand others’ perspectives is paramount. Empathy can help you get along with your colleagues and work at an optimal level. 

7. Leadership

Regardless of your job title, every professional should be a leader in their own way. Leadership is one of the most important skills that help you manage, motivate, encourage others, and grow your team, organization, and professional trajectory. 

Why are Interpersonal Skills Important?

While your domain expertise and skills are vital to getting a job, it is your interpersonal skills that allow you to keep the job and build a great career. Here are some reasons why interpersonal skills are important.

  • Effective communication at the workplace
  • Building good work relationships and networking
  • Working effectively with coworkers and clients 
  • Conflict resolution and problem-solving
  • Expanding career opportunities 
  • Improving client, customer, and employee satisfaction
  • Inspiring confidence and building trust 
  • Meeting business goals 
  • Improving relationships between colleagues 
  • Ensuring a strong company culture 

What are Examples of Interpersonal Skills?

Here are some examples of interpersonal skills that can lead to a successful career.

  • Effective verbal and nonverbal communication while interacting with coworkers, employers, vendors, and clients
  • Active listening and understanding of others in the workplace 
  • Negotiating and building lasting interpersonal relationships 
  • Working effectively and ensuring success with remote teams
  • Supporting great ideas and motivating colleagues 
  • Mediating, resolving conflict scenarios, and finding a win-win outcome

Comprehensive List of Interpersonal Skills

Here are some of the most sought-after interpersonal skills

  • Communication 
  • Active listening 
  • Collaboration 
  • Teamwork 
  • Empathy 
  • Leadership 
  • Positivity 
  • Problem-solving 
  • Conflict management 
  • Counseling 
  • Critical thinking 
  • Customer service 
  • Flexibility 
  • Motivation 
  • Negotiation 
  • Networking 
  • Public speaking 
  • Relationship management 
  • Responsibility 
  • Dependability 
  • Patience 

How to Include Interpersonal Skills in a Resume?interpersonalskills-resume

While preparing for a job or a promotion, highlighting these skills in your resume and cover letter can set you apart from the competition and grow your career. Here are a few tips to keep in mind: 

  1. Highlight your interpersonal skills under the skills section of your resume.
  2. Make sure you prioritize the skills that are relevant to the job. 
  3. While describing your experience, provide examples of those interpersonal skills. For instance, if you added teamwork to your additional skills, you can include examples of how you collaborated with your team members and successfully delivered a particular project.

How to Show Your Interpersonal Skills in an Interview

Interviews are a great way to showcase your skills, whether it is a recruitment or a promotion interview. The interviewer can ask you questions associated with relevant skills. Furthermore, they also observe your body language and tone of communication throughout the interview to determine if you are a right fit for the position. You can demonstrate your skills by staying calm, listening carefully, and thoughtfully engaging with the interviewer. 

How to Improve Your Interpersonal Skills

  • Identify the areas of improvement 
  • Ask for feedback on skills from others 
  • Sharpen your communication skills 
  • Observe others in the workplace and apply those traits to your own interactions
  • Practice your skills 
  • Reflect on your interactions and improve accordingly 
  • Get a mentor to help you improve your skills 
  • Sign up for online courses and workshops to enhance your interpersonal skills 

Strong interpersonal skills are critical to getting hired and growing in your career. Improving them can boost your performance and help you communicate, collaborate, network, manage conflict, listen actively, understand, create a positive environment, and become a reliable leader. If you are looking to upskill and succeed in your career, check out these courses offered by Emeritus and continue learning!

Write to us at content@emeritus.org

 Interpersonal Skills

About the Author

Managing Editor, Emeritus Blog
Anwesha is our in-house expert on careers, trends impacting the workforce, and what makes content tick. As a journalist and content creator for 10+ years, Anwesha leaves a bit of herself in every story. Her superpower is to take the bare bones and turn it into a winning narrative for brands. Her passion to tell stories of human triumph led her to Emeritus where she continues to weave engaging tales. Anwesha is also a doting dog mom and hopes to make her boisterous canine a pawfluencer.
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