An Overview on Interpersonal Skills

This is what 'people' skills are all about


October 17 2017

The term, interpersonal skills, is defined as skills that a person uses to faciliate effective communication and interaction with others, regardless if the situation concerns just one person or a group of people.

Examples of Interpersonal Skills

1. Communication Skills

When it comes to communication skills, there are two areas, not one, that needs to be trained effectively to improve your interpersonal skill as well. The first area which is commonly prioritised is your verbal communication - what you speak and how you say it, how do you faciliate your presentations etcetera. The second area, which many tend to overlook, is actually your non-verbal commmunication. Non-verbal communication touches on body language, how do you react physically around others when you are socialising.

2. Emotional Intelligence

Also known as 'EQ', emotional intelligence  means one's ability to be understanding from someone else's perspective, and how they are able to manage the emotions of other people concerned in different situations. In general, having a certain level of emotional intelligence means you are able to vocalise and pinpoint exactly how you or others are feeling at that point of time.

3. Teamwork

Having teamwork touches on one's capability to work with others regardless of the setting that was given to them. This illustrates the scenario where are you able to work well with your given team in informal settings or formal settings only, or are you able to adapt well in both settings? It serves a measurement of someone's ability to communicate professionally with others, and to engage effectively with each other to achieve a common goal set.

4. Negotiation Skills 

Negotiating in the area of interpersonal skills judges on someone's skill to create and brainstorm for win-win solutions to potential problems that might present themselves to the team, or company in the near future. How well are you able to influence others into agreeing with your solution, and at the end of the day, is your solution able to present advantages for all parties involved? Having good interpersonal skills will essentially, present you with good negotiation skills in the future.

5. Decision Making Skills

Making decisions includes making ones that are agreeable and beneficial to others. This covers one's ability to make a good call or judgement for the next course of action to take if things do not go as planned. Aside from that, it also defines how well are you able to work with others to recognise, clarify/define and solve problems.  

6. Resolving Conflict 

Solving conflict when it arises is also another area that's covered by interpersonal skills. When a communication breakdown, ineffective delegation of tasks or general disagreement occurs within the team, are you able to resolve the situation in a positive manner? How well are you able to put a stop to ensuing office politics that will affect your team's dynamics or your work in a negative manner?

How Can You Develop Your Interpersonal Skills?

Reflect On Yourself

Considor what aspects of your character or personality that you can afford to do better at. Play Devil's advocate on yourself, and identify the potential flaws you may have when interacting with others. Afterwards, draw up a feasible game plan that enables you to rectify these flaws by improving on your existing interpersonal skills and devleloping the ones that you are lacking on.

Improve On Your Current Skills

Always be proactive and take action to upgrade your current interpersonal skills by reading up on relevant materials, going for courses or simply, seeking the advice from close family and friends on how you can get better overall! The best practice to adopt is to always remind yourself that practice makes perfect - put in the consistent effort to practice the interpersonal skills that you are lacking in, and make a point to note if you are getting better or worse at it. If you are not improving, maybe a wise choice to take would be to find a mentor for additional guidance.