What are Interpersonal Skills & Why they are Important?

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We all have at least one colleague who has the ability to change the dynamics of a conversation the moment s/he enters the room. It isn’t that this person has some special qualification or an extraordinary skill set, yet s/he manages to stand out in the team. What makes him/her so special are the great interpersonal skills that s/he possesses.

A person with strong interpersonal skills is a great listener who understands or makes an effort to clearly understand the context of the conversation. This person knows how to send subtle non-verbal signals to communicate effectively and drive the conversation towards a more fruitful discussion. On top of that, s/he knows how to manage a crisis situation.

 

To dig deeper into interpersonal skills, let us first understand–

 

 

What are Interpersonal Skills?

In simple words, interpersonal skills, also known as people skills, are nothing but how you communicate and interact with people. They extend beyond the words you speak and include the art of communicating effectively non-verbally as well.

 

Why Interpersonal Skills are Important in the Workplace?

Having strong interpersonal skills not just makes getting things done easily; they also help in creating a cordial workplace environment. These factors make interpersonal skills one of the top criteria used by the employers to evaluate their candidates. Outlined below are some reasons that explain the importance of interpersonal skills in the workplace:

– They help you communicate effectively with the team and the clients.

– They help you build healthy relationships with your coworkers.

– They help you handle crisis situations, which is especially important for those in the sales or customer service roles.

– They help you manage conflict within the team and showcase your leadership qualities.

– They help you keep the loop for feedback open.

Also Read: How to Improve Your Interpersonal Skills & Thrive in the Workplace

 

Examples of Important Interpersonal Skills One Must Possess

Here are the top five interpersonal skills one must possess to stand out in the workplace:

 

1. Verbal Communication:

Verbal communication is crucial in the workplace as how clearly one communicates verbally dictates the course of events that take place after the communication happens. Effective verbal communication ensures that there is no scope for confusion and all team members are on the same page.

 

2. Non-verbal Communication:

Verbal communication combined with your body language, facial expressions, and gestures, play an important role in conveying your point more clearly to the audience. Effective non-verbal communication helps you grab the attention of others while speaking. Additionally, giving certain cues such as nodding your head or making eye contact when someone else is speaking, reassures the speaker that you are listening to them attentively.

Also Read: Tips to Improve Communication Skills and Advance Your Career

 

3. Listening Skills:

Good listening skills are paramount as they help you understand the context of what a person is really trying to say regardless of how good a communicator s/he is. Having this skill proves how well you are able to decode the verbal message shared as well as the non-verbal cues given by the speaker.

 

4. Problem Solving Attitude:

Difficult situations such as a conflict between two team members or having to handle a difficult client may affect your work. During such a situation, a problem-solving attitude can lead to finding a solution and deciding upon the future course of action. Moreover, it also helps you win the trust of your team members and the admiration of your superiors.

 

5. Negotiation Skills:

Negotiation skills come into play when you need to reach a mutually agreed conclusion with different parties. These come handy when resolving conflict as well as when discussing a project, contract, and work deadlines. Negotiation skills are especially important for those in the human resources field for negotiating salaries with their job candidates.

Also Read: 5 Underrated Soft Skills to Help You Get Ahead in Career

 

Bonus – Tips for Including Interpersonal Skills in Your Resume or Cover Letter

Since interpersonal skills rank high on a hiring manager’s list of criteria when selecting candidates, it is wise to include them in your resume and/or cover letter as well. Here are some tips for your rescue:

– Read the job description carefully and prepare a list of interpersonal skills crucial for the role. Next, identify one or two most important interpersonal skills, the ones you also possess, to include in the resume/cover letter.

– The best way to present your interpersonal skills in the resume is to include them in the summary section.

– In a cover letter, try to introduce your interpersonal skills in a paragraph format rather than in bullet points.

– Explain how interpersonal skills help you do your work effectively as well as their impact on the overall result you produce at your current organization.

Also Read: Why Intercultural Skills are Important to Employers in the UAE?

 

It is important to judge for yourself which all interpersonal skills you possess and don’t possess in order to understand your areas of improvement. Hope the information and tips shared in this article will help you get a step closer to winning the trust and admiration of your coworkers in the workplace.

 

All the best!

 

Image Source: Jirsak / Shutterstock.com

5.00 avg. rating (99% score) - 7 votes
Categories: Career Advice

About Megha Raizada

Megha Raizada is a professional writer with a keen interest in the global job market. She loves to keep a track of everything interesting happening around the globe. When not writing or browsing the Internet, you will find her creating furniture out of used tires.

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