The Importance of Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills fall into the category of ‘soft skills’, meaning these are inherent skills possessed, not the kinda person can generally learn from reading textbooks. Interpersonal skills are defined as the skills “used by a person to properly interact with others,” and still be able to get the job done.

These skills, which include important workplace traits such as communication skills, accurately interpreting other people’s emotions, sensitivity, ability to manage conflict, positive attitude and good manners, all fall under the realm of interpersonal skills. Here are a few examples of valuable interpersonal skills that are so vital in today’s workplaces:

Communication skills

Communication is vital in the workplace, no longer are employees working solitary, there is a high level of personal interaction occurring in organizational settings nowadays and this is a critical interpersonal skill. Even if not personally seeing colleagues and customers daily, there is also text-based and telephone communications to consider, which all include an ability to listen and respond accordingly.

Interpreting other’s emotions

Having an inherent ability to understand others is another interpersonal skill. Not that a person should be a mind-reader, however when another individual expresses themselves, understanding how they are feeling is important.

Sensitivity

Sensitivity perhaps goes hand-in-hand with empathy. While listening to others, especially in a customer service or managerial role, it is of the essence to be able to effectively sympathize where appropriate.

Conflict management

Conflict is inevitable; however, there are appropriate ways to deal with conflict and inappropriate methods. Those who have strong interpersonal skills often can successfully diffuse a situation before it explodes, or in some cases, implodes. They do not need to resort to telling untruths in order to escape a situation; they can generally confront a situation head-on and not do so in a confrontational manner. Assertiveness falls into the realm of effective conflict management.

Positive attitude

One’s attitude helps shape organizational culture. If a workplace is plagued by negativity, this can have an overall impact on how the people within the organization act with each other and external relationships tied to the company.

Good manners

While good manners are often assumed, not everyone has them. Those who are strong with their ‘soft skills’ typically are polite.In the modern workplace, these traits are valuable because the dynamics have changed.

Today’s workplaces are no longer limited to one building, but are now rooted in global interactions. With the diversity of people across the globe, having a solid ability to communicate and understand others are important skills to have.  Interpersonal skills have become important qualities employers seek in job candidates in today’s work environments