How would you rate your interpersonal skills?
As employers understand the real importance of individuals with these skills, they continuously seek employees with a strong set of interpersonal skills. This is because employees with these skills are able to effectively communicate with colleagues, clients and customers.
Interpersonal skills are very often the difference between good employees and great employees, but what actually are interpersonal skills?
Well, they are technically ‘soft skills’ which people are usually born with, however they can still be attained through an individuals own motivation to work on developing them. Below we’ve put together a list of the main areas of interpersonal skills. How many would you say you’re strong at?
To be skilled in verbal communication, you must be able to speak confidently and with clarity. This refers to speaking more considerately and speaking at a suitable pace for the listener. You need to be able to stay calm, remain focused, be polite and express enthusiasm.
Non-verbal communication is all about your body language. Everything you do speaks volumes about you. Your facial expressions, eye contact, posture, voice, gestures and the way you place yourself in a room or amongst others, all reveals your true personality.
If we’re unable to listen effectively, how are we able to interpret what people are saying to us and therefore respond appropriately? Listening is extremely important and is a keep element to the communication loop! It’s all about actually internalising what people are saying to you rather than just hearing what they say.
Questioning is a good way to spark a conversation as it establishes an interest. Clever questions demonstrate that you know how to approach problems and get the answers you require. It all comes down to the quality of questioning, if you’re asking closed questions, expect closed, short answers. If you ask open question, expect more open answers where you can probe deeper.
Problem solving is not essentially how rapidly you can resolve a problem, but more about how you go about doing it. You need to have the ability to identify the root cause of the problem, examine the options for a solution, form a strategy and put the plan into action whilst checking its progress.
Negotiation refers to our ability to settle differences with others calmly and successfully. An agreement needs to be reached whilst avoiding any arguments and disputes. It is essential to be fair and maintain a positive relationship and try to come to an outcome that has a mutual benefit for all involved.
Social awareness is all about understanding other people’s emotions. It therefore is central to recognising opportunities. For example, someone may be experiencing problems at work, but may be trying to conceal it from others. If you’re able to identify something like this, it suggests you have a high level of social awareness.
Assertiveness is about exerting confidence and our ability to express our own personal thoughts, feelings and beliefs in a direct, open, honest and appropriate way. You should also therefore respect the thoughts, feelings and beliefs of others too. Assertiveness enables us to act in our own best interests.
Self-management refers to our ability to manage our emotions such as controlling anger or hiding frustration. There will be occasions when showing your true colours in essential, remaining calm and collected tends to be the best course of action.