While interpersonal skills are important in our daily lives, how many people consider their importance for the success of their careers?
Our interpersonal skills include active listening, effective speaking, respect, flexibility, and patience when interfacing and making connections.
Interpersonal skills go beyond just getting along with people and socializing. They are essential for networking, job interviews, and advancement in our careers.
Many of us spend more time working with people than with our families. Communication and good working relationships with customers, coworkers, and managers can differentiate between a successful career or a failure.
You are searching for the essential skills to create a resume or impress your boss and coworkers. Here are the top 10 interpersonal skills you should focus on!
What are Interpersonal Skills?
Interpersonal skills can be transferred, which means they can be used in many industries and positions. These skills are also called soft skills, life skills, and social skills.
You can use many interpersonal skills to help you succeed in your job. These skills include:
- Listening skills
- Respect, empathy, and patience
- Management of conflict
- Collaboration and teamwork
- Negotiation, influence, and persuasion
- Kindness, friendliness, and humor
- Flexibility and adaptability
- Making decisions
- Emotional intelligence
These skills can’t be learned from books or formal training but through experiences and interactions. These skills and traits can be learned through observation, practice, research, or working with a mentor or coach.
However, hard skills are more specific to the industry and require special training. These skills are most common in positions that require science, math, computers, analysis, writing, or technical skills.
Interpersonal Skills: How Important Are They?
Every day, we interact with and communicate with others. These interactions enable us to build lasting relationships and avoid conflict and misinterpretation in our professional and personal lives.
These skills are vital if you wish to succeed in your career. These skills can be helpful in a job interview as well as helping you to navigate the complexities of your job and change within it.
Companies look at your abilities as an individual when you apply for jobs. Companies don’t want people who are good at communicating with others on paper but can’t communicate well with them in real life.
Employers want people who can work with others and have more than a strong technical skillset. Employers want people who can solve problems and build trusting relationships. Hiring managers will look for applicants who can perform technical tasks and communicate well with customers and coworkers.
Research shows that soft skills are more important than hard skills for finding work. Employers are looking for candidates with both soft and hard skills, but they prefer the latter. A recent poll from CareerBuilder found that most employers prefer candidates who have strong interpersonal skills to those with expert-level skills.
These skills will be used and developed once you have been hired. Interacting with employees will help you understand how they work and adapt your methods accordingly. You will be successful in any job you apply for.
What are the top interpersonal skills needed today?
- Be a Good Communicator
Barbara Pachter is a business etiquette expert and says that effective communication is a key soft skill. She explains in her recording, How to Communicate Effectively at Work. “Whether it’s for job interviews, starting a new career, or working with colleagues on the job, you need to have good communication skills. This includes answering phones, email, memos, letters to clients, and presentations.
Pachter noted that the first step in building relationships is written communication. She said that email introductions are a good idea. They make people feel more comfortable when they meet in person.
Communication goes beyond the words we use or write. It also includes body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice.
A strong interpersonal communication skill is the cornerstone of any career. Focus on your communication skills, and include them in your resume and cover letter during your job search.
- Active Listening
Another valuable soft skill is listening. It goes hand in hand with communication skills.
Pachter stated that listening skills are crucial in any workplace as they allow us to stay focused on the speaker. Listening allows you to learn from others and helps you build better working relationships.
You can be an active listener by removing distractions from others’ conversations. This means that you will need to stop looking at your phone or computer screen to listen to what others say.
This means you should not interrupt others speaking and remain silent until they are done speaking. It is also an indicator of empathy.
To show understanding, you will ask and answer questions to ensure that the other person listens.
- Show empathy
Empathy is the ability to understand and respond to others’ needs, thoughts, and feelings.
While it is a key trait for leaders, employers want compassionate employees who show empathy and help create a positive workplace. Try to see the world from another person’s point of view as an employee.
Daniel Goleman, a New York Times bestseller and internationally recognized psychologist, stated that “If you don’t have the emotional skills to deal with distressing emotions if your self-awareness is lacking, if your empathy is not strong, and you have no desire to have meaningful relationships, you won’t get very far.”
- Conflict Management
Even the most well-paid jobs can be subject to conflict.
Employers value interpersonal skills such as problem-solving and conflict resolution. You will be a valuable asset to managing conflict professionally and calmly. Employees who can understand and solve the problem, show compassion, and then implement solutions are more likely to succeed in their careers.
You can control your emotions and keep your head straight to prevent problems from getting worse.
For any work environment, teamwork is an essential skill. Even if your night shift job is all you do, it’s still part of a group.
It is important to work well with others and complete tasks together. Your coworkers rely on you to do your job well so they can do theirs.
American author, business consultant, and motivational speaker Ken Blanchard stated, “None is as smart or as all of us.”
Team players are often given greater responsibilities, which makes them more attractive candidates for promotions or raises.
Along with the essential interpersonal skills mentioned above, teamwork and team-building skills can be developed.
- Coaching is a skill.
Who would you prefer to work with? Someone open-minded and willing to learn. Or someone who rejects the criticism, refuses advice, and is unwilling to learn?
Your professional development will be a part of being coachable. This means that you are open to learning and willing to improve your performance. It is a recognition that other people have a vast knowledge that you can use. You not only value the input of others but also take action to seek their advice so you can reach your goals.
- Your Attitude Counts
Managers don’t want employees with negative or lazy personalities so that they won’t promote them.
A positive attitude and being liked are great assets. You will get the support of your colleagues and your manager if you’re easy to work with.
Reliable and true to your word are two of the best qualities attributed to you. Employers look for reliable staff who can deliver high-quality work on time.
Be professional, polite, improve your interpersonal skills, and complete the job to your best ability.
- Leadership skills
Leadership does not have to be limited to the top managers but can also include every employee in multiple organizations.
Leadership skills are essential to make good decisions and stick by them. Leaders must also have interpersonal skills such as patience, compassion, and flexibility to build trust.
As a group leader, you must have interpersonal skills to lead others through work projects. Leadership skills are essential to motivate coworkers, plan for the future, and establish clear goals and guidelines.
These skills will help you do more than your job title, regardless of your current position within the company. This will allow you to climb the organizational hierarchy and increase your salary. This is a win-win situation for you and the organization.
Employers look for this interpersonal skill when promoting or hiring employees.
The world-famous negotiator Roger Dawson said: “Everything can be negotiable.”
Communication and negotiation are two of the most valuable skills. This can be anything from negotiating the settlement of a law firm to establishing an investment partnership.
Negotiation skills are important for any role. We use our negotiation skills to find an understanding or agreement with our supervisors, customers, suppliers, and coworkers.
Negotiating skills are a key skill that can help you achieve your career goals. Negotiating a promotion, raise, or other perks will make your job more enjoyable and rewarding.
- Influence others
It is similar to negotiation skills. Using your influence and securing support from your peers and superiors when you have a new idea or solution for a problem is a valuable skill.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a high-ranking leader or job title to impact others.
Employers notice when you are a “go-to” person, and they turn to your expertise for support and advice.
Influence has power. You will not be respected or productive if you don’t take advantage of this power. Your opinions and feedback will be valued and accepted by the organization.
You will need to have more than the technical skills necessary for your job. Employers look for interpersonal skills that include communication, collaboration, listening, and team play.