To effectively communicate and interact with one another, human beings need interpersonal skills. These skills are vital when interacting with other people at an individual or group level. Developing your interpersonal skills enhances your success both personally and professionally. Since employers understand the importance of these skills in teamwork, they are constantly looking for employees with proper interpersonal skills. With these skills, an employee will be in a position to effectively communicate with his or her colleagues, clients and customers in the workplace.

What Are Interpersonal Skills?

Interpersonal skill comprises of an array of aspects, including listening skills, communication skills and attitude. In the business world, the term may mean the ability of an employee to get along with his or her colleagues at the workplace. Currently, proper interpersonal skills are vital in many job positions as well as organizations.

Effective Communication

To convey your message effectively, you need good communication skills, including spoken, written and nonverbal communication skills. To communicate effectively, you need to listen thoughtfully and actively before giving your opinion. Good communication skills are necessary in any profession; they help to combat conflicts at the work place, facilitate productivity and allow one to convey accurate and understandable message to colleagues and clients.


Positive Attitude

Positive attitude is another component of good interpersonal skills. Displaying a positive attitude implies that you appreciate your work and the company. Portraying a positive attitude includes doing such things as smiling while interacting and communicating with your colleagues and customers, greeting people cheerfully at the work place, expressing appreciation for other people’s efforts and undertaking challenging with optimism.



Rather than doing things your own way, it is important to welcome the views of others in the workplace. To demonstrate your team spirit, willingness to cooperate and open-mindedness, you need to ask for the opinion and input of your colleagues at the workplace. To foster inclusiveness in the company, you should also push for a socially inclusive environment in the workplace.


Problem Solving

Conflicts are a common occurrence in the workplace. Rather than how fast you solve the conflicts at the work place, you should focus on the best way to resolve conflicts. To resolve a conflict, you first need to understand the cause. You should then evaluate all the possible solutions to the conflict and set up objectives and strategies for solving the issue. Finally, implement the plan and monitor its success.



Assertiveness is another important component of good interpersonal skills. Assertiveness entails defending what you believe in, standing up for your ideas and confidently instructing others on what should be done. If not properly practiced, assertiveness can be confused with aggressiveness. However, this is a very important aspect, with regards to effective interpersonal skills. When used tactfully, this skill can earn you respect from other people.



Having good manners can bring out other interpersonal skills in you. Different communities across the world tend to judge people by their manners. With many businesses going global, the need for proper manners at work is becoming more important. Proper etiquette is essential in business-to-business interactions in both small and big companies across the world.


Social Awareness

In a bid to succeed in your projects, you may find yourself ignoring other people’s concerns. Being aware of the emotions of the other people at the place of work is an important interpersonal skill. Additionally, this skill can make it easier for you to identify opportunities. For example, a person undergoing professional challenges tends to become desperate for aid. However, such person will not tell you that they are desperate. Having social awareness skills will ensure that you identify such cases with ease.



Self management is a very valuable trait in the work environment. Many things will offend you in your line of duty, but this skill will enable you to conceal anger and hide frustration. Learning this skill is vital as it will enable you to control your emotions and remain calm in adverse conditions for optimal production.


Accountability and Responsibility

In addition to portraying maturity, these two interpersonal skills ensure that you do exactly what you said you would do. Therefore, these two traits will ensure that you are a trusted and responsible person. Accountability can also be very helpful in conflict resolution. For instance, admitting your mistakes and their consequences means that you are accountable and will solve many conflicts you might have with your colleagues.


Team Player

Being a team player is essential for a position which requires performing optimally in a culturally diverse work environment. Additionally, it implies that you are able to work in harmony with people from varied nationalities. This skill is particularly important if you are looking for a leadership or a highly technical position in an organization or company.

How to Develop Interpersonal Skills


Smile and Be Appreciative

Many people would love to associate with a happy person. To boost your interpersonal skills, it is advisable to smile every once in a while. Additionally, be cheerful about your work and life which also helps to appreciate your colleagues. You may do this by identifying a positive attribute about them and positively commenting on it. Thank your colleagues when they assist you with anything and let your colleagues feel welcome when they seek assistance from you.


Listen Actively and Pay Attention To Others

When other people are talking to you, make them feel like you're interested through active listening. For instance, you can demonstrate active listening by restating what the person has said in your own words to show that you understand what they are saying. Your colleagues will be happy to know that you are listening. Regarding attention, acknowledge other peoples' achievements and sympathize with them when they face difficulties like death or illness.


Resolving Conflicts

These two can go a long way in improving interpersonal skills. Always strive to create a favorable environment for everyone in the place of work. This may be achieved by treating all the people in an organization equally, following up with requests from your colleagues and avoiding gossip. Resolving conflict also plays a major role in bringing people together. When conflicts arise between your colleagues, solve them in the fairest way. This will earn you admiration and respect.


Communicate Clearly and Use Humor

A clear communication will ensure that you avoid misunderstandings. Therefore, mind what you say as well as how you say it. In addition to effectively passing the message, communicating clearly implies that you are intelligent and mature, regardless of your age. Additionally, use humor once in a while. People like someone who makes them laugh. Using humor will help you develop good interpersonal skills and gain people's affection.


Understand Others and Avoid Complaining

It is important to empathize with what others are going through at work. In doing this, you need to employ your emotions and try to put yourself in your colleague’s shoes. Additionally, avoid verbalizing your disappointments which will only serve to fuel conflicts in the organization than bring people together.


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  • Allison KayAug.16 16:39
    Thanks for the great article. I do think that many times we get stuck on talking about interpersonal soft skills conceptually that the point can be lost. Sometimes it's just better to provide real world examples; scenarios where the reader can personally connect with or may have experienced in their own life. I helped create this infographic to visualize these interpersonal skills at work.
  • BalajiSep.20 15:50
    It’s really a nice article. This topic is right on time for me. The foundations for many other skills are strong interpersonal skills since these are relevant to our personal relationships, social affairs and professional lives. Without good interpersonal skills it is often more difficult to develop other important life skills. Some other tips I would like to share for improving Interpersonal and negotiating skills are: 1) Never be afraid to make the first move. 2) Keep meetings short and interesting. Try to involve everyone present. 3) Praise first and criticize later, and only if you have to. 4) Always acknowledge another person's point of view, even if you disagree with it.
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