Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills basically refer to the communication skills. How we deal with others and the mode of our communication. But unlike other skills which can be acquired by the medium of training and experience, interpersonal skills are natural and inherent in a person. The moment we are born, we all start interacting accordingly, and with the growing year if we gain more experience, our interpersonal skill tends to be refined. People with good interaction skills connect with others easily, because they know when to say what, and this makes the communication pleasing and interesting. Interpersonal skills are natural talent possessed by an individual, not something that can be taught in a school.  

When we consider an organization, recruiters will select a person who is blessed with excellent interpersonal skills because of his/her ability to project a positive attitude and seek a smart solution to the problems. But those with poor interpersonal skills will not be considered for the job openings. Management students need to have an excellent command with the interpersonal skills, right from the time when they crack the CAT and other such competitive exams till the interview, management course and finally the campus placements, they should be proper in such skills. This will provide a stepping stone to their career and interpersonal skills of course acts as a confidence booster, which will be really fruitful for them in the job sector.   

What Are Interpersonal Skills ?

Interpersonal skills are the behaviors and tactics a person uses to interact with others effectively. In the business world, the term refers to an employee’s ability to work well with others. Interpersonal skills range from communication and listening to attitude and deportment. Interpersonal skills are often referred to as social intelligence. They depend on reading the signals others send and interpreting them accurately in order to form a response.

Everyone has a personal style and an interpersonal style, but some are more successful than others. While interpersonal skills may be based in part on personality and instinct, they also can be developed.

Understanding Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills can be developed but they cannot be learned solely from a textbook. They come naturally to some people, while others have to work at cultivating them.

In many organizations, employees with strong interpersonal skills are valued for their pleasant demeanor and positive, solution-oriented attitude. These employees are seen as team players, who work well with others to achieve a goal. In more human terms, everyone likes being around them, and that never hurts.

Interpersonal skills are strongly linked to a knowledge of social expectations and customs, whether learned or acquired. People with the strongest interpersonal skills adjust their tactics and communications on the fly depending on the reactions of others.

Interpersonal Skills in the Job Search

Interpersonal skills are highly valued in the business world. Job seekers should use every opportunity to show their interpersonal skills at interviews and on resumes.

Among the interpersonal skills often required in business are active listening—the ability to elicit and fully process information from a speaker. Negotiation is a skill that is prized in sales, marketing, law, and customer service. Other desirable interpersonal skills include public speaking, conflict management, team building, and collaboration.

Improving Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills are best honed by practice. Expressing appreciation for team members and support staff, displaying empathy, moderating disputes quickly, and controlling displays of temper are all good exercises. Active listening can be practiced by repeating back a speaker’s comment to make sure true communication is taking place. If all that isn’t enough, there are courses that teach these skills.

Interpersonal Skills in the Workplace

Strong interpersonal skills such as negotiating, problem-solving, and knowledge-sharing are the main requirements for many jobs. Other skills are seen as essential qualifications for all employees, including :

  • Teamwork
  • Verbal and written communication
  • Dependability
  • Responsibility
  • Empathy

It’s difficult to imagine a company thriving if its employees do not have these interpersonal skills.

This is all based on human psychology and understanding of human behavior. A positive interpersonal skill makes an individual different from the crowd and the organization in which he/she works for, will have more credibility and productivity. Even during adverse situations, those with good interpersonal skills will react appropriately and control their feelings rather than getting overwhelmed by emotional outburst. It is all about the way we behave with people and how well we carry ourselves.  

Interpersonal skills not only mean proper communication but one should also possess good listening ability, balanced attitude and demeanor. Yet there are several programmes and seminars organized on interpersonal skills training and development. In the business domain, interpersonal skills include leadership, strong reliable networking and team work. The other three skills can be only possible if one succeeds in the interpersonal skills. This goes without saying that, interpersonal skills are a prerequisite not only in professional front but in also in the personal. Effective skills will help the employees to overcome challenges in workplace.    

Yet technical ability and intelligence is not all that one requires, interpersonal skills should not be taken for granted. It is required to communicate, counsel, motivate, negotiate and also to deal amicably with senior employees, subordinates and business delegates. Seeing the globalization and cut throat competition in the corporate sector, where things are uncertain, interpersonal skills is the need of the hour. Effective communication and emotional intelligence is an inborn talent and cannot be taught.   

Empathy, good conduct, analytical skills, logic, good presentation skills, finding immediate solution to the problems are the excellent intra personal qualities. It becomes easy to infuse more talent and training to a sharp employee, but it becomes all the more difficult rather impossible to train a dull person who have poor interpersonal skills. If communication is required for an individual to be called a human being, good interpersonal skills is the lifeblood for any given company or organization.   

In most of the cases it has been observed that a hard working employee gets less payment while the other employee in the same post gets more than him, even when the latter is not that technically advanced and skilled in his profession. Now this happens because the latter has good interpersonal and communicative skills and hence he steals the show. Technical expertise is requires but it should be inclusive of good interpersonal skills for a person and organization to be successful and thriving.