Interpersonal skills are the life skills we use every day to communicate and interact with other people, both individually and in groups. People who have worked on developing strong interpersonal skills are usually more successful in both their professional and personal lives.
Employers often seek to hire staff with 'strong interpersonal skills' - they want people who will work well in a team and be able to communicate effectively with colleagues, customers and clients.
The Relative Importance of Hard and Soft Skills
Job-related expertise is essential in any profession and in many other careers. However, over the last twenty to thirty years, understanding has grown that perhaps the soft skills may ultimately be more important in determining levels of success.
That is, the hard skills are a basic minimum necessary in order to operate in that particular workplace. Whether or not you are successful in your career may depend on how you relate to other people and to work: the so-called soft skills.
A List of Interpersonal Skills Includes:
• Verbal Communication - What we say and how we say it.
• Non-Verbal Communication - What we communicate without words, body language is an example.
• Listening Skills - How we interpret both the verbal and non-verbal messages sent by others.
• Negotiation - Working with others to find a mutually agreeable outcome.
• Problem Solving - Working with others to identify, define and solve problems.
• Decision Making – Exploring and analysing options to make sound decisions.
• Assertiveness – Communicating our values, ideas, beliefs, opinions, needs and wants freely.