what are interpersonal skills

What are Interpersonal Skills? Definition & Example

In this blog, you'll discover how we define interpersonal skills and their importance in personal and professional settings. You'll learn some interpersonal skills for a resume and how to highlight them. Examples of interpersonal skills for various situations will also be provided, offering a comprehensive guide to enhancing your communication and relationship-building abilities.
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Have you ever wondered why some people handle social situations more quickly than others? 

Or why are there those people who can naturally win people over, influence others, and guide groups of people to success? It’s not all about charisma or luck, though. 

Interpersonal skills play a significant role in this “social magic” process. Now, let’s explore the world of interpersonal skills, and we assure you it’s going to be a very enlightening conversation. 

What are Interpersonal Skills?

The instruments you use to engage and communicate with others are called interpersonal skills, sometimes called social skills or people skills. 

They cover many skills, including empathy, listening, and handling conflict.

But it’s not just about talking; it’s about how you talk, listen, and even how your body speaks through non-verbal cues.

It’s the difference between just hearing someone and listening to them, between managing a team and leading one.

 Good interpersonal skills allow you to understand where the other person is coming from, predict how they might react, and plan your communication strategy accordingly.

The Importance of Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills are the bedrock upon which we build our personal and professional lives. They enable us to communicate effectively, navigate conflicts, and connect with others on a deeper level. Let’s explore the importance of interpersonal skills, both at home and in the workplace: 

  • Encouraging Teamwork: Reaching corporate objectives frequently requires cooperation. People with interpersonal skills can function well in groups, promoting workplace harmony and efficiency. They support achieving shared goals, inspiring teammates, and comprehending team dynamics.
  • Improving Leadership: Capable leaders can lead, inspire, and encourage their groups. Effective communication, empathy, and problem-solving abilities are essential for leadership because they enable managers to build strong relationships with their team members and inspire them to succeed.
  • Handling Office Politics: Whether you like it or not, office politics are common in most companies. Building strategic relationships and influencing choices without stepping on anyone’s toes can be made easier with strong interpersonal skills.
  • Boosting Career Prospects: Soft skills are just as essential to employers as hard capabilities. Being socially adept can help you stand out as a candidate for promotions and other possibilities since it demonstrates your ability to take on leadership responsibilities and foster a healthy work environment.

Examples Of Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills encompass various abilities that facilitate effective and positive interaction. In the below section, we are going to discuss in detail what are some interpersonal skills for a resume: 

1. Ability to Communicate

  • Verbal Communication: The capacity to express thoughts and information intelligibly through spoken language. It entails selecting the appropriate vocabulary, rhythm, and tone for the situation and target audience.
  • Nonverbal communication: It is the exchange of ideas through body language, gestures, facial expressions, and eye contact, in addition to spoken words.
  • Skills of Listening: Rather than merely “hearing” what is being said, active listening is giving the conversation your whole attention. It entails offering criticism, seeking clarification, and demonstrating empathy.

2. Empathy

The capacity to place oneself in another person’s position and comprehend their thoughts, emotions, and viewpoints. Building solid, enduring relationships is essential for both personal and professional success. 

  • Responding Appropriately: Showing empathy involves understanding others’ emotions and responding in a way that demonstrates that understanding, whether through words or actions.

3. Teamwork

  • Collaboration is the ability to work well with people towards a common objective, share responsibilities, and contribute equally to the team’s success.
  • Conflict resolution: The capacity to resolve conflicts within a team, mediate disputes between disputing parties, and come up with solutions that work for everyone concerned is known as conflict resolution.

4. Flexibility

  • Being adaptable: The ability to modify one’s strategy or behaviour in response to changing conditions or new knowledge.
  • Resilience: The ability to pick oneself up after mistakes or disappointments, keep an optimistic outlook, and be willing to try again.

5. Problem solving 

  • Analytical thinking is the capacity to evaluate a situation, pinpoint underlying problems, and come up with workable answers.
  • Creativity: Being creative means having an open mind when approaching issues and creating original solutions.

6. Leadership Influence:

The capacity to motivate or influence people to adopt your viewpoints or follow your example.

  • Motivation: Pushing group members to reach their maximum potential and collaborate to accomplish shared objectives.

7. Negotiation Bargaining:

The capacity to communicate and reach a compromise or mutually beneficial arrangement.

  • Persuasion: It is the process of persuading someone else to see things your way or to accept a proposal.

8. Cultural Awareness

  • Sensitivity: Recognizing and respecting cultural differences and adapting your communication style accordingly.
  • Inclusivity: Creating an environment where diverse perspectives are valued and everyone feels welcome and respected.

9. Emotional Intelligence

  •  Self-Awareness: Understanding your own emotions, strengths, weaknesses, and triggers.
  • Self-Regulation: Healthily manage your emotions, especially in stressful situations or conflicts.

Jobs That Require Interpersonal Skills

Jobs that require interpersonal skills range from customer service roles to leadership positions. These skills are essential for communicating, collaborating, and building relationships effectively. Here are some examples of jobs that require interpersonal skills: 

  • Sales Representative: To establish rapport with customers, comprehend their wants, and influence them to buy goods or services, sales representatives must possess excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Customer service representatives engage with clients to respond to questions, settle grievances, and guarantee client pleasure. They require effective problem-solving and communication abilities.
  • Human Resources professionals: HR professionals assist workers in resolving problems, handling workplace concerns, and fostering departmental communication. They require communication, empathy, and bargaining abilities.
  • Teacher: Every day, teachers interact with students, parents, and other educators. They must establish connections with pupils, control classroom dynamics, and communicate clearly.
  • Manager: Managers direct teams, establish objectives, and guarantee that projects are finished on schedule. They require excellent communication, conflict resolution, and leadership abilities to manage their teams effectively.
  • Counsellor or Therapist: To treat mental health difficulties, counsellors and therapists work with individuals or groups. Empathy, attentive listening, and effective communication are essential for assisting clients in overcoming obstacles.
  • Social Workers: Social workers offer support and services to underprivileged individuals and families. They require empathy, communication, and problem-solving abilities to assist their clients properly.
  • Event Planner: Organisers and managers of events collaborate closely with customers, suppliers, and attendees. They require good interpersonal skills to comprehend client needs, negotiate contracts, and ensure the event goes off without a hitch.
  • Healthcare Professional: Physicians and nurses are examples of healthcare professionals who deal with patients, coworkers, and other healthcare providers. They require empathy, communication, and collaboration abilities to deliver high-quality care.
  • Public Relations Specialist: PR specialists manage communication between an organization and the public. They need strong interpersonal skills to build relationships with media outlets, stakeholders, and the public.
Read More: List of 20+ Hobbies & Interests to put in your Resume 

How To Highlight Interpersonal Skills When Applying For Jobs?

When applying for jobs, it is essential to highlight your interpersonal skills, which can help you gain a competitive edge over others. Here are a few ways how to 

  • Give specific examples: Instead of declaring that you have excellent people skills, give examples from your past employment. For example, provide an incident where you worked with a team to settle a conflict successfully or when you effectively communicated with clients to accomplish a shared objective.
  • Make your cover letter and resume unique: Using the job description as a guide, highlight your interpersonal abilities in your cover letter and resume. Emphasise experiences—like teamwork on projects, taking on leadership roles, or achieving success in customer service—that show off your capacity to collaborate with people.
  • Calculate your accomplishments: Quantify your successes in your interpersonal skills wherever you can. For instance, describe how you raised customer satisfaction scores or increased team productivity by a specific percentage through efficient communication.
  • Use the right keywords: Incorporate keywords related to interpersonal skills in your resume and cover letter. Look for terms like “communication,” “teamwork,” “relationship-building,” and “collaboration” in the job description and align your qualifications with these keywords.
  • Highlight soft skills: Besides technical skills, employers often look for soft skills, including interpersonal skills, when evaluating candidates. Use your resume and cover letter to showcase these soft skills, emphasizing your ability to work well with others and adapt to different situations.
Read More: 20 Do’s & Don’ts of interviews you need to know in 2023 

How To Improve Interpersonal Skills?

Improving interpersonal skills is a valuable endeavour that can benefit your personal and professional life. Here are some effective strategies that can help you improve your interpersonal skills which are as follows: 

  • Active Listening: Pay close attention to the speaker, maintain eye contact, and avoid distractions. Show your attentiveness by nodding, asking for clarification, and summarizing what you have heard.
  • Developing empathy: Make an active effort to understand the thoughts and emotions of others. Put yourself in their shoes and consider their feelings when communicating with them or resolving conflicts.
  • Communication skills: Practice being concise, polite, and transparent in all your interactions to enhance your communication abilities. Be mindful of your body language, tone of voice, and nonverbal cues.
  • Conflict resolution: Learn how to resolve conflicts amicably by staying composed, identifying the underlying issues, and striving for a win-win solution. Focus on finding compromises and establishing common ground.
  • Assertiveness: Practice expressing your thoughts, feelings, and needs clearly and respectfully. Avoid being passive or aggressive in your communication style.
  • Teamwork: Be a reliable and supportive team member to improve your teamwork skills. Collaborate, share ideas, and contribute positively to the team’s performance.
  • Adaptability: Cultivate an open mind and the ability to adapt to different situations and personalities. Strong interpersonal skills rely heavily on adaptability and flexibility.
  • Feedback: Seek feedback from others to enhance your interpersonal skills. Embrace constructive criticism with an open mind and view it as an opportunity for improvement.
  • Emotional intelligence: Gain insight into your emotions and how they impact others. Effectively manage your emotions and respond to others’ feelings in a way that is appropriate for them.
  • Continuous learning: Continuously seek opportunities to develop your interpersonal skills. Read books, attend workshops, and seek mentorship to enhance these essential abilities further.
Read More: Latest Digital Marketing Interview Questions & Answers 

Final Thoughts 

So, to sum it up, what are interpersonal skills? They’re the glue that holds your social and professional lives together. These skills, from communication to conflict resolution, are crucial. 

They’re what make you great team players, empathetic listeners, and effective communicators. Gaining an understanding of the value of interpersonal skills can help you. 

They’re more than just catchphrases; they hold the secret to building deeper connections with people at work or home.

Don’t forget to highlight these abilities on your resume. Highlighting instances of your interpersonal abilities, such as teamwork, empathy, and adaptability, can truly help you stand out to employers, who greatly respect them.

In the end, interpersonal skills are important for more than just advancing one’s work. They are about navigating and forming deep connections.

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Written By
Digital Scholar

Digital Scholar is a premier agency-styled digital marketing institute in India. Which offers an online digital marketing course and a free digital marketing course worldwide to elevate their digital skills and become industry experts. Digital Scholar is headed by Sorav Jain and co-founder Rishi Jain, who are pioneers in the field of digital marketing. Digital Scholar’s blogs touch upon numerous aspects of digital marketing and help you get intensive ideas of different domains of digital marketing.

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