Interpersonal skills including communication skills

Strong interpersonal skills are important for employers because most jobs require you to effectively interact with other people. These skills are now vital for success in the workplace.

Interpersonal communication is the process of sharing ideas and emotions verbally and nonverbally with another person. It allows us to interact with and understand others in our personal and professional lives. In the workplace, hiring managers often look for employees with strong interpersonal skills who will collaborate and communicate well with their colleagues. In this article, we will describe the importance of interpersonal skills in your career.

In this article, we discuss different types of interpersonal communication skills.

What are interpersonal skills ?

Interpersonal skills—also known as people skills—are the soft skills you use to communicate with and understand others. You use these skills daily when interacting with people face-to-face .

Key interpersonal communication skills?

Effective interpersonal communication skills are required to form connections and establish relationships. There are many different types – we have described eleven of the most important skills:

Active listening

Active listening is listening beyond the words being spoken – understanding the message being communicated. During conversations, a lot of the time the “listener” is thinking about how they’re going to respond rather than concentrating on what the speaker is saying.By really listening you can provide a more thoughtful answer that takes the speaker’s thoughts and opinions into account. This will help people around you understand that you value and appreciate them.

Body language

Your posture, expression and gestures can say just as much as your words. When communicating with coworkers and managers, practice open body language to encourage trust and positivity. Open body language includes nodding, maintaining eye contact, smiling and being relaxed. Avoid closed body language such as crossed arms, restless behavior and shifting your eyes.

Conflict resolution

It’s likely that you’ll need to resolve a conflict at some point. Active listening and problem-solving are useful for this as you’ll need to hear from all sides objectively and you’ll need to come to a positive resolution.Resolving conflict is not always a negative experience – it can be very constructive and provide you with an understanding of underlying problems, for example, perhaps a team member is having difficulties at home which is making them more irritable.By forming a plan with those involved, you can help them move forward and manage their difficulties. They may have never experienced this constructive help before your mediation.


Working collaboratively allows teams to work productively and deliver positive outcomes for clients and the business.Successful collaboration requires the ability to cooperate and respect each other.Employers often seek applicants who have a proven track record working successfully within a team and candidates who are willing to compromise and cooperate to deliver exceptional work.

Team work

For a business to function effectively people must work well together in order to achieve a common goal. Some people struggle with teamwork because they believe that they know how to do the job better than anyone else and they do not trust others to do their roles. This can create conflict and hurt the overall effectiveness of the team.If this is something you find difficult assist your colleagues whenever you can and ask your colleagues for their opinions and ideas – be enthusiastic when colleagues offer their own ideas.

Positive attitude

People want to be around others that are friendly and have a positive outlook even when the company may be in a difficult situation. You don’t have to be incredibly sociable but you must develop some type of positive rapport with your team so that the workplace is pleasant for everybody.


To be empathetic means that you are able to identify and understand others’ emotions i.e. imagining yourself in someone else’s position. Being empathetic shows your team that you care. For example, if a manager reacts angrily after finding out that an employee has been arriving to work late because their child is unwell, the team is likely to react negatively towards the manager.

It would be more favourable for the manager to be understanding and agree on a plan of action with the employee, such as, the employee starting work earlier and finishing later. Employees and colleagues will respect and trust you more if you empathise with them and express compassion.

Also, understanding how people feel will help you communicate your thoughts and ideas in a way that makes sense to others and it helps you understand others when they communicate.

Why interpersonal skills are important ?

Interpersonal skills are important for communicating and working with groups and individuals in your personal and professional life. People with strong interpersonal skills tend to build good relationships and can work well with others. They understand family, friends, coworkers and clients well. People often enjoy working with colleagues who have good interpersonal skills.

Other benefits of interpersonal skills include the ability to solve problems and make good decisions. You can use interpersonal communication skills and the ability to understand others to come to the best solution or make the best decision for everyone involved.

Many employers try to hire staff with strong interpersonal skills because these individuals often work well on teams and collaborate with their colleagues effectively. People with interpersonal skills also tend to make good leaders because of their ability to communicate with and motivate those around them.

In summary

Your job performance will improve if you develop your interpersonal skills because you will be more of a cohesive member of the company. It’s also likely that your job satisfaction will increase because you will form stronger relationships with your colleagues.By becoming more aware of how you interact with others and by practicing you can improve your interpersonal communication skills.