Interpersonal skills are diverse and form a central part of working with other people.
To build your interpersonal skills, you need to focus on the aspects that contribute to how you interact with co-workers in the workspace. Below are some key areas where to focus on improve your interpersonal relationships.
Arguably the most important of all interpersonal skills, communication skills are at the core of engaging with colleagues, stakeholders, prospective clients and senior leaders. This skill can be continuously developed throughout your career and will be valuable to every role you hold. A key part of good communication is being a good listener, knowing how to consider and empathise with what others are saying and feeling.
Being able to approach a complicated task and engage your problem-solving to work through it is a highly sought-after quality in candidates. Problem-solving demands analysis, critical and lateral thinking or logical reasoning, and will always require initiative and persistence.
You don’t have to be far into your working life to know that things don’t always go as planned. Being able to reassess, reflect and reset when projects or strategic direction change is an interpersonal skill that will help maintain momentum and reduce frustration throughout your career. Knowing you’re flexible will also make your colleagues feel confident and comfortable working around you.
Do you regard yourself as an optimist? Are you good at seeing the silver lining in a project that didn’t deliver the expected outcomes? Being positive in the workplace is an excellent skill that has the ability to impact the morale of entire teams. It doesn’t mean being naïve or ignorant about the realities of a situation, but it does mean seeing the best in work challenges and people.
There exists few roles in which you would work in total isolation, which means that collaboration makes the list of interpersonal skills that are highly prized in the workplace. Understanding how to incorporate various ideas, manage expectations and share the ownership of both successes and failures are key to strong collaborative ability. It’s a skill that can be developed and applied in a variety of ways throughout your career.
Whether it’s owning up to a mistake or being honest about the difficulties you’re facing at work, employers want to hire and work with honest people. Being consistently honest and upfront will also assure colleagues and stakeholders that you’re reliable, and that the promises or deals you make can be kept.
Qualities like loyalty and commitment constitute work ethic, and it is an important interpersonal skill to have. Showing an employer that you possess strong work ethic and drive inspires trust and confidence in them, and you’ll be seen as reliable, independent and able to self-motivate.
Ability to manage stress
Every job comes with its periods of stress, some more than others. While not often the most pleasant parts of a career, knowing how to manage your time, emotions and relationships during periods of stress while still meeting deadlines is an incredibly important skill to have in the modern workplace.