Ever heard someone say, “They lack interpersonal skills” Or “Their employees have very poor interpersonal skills”? If yes, then you probably walked away wondering what are interpersonal skills and how can you improve them. Luckily you are in good company because we are about to answer that question and give you tips on how you can improve your interpersonal skills today.

Interpersonal skills definition

What are Interpersonal Skills? Simply put, they are people’s skills. They are the behaviours we display when communicating or interacting with others. They encompass both verbal and non-verbal skills, such as listening and effective speaking.

These skills are a crucial part of our existence.  How good yours are, determines how wonderful your social and career life will be. They are especially essential to your profession as they will help you gain allies and prove to your supervisor that you can help bring out the best in others only by being around them, hence setting you up for career success. Great examples of interpersonal skills include:

  • Listening
  • Body language
  • Empathy
  • Storytelling
  • Leadership
  • Supportiveness

How can you improve your interpersonal skills?

To some people, these skills are natural, but to some of us, freely interacting with and being like a safe place for others doesn’t always come easy. So, how can you improve your interpersonal skills? Try out the tips below.

1. Learn to See Things from a Positive Perspective

People cannot warm up to you if you continuously radiate negative energy. Teach yourself to see things from a positive perspective. Look at the bright side of your job instead of dwelling on the challenges it presents. If you are upset or accentuated about something, don’t bring it out on your colleagues. Instead, learn how to control your emotions so people can be comfortable around you.

2. Actively Listen to Others

No one wants to converse with someone who always talks about themselves. Instead of being the chatterbox and making everything about you, be mindful of what others have to say. Actively listening to others shows that you acknowledge their opinions. It also makes them more comfortable approaching you with a problem because they’re confident you’ll offer them a listening ear and helpful advice.

3. Take an Interest in those Around You

It feels great when someone wishes us a happy birthday out of the blue. It feels good to know someone genuinely cares about us. In that light, take it upon yourself to learn all the little details they might think you overlook and surprise them by mentioning them whenever they least expect it. For instance, know their birthday, the age of their kids, and what they love doing during their free time. This will help create solid relationships that go beyond the workplace.

4. Appreciate Others

When your colleague or your friend does a good job, don’t just appreciate their efforts silently. Go out of your way and let them know it. This will motivate them to keep up the good work because they know someone is watching, and their efforts are appreciated.

5. Be Assertive

Being confident in your opinions and abilities pushes others to feel the same way about you. Also, don’t be afraid to express yourself whenever the need arises.

6. Put Yourself in Other People’s Shoes

It is easier to create genuine connections with others when seeing things from their perspective. For instance, if someone is mad about something, don’t belittle them by saying that it’s not something to be angry about. Instead, try and envision yourself in the same position. This will help you develop empathy — an essential interpersonal skill.

What are Interpersonal Skills? They are the secret recipe for developing genuine relationships with others. But as shown, not all of us are lucky enough to have them naturally. So, if you’ve been having a hard time creating fruitful relationships, then you need to work on these skills.