Are you curious to know why you don’t get selected in any job despite giving so many interviews? OR Do you want to know how to achieve exponential growth in your career?
‘Interpersonal Skills’ is the answer to above-stated questions and many more questions that often arise in the mind of people who want to either solve the mystery of getting rejected or find a way of reaching new heights.
We are sure that you are not completely unfamiliar with the concept of interpersonal skills. Perhaps, your keenness to learn about or build these skills has landed you on this webpage today. Well, your search has brought you to the right place!
In this blog post, we will discuss the meaning, importance, and types of interpersonal skills at length. We will also share some tips on how to develop or improve such skills. Irrespective of your current and desired job type, industry, and career path, the information mentioned here will prove to be useful to you.
What are Interpersonal Skills?
Interpersonal skills, as the name suggests, are skills that are related to making connections, forming relationships, facilitating teamwork, resolving disputes, and many other aspects that concern people. The cluster of interpersonal skills also comprises skills or traits that shape the personality of an individual.
Now, if we tell you that you have been using a variety of interpersonal skills from the day you have gained consciousness, would you believe us? You might not, but it’s one hundred percent true. The way you interact with people around you, the way you make friends, the way you behave in a group – all these are facets of interpersonal skills.
Every person possesses and uses interpersonal skills in their family life and social life. But when these skills have to be used in professional life, you need to be a little careful and diligent. Different situations demand not only different interpersonal skills but also different ways of using interpersonal skills.
Therefore, harnessing these skills for smoothening your professional journey and accomplishing your goals requires training and a disciplined approach. Interpersonal skills make you stand out from your peers, thereby inspiring trust in the people in your social and professional circles.
Why are Interpersonal Skills Important?
The fact that we have created this blog post is proof that the importance of interpersonal skills in your career cannot be stressed enough. When machines are bought, their functionality and efficiency are considered, but when people are hired, their knowledge and skills are considered.
An increasing number of employers evaluate the interpersonal skills of candidates through written tests and interviews during the recruitment process. Possessing excellent interpersonal skills works in your favor as you stand a higher chance of securing employment and progressing in your career.
If employers focus on only work-related skills, they will end up building a team whose members don’t have the potential to become leaders. But as every organization seeks to offer managerial and top-level positions to insiders, candidates with interpersonal skills are preferred.
Interpersonal skills enable an employee to deal with people which is the most crucial task to be handled by supervisors, managers, and top executives of a company. If you are an experienced professional, you must have come across instances wherein an employee who is technically less sound as compared to his colleagues gets a promotion. The reason behind this is that higher-level executives should have satisfactory interpersonal skills.
Why do Employers Emphasize on Interpersonal Skills?
As we have mentioned earlier in this blog post, employers look for both occupational and interpersonal skills while hiring anyone. Many times, candidates having less than required years of experience are selected for a job opening with a belief that on-the-job training and shadowing will prepare them for delivering performance.
But this practice is not followed in the case of lack of interpersonal skills, especially while selecting suitable candidates for positions that require interacting, working, and negotiating with managers, colleagues, or clients. A few examples are customer service executives, supply chain executives, front desk executives, public relations executives, and financial analysts.
Some industries, like education, media, and marketing place huge importance on interpersonal skills. However, it should not be deduced that the remaining job roles or industries don’t need people with interpersonal skills. In today’s time, interpersonal skills are a must for every person.
How Interpersonal Skills can help you?
Interpersonal skills should not be viewed in isolation as they complement the occupational or technical skills of an individual. By using your interpersonal skills, you can perform better as these skills can make understanding expectations, analyzing problems, and communicating feedback easy for you.
Running a business effectively without employees who possess interpersonal skills can become extremely difficult. From sending emails to suppliers and conducting interviews for filling vacancies, almost all activities, functions, or operations require communication and other facets of interpersonal skills.
Contrary to the popular belief, personnel employed in the IT field need interpersonal skills too, as they have to explain complex information and data in simple words to managers and clients. Interpersonal skills can help you complete both small tasks and major responsibilities flawlessly.
What are the Different Types of Interpersonal Skills?
The list of interpersonal skills is a never-ending one as new skills are added to this list from time to time due to changes taking place in the corporate world. We have made a list of interpersonal skills that are in high demand across job roles, industries, and geographical areas.
The skill of communication is highly undervalued by job seekers, but if mastered, this skill can help you grow by leaps and bounds. Communication skills include not only verbal and written communication but also active listening and body language.
You should be able to express your views, opinions, and suggestions on every topic related to your job, such as day-to-day tasks, projects, and rules clearly. When it comes to verbal communication, you should use a humble but compelling tone. While using written communication, you should avoid grammatical mistakes.
Whether you are using verbal communication or written communication, keep your sentences to the point. You should get engaged in active listening by paying attention to the other person while speaking with them. Show interest in them by maintaining eye contact and keeping all distractions, viz., computer, mobile phone, and tablet at bay.
Many people are of the opinion that professionalism has to be demonstrated only during the hiring process. But the right approach is that professionalism should be shown every single day you attend your workplace. Follow the dress code and practice workplace etiquette.
Make punctuality an important rule of your life. Reach your workplace on or before time. Comply with deadlines for completing the tasks assigned to you. Maintain quality and consistency in your work. You need to conduct yourself professionally at all times irrespective of the circumstances.
Employer assesses you on the basis of not only your performance but also your personality characteristics. Under stressful situations, you should remain calm and deliver the best possible performance. Emotions are a part of human nature, but having an outburst or creating a scene at the workplace can spoil your image.
- Analytical Thinking
The skill of thinking analytically is highly regarded in both small and large organizations as it helps to solve problems that might hamper work. Employers seek people who can ensure that the business activities run uninterruptedly.
Analytical thinking involves analyzing the problem objectively rather than getting overwhelmed by it. You need to understand the problem properly by breaking it into smaller parts. Then, you need to use all the sources available with you for gathering information to solve problems.
Identifying problems that are not quite visible is also a part of analytical thinking. Employees equipped with analytical skills also analyze business data to comprehend various types of trends, viz., sales trends, revenue trends, and many more for making predictions and taking decisions.
- Team Spirit
Employers expect their employees to become a part of the team and work with a motive to provide benefit to the entire organization. People who can keep their team above themselves earn the respect of their team members and managers.
Working with a team spirit implies that your job is not over if you have finished your tasks. You should make sure that your colleagues are able to perform. If you notice that your colleagues are facing some issues that are obstructing their work, you should help them.
Employees with team management skills are capable of handling leadership roles in a business enterprise. Coordinating effectively with the team to achieve the set targets becomes immensely important in a few cases, such as software development, app development, event management, and so on.
- Relationship Management
Managing people is considered as one of the most difficult aspects of running a business. In every organization, supervisors, managers, and team leaders are responsible for ensuring that all the employees are on good terms with each other.
Senior-level executives also see that employees are satisfied with their work and the organization. However, these responsibilities are also voluntarily discharged by junior-level executives and subordinates. Such executives are rewarded by giving a promotion, bonus, or recognition.
Employees who have the interpersonal skill of relationship management are adept at resolving conflicts and creating a win-win situation for everyone. You should show compassion towards your colleagues and provide them assistance whenever required.
Flexibility is a vital skill for both personal and professional aspects of life. Being flexible in all types of circumstances allows you to adjust to new environments without disrupting your life. The value of flexibility has risen in recent years due to many factors.
In today’s competitive world, companies introduce new systems and processes on a continual basis for improving productivity. So, you need to be flexible enough to adapt to the changes that take place in your workplace for maintaining your focus.
You should be able to handle various working arrangements. Being able to take additional responsibilities, learn new methodologies and software, find innovative solutions is a result of being flexible. Flexibility helps you to accept criticism positively and explore new opportunities.
Which Interpersonal Skills do you Need?
A question that arises in the mind of most of the inexperienced and experienced individuals is that “Which interpersonal skills do I need or which interpersonal skills should I build for enhancing my career prospects?”. Well, depending on your specific job type and field, you might need a few or many interpersonal skills.
You should research on the skills that you require for performing your duties and improving your performance. Learn and keep polishing the skills for staying relevant. You might have to use only a few or all of the interpersonal skills you possess on a daily basis while working. Never hesitate to build a skill that you don’t need in your current job as it can become useful to you in the future.
How can you Grow Interpersonal Skills?
Just like most of the people, you might not have realized during your college days the role that the interpersonal skills play in your life. But once you enter the corporate realm, the reality hits you hard. However, it’s never too late, as you can always grow interpersonal skills that you need for earning success.
Conduct a self-evaluation with the help of free online tools to know which interpersonal skills you possess and which ones you don’t. You can ask your near and dear ones to guide you as no one knows you better than them. Determine the skills that you need to develop.
You can use offline and online resources for cultivating skills that can help you in your current job and/or future endeavors. Read books, attend classes in your city, register in online courses, join social media discussion forums, and meet experts.
How to Show Interpersonal Skills in your Resume?
Many people fail to exhibit interpersonal skills the right way in their resume, thereby losing the chance to get shortlisted for telephonic or face-to-face interviews. You need to mention your skills in your resume in such a way that they get noticed properly.
Create a ‘skills’ section in your resume or CV and include all the occupational and interpersonal skills in it. You can specify how your interpersonal skills benefitted your previous organizations in ‘work history’ and ‘accomplishments’ sections of your resume.
Before applying for any job, read the advertisement properly to understand which are the desirable skills for the particular position. Interpersonal skills, most of the time, are not directly mentioned in the advertisement. So, you need to read between the lines.
Interpersonal skills, if not used constantly, can become rusty. In other words, they might not prove to be as useful to you as they were before. So, the key is to keep utilizing the interpersonal skills you possess in your professional and personal life. But, learning and using skills is not enough. You should keep honing your interpersonal skills whenever you get a chance.