Interpersonal skills are essential in the workplace. This is because any company works as a machine composed of a multitude of parts where each worker represents one of these elements. To obtain an optimal result, each member of the team must carry out their mission in perfect harmony with the rest of the employees. How are you going to do it without this interpersonal intelligence?
Working in an optimal work environment is extremely important for employees since a healthy environment directly affects their performance and emotional well-being.” In fact, according to the Gallup State of the American Workplace report, workers who have a good friend in their company are seven times more likely to perform their tasks with motivation.
Hence, the interpersonal skills of the different collaborators are part of the fundamental pillars of human capital, together with the specific technical capacities of the job.
What Is An Interpersonal Skill?
Interpersonal skills, as those skills of people that cannot yet be proven with certificates or diplomas. In addition to functional competence (such as hard skills), these skills ensure a pleasant and happy coexistence. Interpersonal skills are often called soft skills, but there are some differences.
Soft skills, unlike interpersonal skills, involve much more than dealing with others, as they combine abilities and personal traits such as self-confidence, ambition, and passion.
While hard skills have to be developed through hours and hours of work, interpersonal skills are part innate, including partly learned. The pedagogy of teachers, the upbringing of our parents, the integral relationships you have had, and other aspects play an essential role in the development of your interpersonal skills.
Some people have a natural talent for these skills, understanding precisely what it takes to get along with other people. Many of them, in turn, do not even know what interpersonal skills are.
The meaning of interpersonal skills is expressed mainly in communication skills. Communication and strong interpersonal skills go hand in hand. To give you a better idea of what these skills are, here is a list of examples (there are some that overlap with analytical skills):
- Active listening
- Conflict resolution
- Intercultural competence
- Negotiation skills
- Coaching skills
- Control over emotions
Why Are Interpersonal Skills Essential?
As noted above, personal competencies play an increasingly important role in the workplace. However, there are reasons why you should have strong social skills:
- People surround us in every part of our lives.
- Social competence is one of the most crucial factors in having a positive attitude towards life. Social relationships with other people, which each of us needs to be happy, make interpersonal skills present in all aspects of our life, no matter how small.
We all long for a sense of unity and a sense of being part of the bigger picture. Belonging to a group is a crucial need that is deeply ingrained in us. Being around other people makes us happy. It is scientifically proven that each of us tries to fulfill its role in society.
Therefore, you must understand how to interact with other people and build deep relationships. Interpersonal skills can be learned. Work on your skills, as it will facilitate the building of relationships with your environment and will make you happy on a personal level.
What Are The Interpersonal Skills?
When evaluating applicants for a selection process, Human Resources managers need to know what are the elements that make up the necessary interpersonal skills of these professionals.
In this sense, you must take into account different characteristics of the candidate depending on the needs of the position and the culture and values of the organization, among which are:
- Ethics, honesty, sincerity.
- Communication, courtesy, respect.
- Understanding, compassion, empathy.
- Collaboration, generosity.
- Conflict management.
How to evaluate interpersonal skills?
To assess these interpersonal skills during the recruitment process, there are numerous tools, such as psycho-occupational tests. If used correctly and interpreted well, your results can be revealing.
Important Interpersonal Skills Employers Value
The expression of interpersonal relationships, within the framework of the workplace, refer to those that improve communication between people to form a strong association between those who work together in the same organization. And it is that, for people to relate, they must first be able to communicate.
Collaboration and bonding between employees help them raise their level of job satisfaction, enabling them to boost their performance. In the workplace, many discrepancies and frictions can arise; therefore, maintaining healthy relationships and fluid communication between colleagues is vital for the functioning of the team. Trust, honesty and respect are key to forging and maintaining interpersonal relationships inside and outside of work, and when their positive effects occur, they have repercussions on the environment and people’s morale.
Interpersonal Skills, Productivity, And Achievement Of Goals
The importance of management in the achievement of business objectives is decisive; 93% of managers for their low levels of management skills and the impact that this lack caused in their plans.
It is an area that deserves to be considered as a priority since, for every two or three people managed by a leader with the appropriate interpersonal skills, there is an increase in productivity such that it is comparable to the introduction of one more member in the team.
According to data from Training Industry in one of their latest surveys:
- More than half of managers consider interpersonal skills to be one of their strengths.
- At the same time, 55% of the workforce confirmed that their performance would improve if their superiors improved their interpersonal skills.
The work of a team leader is not easy, but organizations need to implement strategies and achieve objectives. To achieve this is through the actions of their executives, as long as the leadership matches the culture and values of the company and demonstrates it by displaying their faculties of interaction and interpersonal skills. However, not only those responsible for managing people need this capacity, but all members of the organization should have, at least, minimal interpersonal skills. This is clear from the data extracted from the Training Industry study, which reveals that:
- 23.5% of the middle and senior positions surveyed claimed to have terminated a contract due to poor interpersonal skills of the worker.
- 56.4% have opposed the promotion of an employee with deficiencies in this area.
- For virtually all survey participants, interpersonal skills gain in importance as the person progresses in their professional career and moves up the ranks of the organization.
All interpersonal skills help to build lasting and higher quality relationships and a positive work environment that preserves group morale, increasing the satisfaction and happiness of individuals. However, some skills are especially important in the workplace. These are the following:
- Verbal communication: it is the most direct type of communication. It is about knowing what we want to say and saying it correctly, with the right words and expressions. Mastering verbal communication will allow us to convey our ideas and feelings clearly and precisely and will reduce possible misunderstandings and misinterpretations.
- Non-verbal communication: it is not only about mastering how we say things (tone, volume) but also the signs that surround our words. We talk about body expression, gestures, and grimaces.
- Empathy: it is one of the most outstanding qualities within interpersonal skills, as it implies the ability to place yourself in the place of others, that is, to understand the needs of others. If we come to understand other people, we will understand much better why they behave the way they do, and we will be able to adjust our reactions.
- Listening skills: listening is another of the most important interpersonal skills. To know others, we must first listen to them actively, paying attention to them, and making an effort to comprehend what they say and why they say it. Only in this way will we be able to identify what you want to communicate. However, for this, we will have to overcome certain limitations, prejudices, and self-imposed fears.
- Assertiveness: being assertive means knowing how to defend your rights and not being afraid to express opinions or make suggestions honestly, but without falling into aggressiveness or passivity.
- Negotiation skills: the ability to negotiate consists of knowing how to maintain your position and, at the same time, being able to dialogue, examine the pros and cons of other people calmly, assess all the options, and be able to give in.
- Conflict resolution: this interpersonal skill tries to know the problems and maintain an appropriate attitude, taking into account the vision of others and looking for alternatives, evaluating them in search of the best.
When selecting the best logistics talent, it is important to focus on individuals whose contribution to the group is going to be positive. These people bring together all or most of these interpersonal skills.
The Five Fundamental Principles Of Interpersonal Skills
Five basic behaviors make a difference in the effective management of human groups. These principles, applicable to the development of interpersonal skills, have to do with:
Maintain or improve the self-esteem of the people with whom you interact: the direct consequences of reaching high levels of self-esteem include high rates of job satisfaction, improved motivation and commitment, minimization of errors, and high-quality work, better personal and professional relationships, and greater capacity for innovation at work. One of the keys to keeping employees high in morale is to take constructive criticism, never destructive criticism, and present it as a possibility for improvement and not as a defect.
Listen and respond with empathy: Leaders who show empathy with their employees are perceived as better responsible. Furthermore, workers who believe that their leaders are empathic tend to become more involved in their work, approaching it with more energy, will, and a better disposition. Leaders are viewed as most effective throughout the organization when they create an inclusive and participatory work environment.
Ask for help and encourage participation: when you want to encourage people’s intervention, you have to know how to make them feel that their opinions and thoughts matter, that they are relevant and taken into account. Also, each of the people involved can contribute their grain of sand and knowledge that others lack, even leaders.
Share thoughts, feelings, and values: the purpose of this way of acting is to build trust. In the workplace, when acting with transparency and sharing the reasons behind decision-making, an improvement in communication between the parties is achieved, and a climate of trust is built, which affects levels of effectiveness general very positively. Do you know what intrapersonal intelligence is?
Provide support without simply removing responsibility to reinforce the perception of value: The fact that the workplace today is such interconnected means that it is almost impossible to carry out a task in isolation. Providing support is a critical function that must be carried out without interfering with individual autonomy. The key is in balance, which reinforces individual security and is perceived as recognition.
Difference In The Workplace: Interpersonal Relationships
As the famous philosopher Socrates advises, the basis of establishing interpersonal relationships and being successful in this field is firstly “getting to know one’s self.” Then comes the ability to understand other people’s feelings and thoughts, in other words, to empathize.
Imagine. You are an expert in your field. All your managers and colleagues appreciate your technical competence in your role. Do you think this situation is enough for you to be successful in the workplace?
Perhaps in the face of this question, you may feel ‘yes, of course enough, what else is expected from an employee? Such an employee does his job in the best way and will be successful. ‘On the other hand, we should not forget that our way of expressing ourselves, our style of communication and relationship with other people (employees, managers, customers, etc.) plays an essential role in our success as individuals, as well as our technical competence.
An old friend of mine was talking about changing his job recently. In his new company, where he was a senior manager, my friend made a decision that could not be taken for a long time and resolved a significant dispute in the first week. To those who asked him how he achieved this, he stated that he was using no other way than his communication style.
Yes, the ability to establish interpersonal relationships is of great importance, regardless of the field and title we work with. The way we express, reveal, and relate to people as individuals determine the result we achieve. The concept of ’emotional intelligence’ popularized by Daniel Goleman also underlines the importance of personal and interpersonal skills in both our private and business life. It brings a new definition to the concept of ‘smart and successful person’ in this direction.
“Use your mind to direct yourself and your heart to direct others.” – British Proverb
The British, known as “cold” in terms of communication and relationship building within the framework of general prejudice, express the main message desired to be given in personal development training with these sayings. Isn’t this proof of how guiding biases and different perspectives are in relationships?
As the famous philosopher Socrates advises, the basis of establishing interpersonal relationships and being successful in this field is firstly “getting to know one’s self.” Then comes the ability to understand other people’s feelings and thoughts, in other words, to empathize. When a person who has increased his awareness of himself and has developed empathy skills also enriches his ability to communicate with other people, the doors of personal satisfaction, success, being sought after and appreciated by other people (managers, employees, customers) are opened.
Personal development training that focuses on ‘human’ examine human psychology and are offered under various topics, primarily by increasing the awareness of employees about themselves and the people around them, improving their social skills such as communicating and developing relationships, expanding the influence areas of individuals in this direction, aims to contribute, in addition to the training aimed at increasing the technical competencies of their employees, the companies make a significant investment in human resources with the resources they allocate for personal development training, and thanks to a much better-equipped workforce, the company reaches its goals in a much more supported manner.
To improve your interpersonal relationships:
- First of all, get to know yourself.
- Manage yourself. (Management is not just managing other people. The priority lies in managing one’s own emotions, thoughts, and behaviors!)
- Maintain your optimism and positive energy.
- Motivate yourself and keep those around you motivated. In other words, develop and use your Emotional Intelligence.
- And smile!
“A journey of thousands of kilometers starts with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
Yes, let’s set our goals and get ready to take our first step in getting to know ourselves and improving our interpersonal relationships.
Skills That The Business World Is Looking For
The importance and appropriateness of soft skills in the success of its employees in the future cannot be ignored. Recruitment management sees communication skills, interpersonal skills, and initiative skills as the three most desired skills in the market, and knowledge is equally essential to conceptual understanding. Management in companies expects students to demonstrate oral (face-to-face) and written communication skills and good active listening skills.
Verbal communication consists of the ability to express ideas and establish working relationships with peers, teams, and study organizations. Writing ideas and concepts clearly and clearly in different platforms, notes, emails, and reports have risen in the 21st century, and this is due to technological advances that require written communication. Active listening skills are necessary to capture and understand what is expressed by others in the workplace and to synthesize communication for accuracy in practice.
Interpersonal skills are the character or dispositional traits of an individual, which means transforming into a personality, expressing socialization, and being able to relate to people. Interpersonal skills are among the top five soft skills, according to literature studies on soft skills. There are many delicate skill features that organizations seek in the workplace, and emotional intelligence has been identified as the primary driver of excellent performance for individuals. Emotional intelligence encompasses various soft skill traits and falls into two categories: personal competence (self-awareness) and social competence (relationship management). Self-efficacy is being aware of your feelings, strengths, and weaknesses, and the impact of each trait and social competence is about social awareness and relationship management.
Companies want to create a performance culture, focus on the individual’s strengths and uniqueness, and benefit from it. This emotional intelligence is discovered with a soft skill. Many soft skills in the literature are essential for the workplace and exhibit valuable behavior for the employer. Being honest in the workplace, showing it, and having a strong work ethic that defines values are highly sought after by employers. Even paying attention to the responsibilities of others increases the likelihood of the employer choosing the candidate.
Teamwork is built on collaboration aimed at actively helping your team members generate the highest level of potential and not selfishly aiming solely for personal gain. Adaptability allows flexibility and dealing with uncertainty, especially in highly complex and rapidly changing market conditions and workplaces. Professionalism is highly valued by employers for a student trainee and represents how the organization presents the individual in the public eye. Critical thinking skills enable individuals to generate new ideas to achieve desired results and overcome obstacles. Problem-solving has characteristics such as critical thinking, leadership, and adaptability as an essential component of bringing solutions in today’s workplace and is essential in all disciplines. Recruitment managers,
There are more than 490 soft skill factors for companies to consider. Depending on many soft skills and organizational, industry, and management preferences, the expectations of the essential features vary. Employers initially saw internships as an economically inexpensive way to acquire talent. Still, as skill shortages and talent acquisition become common recurring themes, employers see internships and soft skills development as a necessary strategy for talent acquisition.
Studies have confirmed soft skills as an essential indicator of successful recruitment practices. With the high attribution rate and high costs associated with recruiting and selection, many organizations use internship programs to ensure a better job fit and reduce the risk of recruiting and training unknown talent. Trainees with positive and effective soft skills qualities that show that they are energetic, enthusiastic, and interesting are accepted for the opening of the organization. They are seen as equipped from the first day of employment. For this reason, it is aware that a strong, soft skill student staff of educational institutions is mandatory for interns when entering the field of study for an internship project. Employers and practitioners highly value soft skills, and academic institutions invest in education to sharpen students’ soft skills contribution. Therefore, the role of soft skills is an integral part of the successful transformation of internship assignments into permanent employment opportunities and is essential for professional success and advancement.
Most of today’s tasks and projects are complex and require more than one person to complete successfully. Teamwork is necessary, and as our world becomes more and more challenging, the number of projects in companies is continuously growing.
For most jobs, you must have the ability to work in a team. The professional tasks and challenges that you and your team have to face are becoming more demanding every day. Therefore, the combination of hard and interpersonal skills is an essential criterion for many employers when deciding who to hire and who not.