Interpersonal Skills: Definition, Examples & How To Improve
Career exploration for high school students is often linked to the process of choosing a college major. In this time of globalization, students come to realize that there are many ways to make a living and even more ways to live life.
For most students, this is their first opportunity in which they have significant control over decisions that will shape their long-term lives.
Interpersonal skills are the most important soft skills you can learn at school. They will determine whether you have a great career or not.
The good news is that unlike hard skills that take time to learn, soft skills such as interpersonal skills are something you can learn very quickly and easily just by following some simple rules.
In this article, I’ll show you how to develop and use interpersonal skills to make friends, gain the respect of your teachers and improve your status among students and other people later on in life.
Furthermore, I’ll also show you how to use these skills to become more popular and get people to like and trust you.
What Are Interpersonal Skills? Definition & Meaning
Interpersonal skills are communication and social interaction abilities. They’re all about how you interact with others, how you communicate with them, and how people perceive you.
Many experts believe that interpersonal skills can be divided into two groups: active & passive. Active skills include persuading others to do what you want as well as influencing their opinions.
Passive interpersonal skills relate more to the treatment of other people such as understanding their feelings and predicting their needs.
20 Examples of Interpersonal Skills
The following are the most important interpersonal skills for you to learn:
- Negotiation skills
- Persuasion & Influence
- Public speaking skills
- Teamwork & Collaboration
- Positive Attitude & Behavior Towards Others
- Building Rapport with People
- Conflict Resolution techniques
- Social Skills in Any Situation
- Expressing Your Needs
- Personal Boundaries
- Respect for Others’ Privacy
- Listening Skills when it comes to other People’s Opinions and Feelings
- Managing Anxiety and Stress Effectively
- Confidence Building
- Handling Criticism & Negative Comments Properly
- Accepting Compliments Gracefully
- Asking For Help and Taking Responsibility When You Make a Mistake
- Finding Balance In Your Emotions
Developing Interpersonal Skills in 10 Steps
If you want to develop these skills you’ve got to change your mindset towards communication and social situations. The way you think about yourself will determine how other people see you.
If you have the right attitude, other people will respect you more and be much friendlier in return.
The following skills are vital if you want to develop interpersonal skills:
Be interested in others
This means that you should take an interest in what other people have to say and try to form opinions about the subjects you discuss with them. Moreover, be curious about how other people think.
It’s a bad idea to judge others on the first impression because you’ll usually miss out on the chance to get to know them better and you might offend someone for no reason.
I understand that this is often easier said than done but it takes time and effort before you develop this skill.
Ask questions & Listen carefully
Be interested in what other people have to say. Yes, this means more work but in return, you can learn new things from smart people who are experts at their craft and make friends with them too.
Remember, asking questions will make your existing relationships stronger so it’s an activity well worth doing as long as you avoid the wrong questions.
Don’t make assumptions about people
Another bad idea is to assume you know everything there is to know about other people or that they have the same beliefs as you do.
Make an effort to listen closely and try not to judge others until you get a thorough grasp of the facts.
Be yourself & Express your personality
It’s okay to be different, even more so because it shows authenticity and character. Some people will like you for who you are, others won’t – but that’s life. You can’t please everyone so don’t worry about it too much.
Just keep being yourself – remember, when other people sense that we’re fake their opinion of you drops (and usually in a hurry).
Develop your social skills through experience
One of the best ways to improve our social skills is by learning from our own mistakes. We all make mistakes.
Experience is invaluable when it comes to this kind of thing and one of the best ways to gain experience is by putting yourself in uncomfortable situations hoping that this time you’ll do better than last time.
Visualize & imagine yourself as a confident person
It’s so easy for us to be negative towards ourselves because society has conditioned us into thinking that this is normal behavior – but it’s not. I want you to take five minutes right now and imagine yourself as a confident, charismatic person.
This is a great exercise because it helps us get out of our comfort zones and make necessary changes in our lives that will allow us to reach our goals.
Accept your weaknesses
The secret to becoming more confident is to accept your weaknesses but not dwell on them. It’s one thing to acknowledge that we have faults, it’s another thing entirely when we obsess over those faults.
You’ve got to strive forward and focus on specific areas in which you want to improve, let go of old habits and pick up new ones. Some people are naturally gifted at particular hard or soft skills while others aren’t, don’t beat yourself up if this is the case for you.
Express your emotions
It’s okay to be passionate. I’m not saying that you should always express every emotion you have, but at the same time, doing so will allow us to connect better with other people and this, in turn, allows us to build friendships and be more dynamic individuals overall.
In addition, we’re less likely to hold on to grudges because expressing our feelings towards specific situations is cathartic.
It’s one thing to listen carefully when someone is speaking, it’s another thing entirely when we take what they say into consideration too. This means that we should seek new information about the world around us and adopt different perspectives as necessary.
We’re all biased towards our own beliefs because we’ve built up a defense mechanism that protects us from criticism and being wrong.
Why are Interpersonal Skills Important? List of 9 Benefits
Interpersonal skills are important because they help us to interact with other people and achieve our goals in life.
Here are some of the benefits:
- The better you are at communicating with others the more likely it is for them to want to be around you.
- These skills allow us to build relationships with other people which are necessary for our personal growth.
- Relationships with other people are necessary if we want to succeed in life.
- We can use interpersonal skills to solve problems thanks to our ability to reason and express ourselves clearly.
- The better you get at understanding the emotions of others, the more likely it is for people to open up to you.
- People like being around those who can relate to them.
- People with great interpersonal skills tend to have positive self-esteem and like themselves.
- Having strong interpersonal skills gives us the ability to build our confidence thanks to our personal growth.
- Interpersonal Skills can help us relate better to other people which makes it easier for them to work with us as well as solve problems together.
Interpersonal Skills in the Workplace
Interpersonal skills are important for the workplace. These skills help us communicate with people and make friends.
Without interpersonal skills, people at a workplace might not want to be around each other or work together.
The best thing is that it makes it easier for people who are good at it to solve problems or do their work together.
It’s very easy to form a friendship and find people that you get along with if you have good interpersonal skills. This means that it will be easier for you to successfully do your work together.
In addition, this also helps us solve problems more easily which is very important in the workplace because most of the time there are always going to be some issues now and then.
Since the majority of us spend more time at work than anywhere else, all of us need to get along and understand one another.
Having good interpersonal skills makes working together a lot easier.
These skills allow us to solve workplace problems in a better way as well as help with communication between employees – nobody likes feeling left out or misunderstood.
So how do we develop interpersonal skills?
Stay positive even when you make mistakes. Don’t blame yourself too much – remember that people tend to learn more from their own mistakes rather than those made by other people.
Learn what you do wrong and improve your self-esteem. By doing this you’ll be able to communicate with others easier and solve problems together.
You have to learn how others think if you want them to understand how you feel.
This can help a lot when solving problems because even if the person is unreasonable or difficult, it’s still important for both parties to listen and understand each other to build some sort of mutual understanding.
Good interpersonal skills also help us stop worrying about what people are thinking as well as develop the ability to relate better with others. In effect, it makes life a lot less complicated.
Interpersonal Skills in the Classroom
Interpersonal skills are also very important while in the classroom. To get along with classmates, students should be able to cooperate and communicate effectively to complete their work.
If students are unable to cooperate, then the classroom would be very chaotic and that can make learning much more difficult.
Students with good interpersonal skills can help out those who need it, then everyone in the class will be able to learn effectively.
Without these skills, it might be difficult for classmates to understand one another which makes it a lot harder for them to do their work.
Everyone has different ideas so listen carefully when someone is explaining something or solving problems together.
This is a useful way of learning because we all know how confusing things can get when trying to understand others.
The best thing about this is that even though someone gives you their opinion or idea, it’s important to take note and think about it because perhaps there might be something good in what they say.
In short, interpersonal skills are very useful when being in the classroom. It especially helps with co-operation and communication between classmates as well as learning how to properly express your ideas.
Without these skills, all classes would become way too chaotic and difficult to learn anything at all.
Frequently Asked Questions About Interpersonal Skills
Why are Interpersonal Communication Skills Important?
It is important to develop interpersonal skills for several reasons. Businesses often prioritize these skills in their employees. These are vital in the workplace because effective communication is what allows ideas and information to flow freely.
It also builds trust within a team when everyone listens without judging and is patient with one another.
How Do You Describe Interpersonal Skills To Someone?
When you’re trying to describe interpersonal skills, it helps to compare them back to the classroom days.
Imagine how much harder your classes would be if everyone was quiet and didn’t take turns sharing their ideas. In this way, we can see how important it is for people to cooperate.
How Do You Recognize Interpersonal Skills In Body Language?
Recognizing people’s body language is another useful way of understanding interpersonal skills. By being aware of the different actions that we can take, we become more open to other people’s thoughts and feelings.
For example, when someone is very angry, it might be a good idea to let them cool down because chances are they won’t be thinking straight and might do something that they’ll regret later.
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