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10 Essential Relationship Skills for Healthy Relationships

Relationship skills are necessary for every individual, and identifying your unique strengths can be a powerful first step in cultivating these skills. The HIGH5 strengths assessment provides personalized insights into your top strengths, empowering you to leverage your natural talents in building healthy relationships, whether in your personal life or professional endeavors. By understanding your strengths, you can develop a tailored approach to fostering meaningful connections and achieving long-term success in all areas of your life.

However, there are many barriers that stop individuals from forming happy relationships. They may be antisocial, struggle with communicating, do not have confidence in their abilities, or generally lack the ability to empathize with their partner or coworker.

In this case, focusing on building your relationship skillset is crucial. Luckily, this does not require a plethora of time-consuming additional activities.

In this article, we will help you discover how to build relationships and why doing so is extremely important.

What Are Relationship Skills?

Before you dive into trying to build relationship skills, you need to truly understand what these skill types are. In general, relationship skills are any abilities that allow you to help connect with others and form bonds. These can be a broad range of abilities.

For instance, the type of relationship abilities that help you build bonds with employees are different from those that help you build romantic relationships.

The key to relationship skills is ensuring they build healthy, long-term relationships. Some strategy that allows you to overcome peer conflict for a day but does not prevent long-term conflict would not be a true example of relationship skills being used.

Some of the most common relationship skills include clear communication, negotiation skills and compromising, empathy abilities, building bonds through emotions, and a wealth of activities that increase your bond with someone.

Relationship skills matter significantly, as they help you in maintaining a healthy personal and work life. They can help you in a plethora of different scenarios, ranging from school communication to finding your lifelong partner.

Why Is it Important To Recognize and Work On Relationship Skills & Their Benefits?

Now that you understand what these important skills are, you can begin trying to build them. But, why would someone want to acquire relationship skills?

After all, popular gurus are touting the benefits of technical skills, so many become less interested in soft skills like these.

Nonetheless, it is extremely important to build your career and relationships with strong relationship skills. The HIGH5 strengths assessment can be a powerful tool in this journey, providing personalized insights into your natural talents and enabling you to leverage them effectively in fostering meaningful connections. By aligning your approach with your unique strengths, you can maximize your happiness and success in all aspects of your life, from personal relationships to professional endeavors.

In addition, some specific benefits of boosting relationship abilities include:

  • Increase your career opportunities and give you the chance to meet more of your goals.
  • Allows you to become a better team member.
  • Boosts your communication, conflict resolution, and other key skills.
  • Increases your positivity and levels of success both in your romantic relationships and career.
  • Improves both individual productivity and team productivity.
  • Gives you satisfaction and passion in your work.
  • Helps you develop deep bonds with your partner, so your relationship lasts long-term and you avoid breakups.
  • Improves employee retention rates for businesses.
  • Boosts your physical health and decreases your risk of several physical and mental disorders.
  • Increases your creativity and confidence in your abilities.

Pro Tip From HIGH5

After taking the HIGH5 assessment, reflect on how your top strengths can contribute to building stronger relationships. For example, if one of your strengths is empathy, practice actively listening and seeking to understand others’ perspectives in your interactions.

10 Examples of Relationship Skills

There are many different types of skills included under the broad category of relationship abilities. When you start to get interested in relationship building, you can view the list below to understand which types of skills you should focus on first.

Regardless of what your current goals and relationship status are, you should view these skills as important.

Some of the top relationship skills:

Knowing How To Set Boundaries And Respect One Another

Many relationships encounter issues when one partner does not know how to set boundaries. This could lead to individuals being used, which undermines the purpose of your relationship. You need to clearly set your boundaries to protect both yourself and your partner.

For example, you could tell your partner that you will not eat meat that is not halal, because according to your religion, it is immoral. A true partner would respect that boundary.

Being Honest

Ensure that you are honest with your partner. Honestly will strengthen your bond and allow you to connect further. This skill will help you avoid miscommunications and misunderstandings, saving you both time and frustration.

At first, consistent honesty may sound daunting. But if you incorporate it into your regular life, you will find it becomes second nature.


Being able to empathize with others is a great skill to have in relationships. Empathy allows you to understand your partner on a deeper level. It allows you to see both successes and struggles through their point of view. Without empathy, you can never truly understand your partner. But by gaining this skill, you will improve your understanding of both your partner and the world as a whole.


Trust is the foundation of every great relationship. Without trust, individuals feel like they are hiding something from their partner, which will create long-term issues. Trust will allow you to stop constantly monitoring your partner. And, it will help you avoid micromanaging, too.

Once a relationship begins, it is difficult to give your partner that level of trust. But, the best relationships are not the ones where partners track each other 24/7. They are the ones with trust.

Conflict Resolution

No matter how hard you try to avoid it, you will encounter conflicts within your relationships. Even in fantastic relationships, occasional scuffles (and rarely, genuine fights) do occur. By having conflict resolution skills, you can decrease the negative impacts of conflict.

Instead of letting a fight ruin your day or entire relationship, you can find a way to overcome your differences and come to a solution. Often, this will involve being honest about your mistakes and expecting the same from your partner.


Another key element of conflict resolution, as well as maintaining a healthy relationship in general, is the ability to compromise. You will not always get everything you desire in a relationship.

A fair compromise is one of the best ways to avoid conflicts in those situations. It takes time to understand what ‘fair’ is. But, by having an open conversation with your partner, you can determine what is truly crucial for both of you and make a decision from there.

Being Vulnerable

Intimacy is a staple of a great relationship. When thinking of vulnerability, many people imagine someone sobbing and overwhelming their partner with a list of their problems. But, this is not exactly true vulnerability.

Being vulnerable involves sharing things that are difficult to communicate. But, this transparency will help you realize how united you two are as partners. It allows you to seek support in a healthy way.

Emotional Intelligence

Having emotional intelligence will benefit both you and your partner. In general, emotional intelligence is the ability to deeply understand your feelings, reflect on them, and also connect your knowledge of emotions to times when someone else is feeling emotionally distraught.

Emotional intelligence can help you prevent conflicts, as it allows help you to stay in control of your feelings. It can also help you give better advice when your partner is stressed or down.


Communication is essential to many areas of life, and relationships are no exception. Communication is about more than just talking, though.

It also involves listening to your partner and acknowledging the topics you (currently) do not talk about. Having an open channel and ensuring your partner knows you are willing to listen is as crucial for great communication as the actual discussions are.


When you are in a relationship, you never want to feel ‘chained’ to your partner. This is a sign of micromanaging and a lack of trust. The result of a trusting relationship and mutual respect is a relationship where both parties have independence.

Spending time on activities without your partner will allow you to have some alone time, which is great for reflection. Or, if you really crave to go somewhere your partner isn’t interested in, you should be able to satisfy your desire for a fulfilling life.

How To Identify & Master Relationship Skills As A Student Or Adult

Knowing how to incorporate relationship skills into your toolset can be very helpful in a wide range of situations. It will allow you to lead a more fulfilling life, boost your career opportunities, avoid breakups, and generally increase your happiness.

However, many people become confused about how to gain these skills. Before you invest in 20 books by relationship gurus, consider the following.

Firstly, there is an effective way to identify your relationship skills without spending a single penny. Yes, for completely free, you can acquire a list of your top relationship skills. This fantastic option involves simply taking an online assessment.

One of the best online tests you could take is HIGH5. With HIGH5, you will not only get a list of strengths you use in relationships, but a general list of strengths you use daily. The test only takes a few minutes, too.

The option of taking HIGH5 is available to both students and adults. In fact, students may benefit from taking this assessment even more. This is so because they are often the most confused about relationships and have little relationship experience.

There are a few other ways to find your top relationship strengths. If you have a partner already, you can ask them about what makes them interested in you. However, this takes more confidence to do, and it can be a bit awkward if you go about it in the wrong way. Ensure that you already have an established relationship before asking.

How To Improve Relationship Skills In The Workplace

How To Improve Relationship Skills In The Workplace

Relationship skills can be helpful in many scenarios. They are useful outside of just romance. You may be surprised to read this, but relationship skills are also commonly used in the workplace.

This requires a slightly different approach to relations and different types of skills, but they can still help you succeed in the workplace. One of the best ways to improve relationship skills is by trying to listen to others when they speak. This is a relatively simple strategy that nearly anyone can implement.

When you ask a question, listen to the other person, and try to reflect on what they say. Ask questions more often to get a better understanding of their thoughts, feelings, and desires.

Another way you can improve workplace relationship skills is by observing what your top relationship skills currently are. Instead of focusing on turning relationship weaknesses into strengths, you can build upon your strengths. Take more opportunities to work on group projects if you see communication is a strength, for example. If you know empathy is your strength, don’t be afraid to help others when they need it.

Why Building Relationship Skills at Work Matters

Relationship abilities matter for activities outside of just loving your partner. At work, they can boost your productivity and efficiency. This is so because individuals with relationship skills are often able to navigate team projects more, and they know how to reach out to others for help.

Plus, relationship skills at work can also help you build bonds with coworkers. Not only will this potentially benefit you by helping you reach your goals, but it also serves an emotional benefit. Your work will be more fulfilling if you are emotionally connected to it and the people you work with.

5 Ways The Best Leaders Are Always Building Relationship Skills

The best leaders understand the importance of leveraging their team’s collective strengths, including those that contribute to building strong relationships. By utilizing tools like the HIGH5 strengths assessment, they can gain valuable insights into their team member’s unique talents and strengths, enabling them to foster an environment where individuals can thrive and collaborate effectively. By aligning roles and responsibilities with each person’s natural strengths, leaders can consistently work on ways to improve their team’s performance, reach their goals, and boost passion.

In the long run, this will differentiate a successful leader from one who is less successful. Some of the strategies great leaders use to build their relationship strengths include:

Knowing Their Strengths And Weaknesses

Self-awareness is important in many facets of life. However, it is especially crucial when you are trying to develop strengths. Great leaders know their strengths and weaknesses, as well as how this combination of strengths and weaknesses impacts their team.

If you understand your top relationship strengths, you will be empowered to use them more often, giving you confidence and boosting efficiency.

Pro Tip From HIGH5

As a leader, encourage your team members to take the HIGH5 assessment. Use the insights gained to intentionally assign tasks and projects that align with their strengths, facilitating effective collaboration and fostering a positive, strengths-based team culture.

Delegating Less Important Activities And Having A Solid Decision-Making Process

A leader cannot do everything themselves. After all, this is the purpose of having a team in the first place. The best leaders know how to delegate tasks that do not align with their relationship strengths to team members who are skilled at those tasks. They have a specific understanding of their employee’s strengths, often from data and tests.

Developing Strong Soft Skills And Interpersonal Abilities

Leaders who succeed know how to best motivate their team without giving them tasks to overwhelm them. They know how to compliment a team member to encourage them without inflating their ego.

Great leaders also combine skills such as empathy, recognizing the needs of others, building rapport and long-lasting relationships, committing to their promises, and much more. These are all examples of interpersonal abilities.

Using The Participative Form Of Management

There are many different types of leaders. Some are authoritarians, others laissez-faire, and most a combination of these (with one main style). Those that use the participative leadership style tend to find more success. They build stronger bonds with their employees, know how to get employees excited, give employees a sense of importance, and have strong leadership skills.

Giving Meaningful And Inspiring Input

Leaders who give feedback like a robot, without any emotional connection or inspiration, often leave employees feeling uninterested in self-improvement.

However, leaders with great relationship skills know how to provide constructive feedback while still getting an employee excited about trying new strategies and building upon their strengths. Try to be honest and specific, but also be aware of your employee’s emotions. Help them understand they bring value to the team before bringing up any weaknesses.

Bonus Tip: What Are Relationship Skills Activities & How To Make

Relationship skill activities are any activity that helps individuals boost their current relationship abilities while also building new relationship skills. There are numerous ways to create relationship-building activities.

Before you create an activity, consider using the insights from the HIGH5 strengths assessment to identify the specific relationship skills your team needs to develop further. For example, if trust is an area of growth, you could leverage the strengths of your team members by designing a free-fall activity that allows them to showcase their natural talents. If communication is a focus area, you could tailor a classic game like a telephone to highlight and exercise the communication strengths present in your team.

If general teamwork and problem-solving are the skills they need to work on, try the human knot. In general, there are many activities to choose from. But, before making a decision, define the purpose of the activity and focus on a single skill.

Pro Tip From HIGH5

Use the HIGH5 assessment data to create personalized relationship-building activities that allow individuals to leverage their unique strengths while also developing areas for growth. This tailored approach can make the learning experience more engaging and impactful.

Relationship Skills FAQ

What Are 3 Important Relationship Skills?

There are a plethora of relationship strengths, and each of them is important. Which ones are more or less crucial depends on numerous factors, like the type of relationship, your goals, and your existing strengths. If you want to focus on three, one of the best is communication.

Communication is used in every industry and relationship. Active listening is also a key part of communication. Also, conflict resolution is key to success. You will encounter conflicts no matter what your job or relationship type is. Finally, you should also build emotional intelligence.

What Skills Help Build Relationships?

Your bonds can be strengthened if you communicate consistently. Consistent, open, and honest communication can help you take relationships to a deeper level and help you avoid misunderstandings. In addition, honesty and trust also build relationships.

They allow you to avoid micromanaging. In general, relationship skills help build relationships. In addition to the prior mentioned skills, empathy, vulnerability, setting boundaries, conflict resolution, and mutual independence all help build healthy relationships.

What relationship skills are most important?

The most important relationship skill varies from person to person. This is because the specific type of relationship and the individual you are in a relationship with are unique for each person. One of the most crucial relationship skills, though, is communication. This skill is used in networking, between coworkers, in leader relationships with employees, and in romantic relationships.

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