Essential Interpersonal Skills
According to McKinseys skills report as automation becomes prevalent, social and emotional skills will be highly sought after by 2030.
In this article we will explore essential people skills that can be cultivated or improved upon to excel in your role.
People skills are not crucial in contexts but also indispensable in professional settings where interactions with colleagues, supervisors, clients and other work related relationships are common. These skills are vital because most individuals do not work alone; they. Establish connections at work. Therefore nurturing people skills throughout your career can complement job related abilities like technical expertise and workplace proficiency.
People Skills for Workplace Success
Most people skills incorporate elements of emotions and social aptitude. Below is a compilation of important people skills along, with examples of how they manifest in the workplace. For those who wish to improve their skills we have compiled a guide to assist you in that endeavour.
- Example of Emotional Intelligence; It involves considering situations before reacting refraining from passing judgment and finding solutions that benefit everyone involved.
- Example of Communication; Actively listening to others asking clarifying questions and conveying messages concisely and clearly.
- Example of Collaborative Skills; Ensuring shared goals are well defined establishing effective communication methods and trusting colleagues to fulfil their responsibilities.
- Example of Active Listening; Paying attention to the speaker using engaging body language summarising what has been said for confirmation and asking questions.
- Example of Adaptability; Approaching tasks, with a mind maintaining composure in the face of change and preparing contingency plans.
- Example of Supportiveness; Checking in with colleagues regularly providing advice when welcomed or needed while maintaining an attitude as we listen attentively to others.
- Example of Respectfulness; Responding promptly to emails or messages expressing gratitude sincerely and offering apologies when appropriate.
- Example of Patience; Identifying the source of impatience within ourselves or situations we encounter; letting go of factors beyond our control; prioritising tasks for better time management.
- Example of Assertiveness; Expressing ideas using statements like “I think” or “I believe,” maintaining eye contact during conversations, as a sign of engagement; declining additional work when necessary.
- Example of Negotiation; Engaging in honest discussions to ensure communication expressing needs or goals sincerely and exploring innovative solutions.
- Example of Conflict Resolution;. Acknowledging emotions, valuing perspectives and letting go once a resolution has been reached.
- Example of Leadership; Approaching work and colleagues, with an attitude maintaining communication and being reliable and trustworthy.
In todays world where technical skills like coding, cloud computing and artificial intelligence often take stage it’s easy to overlook the importance of people skills. However these softer skills are crucial for our career progressions and overall performance.
According to The Future of Jobs Report published by the World Economic Forum by 2025 the top five sought after skills, for employees will include:
- Analytical thinking
- Active learning capabilities,
- Complex problem solving aptitude,
- Critical thinking abilities,
- And creativity.
Importantly it is worth noting that almost all of these abilities involve working with others. Therefore having skills can distinguish you from other candidates and enhance your prospects, for both short term and long term career success.
Understanding Interpersonal Skills
What Are Interpersonal Skills? Interpersonal skills, also known as skills, social skills, emotional intelligence or people skills empower individuals to communicate effectively and engage with their colleagues.
Why Are Interpersonal Skills Important? Interpersonal skills are crucial because they enable individuals within an organisation to communicate clearly and understand perspectives of their co-workers. This facilitates efforts in achieving shared goals. When these skills are lacking organisations suffer in terms of productivity, profitability, creativity and innovation.
Specifically interpersonal skills can assist individuals in;
- Preventing Misunderstandings; Clear communication reduces the likelihood of misunderstandings.
- Gaining Support; Persuasive communication helps influence opinions and garner support.
- Enhancing Customer Support; Understanding customers pain points facilitates problem solving.
- Resolving Conflicts; Strong interpersonal skills allow for considering conflicts from angles and finding common ground to mitigate disagreements.
Expert Opinion; “Interpersonal skills play a role, in driving performance within teams.”
Having communication skills is crucial, for building relationships with others whether its in the workplace or personal life. According to psychology people tend to trust and connect with those who can effectively express themselves. Skills such as empathy, building rapport and collaboration play a role in fostering relationships and enhancing team success.
While technical abilities often take the spotlight in development it’s important not to underestimate the value of skills. You can actively work on improving your people skills by following these four tips;
- Master Active Listening; Listening goes beyond hearing words; it involves understanding the meaning behind them and responding appropriately. Focus on grasping what others are saying of jumping to formulate your response.
- Recognise Others Contributions; Take time to celebrate and acknowledge the achievements of your colleagues or team members. This not boosts morale. Also fosters an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued.
- Expand Your Network; Engage with a range of individuals even if you don’t naturally click with them away. Building connections beyond your circle is essential for developing versatile people skills.
- Respect Cultural Differences; Effective communication varies across cultures so it’s vital to be mindful of nuances when interacting with individuals from backgrounds.
By prioritising these tips and actively working on enhancing your people skills you’ll become an candidate, in both professional and personal settings.
It’s important to consider differences, in communication especially when interacting with an audience. By developing these skills you can improve your career opportunities and make meaningful contributions, in both your professional and personal life.
David Alssema is a Body Language Expert and Motivational Speaker. As a performer in the personal development industry in Australia he has introduced and created new ways to inspire, motivate and develop individuals.
David Alssema started his training career with companies such as Telstra and Optus Communications, and then developed Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) within workplace training as principal of Paramount Training & Development.
As an author/media consultant on body language and professional development David has influenced workplaces across Australia. He contributes to Media such as The West Australian, ABC Radio, Australian Magazines and other Australia Media Sources.