The 8 Interpersonal Skills for Success Revealed
You can earn a master’s degree or a doctorate, but if you don’t master these interpersonal skills for success, you may struggle in many areas of your life. Why? Because there are few careers that allow you total solitude; at the end of the day we need to be able to get along well with others. If you weren’t blessed with the soft skills that make some people so easily likable and charismatic, don’t despair; these ‘skills’ can be learned, practiced and mastered just like many other skills. You shouldn’t expect a complete personality change overnight, but with a little patience, you’ll find that developing your interpersonal skills will give you an advantage in your professional and personal life. You will improve your ability to network, leading to more and better job opportunities and people want to help you get to the top.
“Did you know that Google has a meditation room for its employees to take time out and relax? It has said to improve their staff performance drastically”.
So, what are interpersonal skills? We have listed the eight most important interpersonal skills to master to help improve your personal and professional development. You may have strengths in one area but need to work harder on others. Perhaps you can talk underwater but need to develop your active listening skills. Maybe you have empathy but struggle to be assertive when it’s important; we all have your strengths and weakness and few us can say we have mastered all eight – even the most charismatic people you know will fall short in some areas.
1. Verbal Communication Skills
Acquiring strong verbal communication skills will benefit you both in your personal and professional life. It’s important to realise that it’s not just what you say, but how you say it that matters. It’s vital to speak with clarity and confidence to gain respect and build rapport with co-workers, employees, and customers.
2. Body Language
Non-verbal communication is just as important as verbal communication skills; in fact, perhaps more so when you consider communication experts estimate that between 50 and 90 per cent of our communication is non-verbal. Body language includes eye contact, facial expression, posture, and gestures. When you’re mindful of your body language, you can improve your business and personal relationships.
3. Listening Skills
There are people who can talk and there are people who can listen, but if you can master the art of both you’re well on your way to personal and professional success. If you use active listening skills you will make others feel like they’re the most important person in the room – and who doesn’t want to feel like they’re being heard? You can get better at this type of listening by practicing. The rewards of improved relationship and business interactions will be worth the investment – and you might even learn something new.
4. Negotiation Skills
If you can negotiate well, you’ll find yourself in demand in most workplaces as the ability to influence people is a highly valued skill. Everyone can benefit from knowing how to negotiate well, whether for a business sale or bargaining for a better deal on a product you want to acquire. Some people are natural negotiators; if that’s not you, don’t despair this is also a learned skill.
The ability to make clear, calm and effective decisions quickly is a skill that will improve productivity, as indecision is a huge time-waster. Entrepreneurs often have an innate ability to make difficult decisions, but we weren’t all blessed with this mindset. If you want to improve your decision-making skills, don’t procrastinate. You can also use Dr. Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats to improve your decision-making ability, an essential skill to almost any job.
Assertive, as opposed to aggressive or passive, communication is important in personal and professional communication. Having the ability to remain self-assured and confident in your dealings with co-workers, employees and in personal relationships without becoming aggressive is a skill that can be learned. Australian Online Courses has a short, online professional development course – Assertive Communication – that can help you develop this skill.
If you have empathy, you will be able to relate to colleagues with understanding and gain their trust. This skill can be intuitive, but for some, it can be more difficult. If you use active listening, treat others kindly and can put yourself in another’s shoes, so to speak, you will become more empathetic. If you want to become a better manager, co-worker or friend, begin by improving empathy. If you Develop Emotional Intelligence you will enhance your ability to feel and show empathy.
Taking responsibility for your actions and those of people working under you is an important skill to master. The willingness to own outcomes that are the result of your actions, choices or behaviour – without laying blame or making excuses – will give you an enormous amount of credibility in the workplace, and in life.
So, whether you want to flourish socially at work or feel more confident in meetings, if you work at these eight interpersonal skills you will increase your confidence both personally and professionally. If you’re a manager, you will conduct business and manage people more effectively and efficiently. These important interpersonal, or ‘soft skills,’ will take your business and personal interactions to new levels. You’ll discover that your job gets easier, especially if you’re in the business of managing people. If you’re an employee, you’ll gain the respect of co-workers and managers and you will be more likely to be promoted.
If you need help to develop your interpersonal skills, there are plenty of online professional development programs that will ensure your progress and success. Or you could seek out a mentor to guide you by imparting their experience and enhancing your interpersonal skills to enjoy greater career success.