The work environment has certainly changed and evolved over the past few years. Technology has facilitated remote working, and many professionals never, or at least less often, meet their colleagues, managers, or clients face-to-face. So, it would be easy to assume that interpersonal skills would be low on your list of priorities when writing a job description and searching for job seekers.
However, good interpersonal skills remain crucial as almost all workers still communicate with other people. In fact, with video conferencing and a raft of different technological solutions, we could argue that interpersonal communication skills are more critical if your employees are to build relationships and trust, collaborate on tasks and be part of a positive company culture.
In this article, we discuss:
- What are interpersonal skills?
- Key interpersonal skills
- All interpersonal skills
What Are Interpersonal Skills?
Interpersonal skills are the soft skills we use to communicate effectively with others and build relationships. Interpersonal skills are soft skills and are often referred to as people skills. Examples of interpersonal skills include verbal communication, body language, and active listening. They are transferable skills, so a hiring manager may focus on assessing these in a job interview if the candidate is changing their career path.
Suppose hiring managers overlook the importance of interpersonal skills. In that case, a company could end up with employees who cannot work as a team, collaborate to meet business objectives, have poor morale, low productivity, and frequent disputes and grievances between them.
We have touched on several topics here that you may want to investigate further. You can do so by visiting our interviews hub or reading our articles What Soft Skills To Include In A Job Description and What To Include In A Job Description.
Key Interpersonal Skills
When hiring employees, it is crucial to ensure the individual has strong interpersonal skills. So, what are the most important interpersonal skills? We have categorised the most sought-after interpersonal skills below:
Team working is vital for an individual to work well with others. Teamwork involves many abilities, and as an umbrella term, it is often used in job descriptions rather than including all its different aspects. Teamwork is a useful phrase when looking to keep your job advert compact and concise or when you need more space for listing technical skills.
Leadership skills incorporate many relevant interpersonal skills. It is rare to find a successful leader who hasn’t developed effective interpersonal skills to guide individuals and teams toward achieving the company’s goals and objectives.
We recently took a deep dive into the topic of leadership skills in our article What Leadership Skills To Include In A Job Description. We revealed the top ten leadership skills in our comprehensive list of 100 important skills for a hiring manager to seek when hiring a leader.
Empathy is the ability to recognise, understand, appreciate, and adapt to the emotions of others. Emotional intelligence is an important skill for many roles, particularly those responsible for providing customer service and customer satisfaction. Empathy and emotional intelligence are also needed for a company to have a good work environment where team members can support each other and have compassion for stressors and difficulties coworkers may be experiencing.
ACTIVE LISTENING SKILLS
Employees need good communication skills to express their ideas and opinion to others. On the opposite side of the table, they need listening skills to hear what a coworker, manager, or customer is trying to say or elicit more information. Actively listening doesn’t just mean to listen carefully. It also covers showing interest in what the other party is relaying and offering gestures that encourage the continuation of the conversation, leading to deeper insights or gems of information.
Non-verbal communication is an important interpersonal skill that employees can use to show their intent, interest, and feelings. Examples of nonverbal communication include maintaining or breaking eye contact, smiling, and other facial expressions. Body language is a two-way street and can be used by employees to assess if a colleague or customer is open to and agreeing with or closed off and rejecting what is being said.
For example, understanding body language and non-verbal communication can prevent misunderstandings. Body language, such as keeping your shoulders back, keeping your arms uncrossed, and maintaining eye contact, can show confidence and build trust.
Conflict management is another key interpersonal skill for individuals working within teams or communicating with customers. To engage in conflict resolution, an employee may need to lean on diplomacy, problem-solving, respectfulness, negotiation skills, or even assertiveness.
Giving and receiving constructive feedback is crucial for an employee’s career success. These types of interpersonal skills may initially have you thinking about manager and subordinate relationships but they are also within teams and wherever collaboration exists.
All Interpersonal Skills
We have so far uncovered the key interpersonal skills you might include in your job description. However, there are many others you may want to consider that can be very relevant to a particular role, work environment, customer type, or team make up.
Here is a list of 100 interpersonal skills:
- Active listening
- Body language
- Communication skills
- Conflict management
- Conflict resolution
- Constructive criticism
- Constructive feedback
- Cultural awareness
- Customer service
- Decision making
- Emotional intelligence
- Eye contact
- Giving feedback
- Negotiation skills
- Non verbal communication skills
- Political awareness
- Positive attitude
- Positive reinforcement
- Presentation skills
- Public speaking
- Receiving feedback
- Relationship building
- Relationship management
- Self motivation
- Self reflection
- Social skills
- Team working
- Verbal communication
Further Resources For Employers
If you are a business owner, hiring manager, or Human Resources professional, these further resources will be invaluable:
- What Are The Duties, Tasks, And Skills To Include In Job Descriptions
- What Hard Skills To Include In A Job Description
- How To Define What People Do In Their Jobs
To start advertising for the skills you need, check out our job advertising packages, starting from £199.
Interpersonal Communication Skills FAQs
Here we answer your questions on including interpersonal skills in your job descriptions.
Interpersonal skills are people skills that allow individuals to build good relationships and communicate effectively. Interpersonal abilities include verbal communication and non-verbal communication skills.
Strong interpersonal skills are vital in everyday life and at work. Good interpersonal skills help teams work together to achieve common goals, avoid or settle disputes and disagreements, and show compassion to customers. Poor interpersonal skills might affect your company’s internal culture and adversely affect customer satisfaction.
Almost all roles require good interpersonal skills. Employees may communicate in an office, via video conferencing, over the phone, and with customers. Customer service roles require interpersonal skills such as empathy, healthcare roles need compassion, and sales roles require persuasion. A graphic designer, who never speaks to a customer, needs strong interpersonal skills to collaborate with web developers or marketing professionals.