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Importance Of Interpersonal Skills In The Workplace

5 min read
Last Updated on 11 December, 2020
Importance Of Interpersonal Skills In The Workplace

Interpersonal skills, though frequently overlooked, forms a crucial part of an organization’s success. An employee displaying the right traits and self-awareness has the capacity to become a star employee.

Interpersonal skills help an individual to interact with others effectively, on the job. Some people are born with such skills and some need to acquire and improve them. Expressing rewards and recognition, resolving disputes and listening well are interpersonal skills worth practicing in the workplace.

As an employer, have you ever wondered what are interpersonal skills, and why are they important in the workplace? How does it benefit your organization’s growth? Why is it essential during the hiring process, and how does it help increase employee engagement?

While hiring, hiring managers must possess strong interpersonal skills and look for the same in their employees and new hires. It is essential to match the claims of interpersonal skills in the resume to the actual candidate behaviors in the interview process.

In an employees’ life-cycle interpersonal skills can impact positivity towards work, build better work relationships, enhance emotional intelligence, and perform well.

What are the interpersonal skills?

Interpersonal skills are also known as people skills or soft skills and sometimes emotional intelligence. It is nothing but the way you communicate and interact with others. Hence, it gets imperative for your employees to have impeccable interpersonal communication skills to handle clients and maintain good relations within the team.

As an employer, you must ensure that this is one of the top criteria to assess candidates. Regardless of the job type you’re hiring for, your workers must get along well with coworkers, managers, customers, and vendors.

Tip- When you review job applications, check for this particular skill on resumes and add this as a requirement on your job descriptions.

Types of Interpersonal Skills

Having strong interpersonal skills like negotiating, problem-solving, communication, etc., are the main requirements for any job. Everybody wants the best talents to enhance the company’s growth, and for that, you must look for these skills in your employees. Here are nine such examples-

Communication

Perhaps the most important interpersonal skill in any job is the ability to communicate well. Whether you are hiring for IT, Customer service, Real Estate, or any other industry, your workers must be able to express clearly and effectively with others both verbally and in writing.

Different job roles will require expertise in diverse forms of communication. For service centric jobs, verbal communication is a must. Similarly, an executive based job will call for excellent verbal and non-verbal skills.

There are mostly three types of communication-

Verbal- Here, your employees will have to interact with clients, customers, or teammates. Thus, you must ensure they’re good at one-on-one conversations and have the ability to break a deal with clients by portraying their communication skills.

Nonverbal- E-mails, case studies, reports, are some of the forms of nonverbal communication, and one must ensure employees are trained with writing etiquettes. Having this skill ensures proper conduct at the workplace.

Public Speaking- Addressing a large audience or group of people requires tremendous communication skills, and only a few charismatic personalities can excel at this. If the job requires such skills, you must choose the best who is able to drive a mass with a convincing speech.

Conflict Management

No matter if you’re hiring a manager or an employee, they will likely need to face conflicts at some point in their job. Whether the issue is between two staff members, between yourself and an employee, or between the client and company, you must ensure your employees will listen carefully to both sides and use creative problem solving to arrive at a solution.

Conflict management involves-

Empathy

A significant part of being a competent manager, employee, or colleague is empathizing with others. Empathy is a quality every employer must look for in their new hires.

For example, If a customer or colleague complains for any reason, employees and managers must listen to their concerns thoughtfully by expressing compassion towards their issues.

An empathetic person is able to become a better team member and also promotes better team dynamics. Empathy is an important skill which helps workers interact with other people at the workplace by showing-

Leadership

Leadership qualities are not limited to a managerial position. Even a regular employee can display the ability of being a natural leader. Such an employee will be motivating, excellent collaborator, and will put the team’s success above others.

You must ensure to look for leadership experience in job applicants, and that involves-

  • Encouraging nature
  • Ability to inspire trust
  • Ability to instruct
  • Management skills
  • Motivation skills
  • Positive reinforcement.

Listening

Only technical skills are not enough to hire a person. If you’re hiring a person with good communication skills, then being an active listener should be a prerequisite.

You must ensure that while your employees need to express their ideas, they must also diligently listen to others’ opinions. Listening is an essential skill that garners clients’ and colleagues’ attention. And as an employer, you must have listening skills for your employees to feel valued and respected.

Listening skill helps develop- curiosity, focus and inquiry.

Negotiation

The skill of negotiation is essential for many positions. Depending on the job’s specificity, it might involve creating formal agreements or contracts between clients or helping colleagues solve a problem and determine a solution.

You can identify a good negotiator by observing their listening skills, creative problem-solving skills, and how they arrive at an outcome that satiates everyone’s requirements. A good negotiator knows to interact, persuade, and always do their research well.

Positive Attitude

As an employer, you will want to hire someone who makes the office a brighter place. People with a positive attitude are friendly and maintain a calm demeanor. They ensure they are not part of any office gossip and refrain from making a workplace toxic.

Having this interpersonal skill does not mean the worker has to be a social persona, but they must be willing to maintain a positive rapport with their colleagues as it incorporates-

Teamwork

When it comes to interpersonal skills, teamwork plays a pivotal role. Even if the job requires independent work, they still need to collaborate with others. Teamwork functions with good communication, listening to others, motivation from peers, and resolving conflicts collaboratively.

A good team helps promote good company culture and a respectful work environment as it allows-

Body Language

People often tend to overlook nonverbal communication, but you must not. As an employer, you must have an eye-for-detail and do not forget to interpret your employees’ body language and gestures.

A candidate with good body language will often determine their verbal communications skills. Instead, their body language will impact their communication skills more than any other factor.

Factors to consider while you assess a candidate with the right body language-

  • Eye contact
  • Facial expressions
  • Gestures
  • Personal space
  • Posture and body position

Conclusion

Interpersonal skills are something that an individual can acquire through various practices. It is a crucial requirement for any workplace to maintain positivity, productivity, and team dynamics to achieve organizational success.

Every member of an organization benefits from developing the required interpersonal skills. As a leader or an employer, you see that your workforce lacks this skill, there are ways to improve your interpersonal skills, and we just spoke about that today.

Let us know your views in the comment section below, and make sure to look for these interpersonal skills in your new hires.

This article is written by Gautam Gayan. He works as a Content Marketer at Vantage Circle. Apart from being a passionate content creator for HR services and employee engagement, Gautam is a theatre enthusiast, an avid reader and an aspiring poet. For any related queries, contact editor@vantagecircle.com