People sometimes ask me: “Tell me, what are interpersonal skills?”
I think one of the reasons they ask is that interpersonal skills are skills we use when we interact with people, and that there are so many different ways to interact that it’s difficult to define.
My take on this is that when our interaction with others gives us the result we want, and it gives the other person the result they want, we used our interpersonal skills successfully. I always aim at a win-win in any situation I’m in.
The thing is that we all have interpersonal skills. As we grow up and learn how to communicate with others, we learn ways to communicate and deal with people that are better than other ways.
Interpersonal skills have a lot to do with communication skills. That is because when we interact with others, we always communicate. These are skills we use every day. The question now is, are you using these skills in a way that creates more harmony between you and others?
Are you using these skills so that you and the other person get the results you want? I would call interpersonal skills relationship building skills. Because when we are with other people, we relate to them. And here, the question is: how well are you relating to other people?
There’s always room to improve your interpersonal skills, your communication skills, and your relationship building skills. And the better your interpersonal skills the more successful you are in your personal and professional life.
Do you know how to create that feeling of trust and understanding that we all crave from others?
Do know how to express your own needs so that the other person doesn’t feel attacked?
Do you know how to give emotional support to someone else, and in such a way that they can solve their own problem?
Do you know how to settle differences and disagreements so that nobody feels resentful about the outcome?
Interpersonal skills include assertiveness skills, listening skills, conflict resolution skills, problem solving skills. The most important skill though, in my opinion, is creating an atmosphere of mutual trust, respect and understanding. This skill alone allows you to get the other person to cooperate with you. It allows you to get what you want in such a way that the other person doesn’t feel resentful. Because when you do it right the other person gets what they want too. A real win-win…!