What are interpersonal skills?​

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What are interpersonal skills?​

 “The skills you need and use to communicate and interact with other people”

Interpersonal skills are the skills we use every day when we communicate and interact with other people, both individually and in groups. Interpersonal skills encompass a wide range of skills, but particularly communication skills such as listening and speaking. They also include the ability to control and manage your emotions.

Interpersonal skills are the foundation for success in the workplace. ​

People with strong interpersonal skills tend to work well with other people, both formally and informally. They communicate effectively with others, whether family, friends, colleagues, team members, customers or clients.   ​

Interpersonal skills are sometimes referred to as social skills, people skills, soft skills or life skills.

Interpersonal skills include:

  • Verbal communication – what we say and how we say it​
  • Non-verbal communication – what we communicate without words, for example through body language or tone of voice​
  • Listening skills – how we interpret both the verbal and non-verbal messages sent by others.​
  • Emotional intelligence – being able to understand your own and other people’s emotions. ​
  • Teamwork – working with others in groups and teams. Teamwork involves identifying problems, solving those problems and decision-making (choosing the best course of action).
  • Negotiation – communicating with others to find a mutually agreeable outcome. 
  • Conflict resolution – communicating with others to resolve interpersonal conflict and disagreements in a positive way.

Interpersonal skills at work

At work, you are required to communicate with and interact with a wide range of people: suppliers, customers, colleagues, colleagues in other offices, your team and your manager. ​

Your ability to communicate effectively can make the difference between being successful at work or wondering what you said wrong.

Take an Interpersonal Skills Test (optional)

Discover your interpersonal skills strengths and weaknesses. Our free self-assessment covers listening skills, verbal communication, emotional intelligence and working in groups.  ​

The self-assessment may give you an idea of which areas to develop first.  ​

Take an interpersonal skills test using the Skills you need website.

Watch the Autism and Social Interaction video by AspieLife – 15 minute video​.

End of Module Questions

Based on the outcomes of the interpersonal skills self-assessment:​

  • Where are some of the areas that you might need some assistance to develop your interpersonal skills?​
  • Of the areas for development – who might be able to assist you with the development of these skills?

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