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In today’s fast-paced environment, being able to communicate clearly and concisely with others is essential. Therefore, it is crucial to learn how to improve interpersonal skills as students, working professionals, and people from different walks of life.

Having strong interpersonal skills is beneficial in all kinds of social and professional interactions. Not only will you be able to connect with the other person quickly and readily, but the outcomes of your conversations may have far-reaching consequences.

So, if you want to learn how to improve interpersonal skills, then pay close attention to the 13 tips in this article brought to you by our team of HR professionals!

Key Takeaways

  • Interpersonal skills include active listening, dispute resolution, empathy, patience, and teamwork.
  • You may boost your interpersonal skills in many ways, including by being more optimistic, being able to negotiate better, showing empathy, and being assertive.
  • Your social skills can either be incorporated into your experience area or given their own dedicated section. Use action verbs and give specific examples when discussing the skills for the latter option.
  • Active listening, confidence in your answers, and empathy are all great ways to show off your social skills during an interview.

What Are Interpersonal Skills?

Interpersonal skills, also known as social skills, relate to a person’s ability to effectively communicate with others.

Knowing how to interact with others is essential, especially in the workplace, where the success of the company depends on effective communication within and across departments.

Active listening, conflict management, empathy, patience, and teamwork are all examples of interpersonal skills needed for a harmonious environment in any workplace.

Interpersonal skills are highly marketable. So, no matter which field you decide to enter, having strong interpersonal skills will always be beneficial.

13 Tips on How to Improve Interpersonal Skills

women in audience listening to a speech and smiling

Now that you know what interpersonal skills are, let’s talk about how to improve interpersonal skills in the workplace and beyond!

#1. Try to be Positive

Your social and professional interactions will yield more favorable outcomes if you maintain a positive mindset.

This is due to the fact that your positive disposition creates a more pleasant atmosphere in your conversations.

Not to mention, positive body language is contagious; when one person smiles, the other is more likely to do the same, leading to mutually beneficial interactions.

#2. Learn How to Negotiate Effectively

Knowing how to negotiate effectively can improve the quality of your interactions.

If you’re conflict-savvy and know how to mediate disputes, you won’t need anybody else to help you work through any issues that come up in your daily contacts.

You can also utilize this knowledge to mediate conflicts between coworkers, lowering tensions and minimizing misunderstandings.

#3. Develop & Practice Empathy

Demonstrating empathy is crucial to having pleasant interactions with others.

Paying close attention to what other people have to say and echoing their thoughts is a great way to convey that you value and respect their opinions.

Using this tactic can considerably improve the two people’s ability to communicate and collaborate with one another, as it will make the other party feel appreciated and encouraged to have such interactions more frequently.

#4. Be Assertive

When you are assertive, you make your limits clear to the people you are interacting with.

Having clear limits and communicating them honestly and openly is crucial for successful interactions. This will help the other party respect your boundaries and understand what you expect of them.

#5. Engage in Networking

If you want to improve your social and professional interactions, networking is a great way to meet new people in both settings.

Regular attendance at networking events will give you the confidence you need to approach strangers and strike up discussions. You can also learn from closely observing the interactions of those around you.

#6. Self-reflect

Take some time for introspection while you focus on enhancing your social communication skills.

Review your progress and ask yourself if you’ve made the changes you set out to make. If not, think about how you could further develop yourself.

You can also think about expanding your pursuit of personal development to other areas once you’ve made progress in the one you’ve been focusing on.

#7. Provide Constructive Feedback

If you want to learn how to improve interpersonal skills as a manager, you should practice giving and receiving constructive criticism.

You can highlight the areas where the employees can grow, such as in conflict resolution, problem-solving, or any other applicable area.

You should also be willing to accept feedback and use it to enhance your own workplace interactions.

#8. Try to be an Active Listener

If you want to develop better relationships with others, active listening is a skill you should hone. In other words, instead of thinking about what you want to say next, concentrate on what the other person is saying.

You can ruin the quality of a conversation by thinking too much about your own thoughts and not enough about the other person’s words.

Instead, focus on what the other person is saying and make use of head nods and facial gestures. This shows that you care about the conversation at hand even before you contribute to it verbally.

#9. Be Open-Minded and Adaptable

It’s possible that your job will require you to interact with people from many walks of life. So, if you want to have good, productive conversations with your coworkers, it’s important to keep an open mind.

Being flexible not only allows others to feel safe voicing their opinions but also gives you an arena from which to present your own. This kind of discussion can stimulate creativity at work, which will benefit everyone there.

#10. Set Goals

Setting goals is a great tip when it comes to learning how to improve interpersonal skills.

Consider your strengths and weaknesses, and think about which areas you would like to focus on for further advancement in your interactions with others.

You may discover, for example, that you are great at initiating conversations but have never been good at staying in touch.

Once you have an idea of what it is that you would like to improve on, start setting specific goals. You can use the SMART goal structure to help you in the process.

#11. Determine Your Values

When in the company of others, it’s important to have your priorities clear.

You will likely have to deal with individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds, so it’s important to know where you stand in terms of your values.

This will allow you to pick the right individuals to interact with and make the most of your interactions.

#12. Analyze Successful Interactions

Observing successful interactions is a great place to start if you want to learn how to improve interpersonal skills.

Take note of the dynamics among your coworkers, between managers and employees, and so on. Pay close attention to the nuances that contribute to the effectiveness of these relationships, whether it’s through the use of nonverbal cues, the demonstration of empathy, or anything else.

Once you have a firm grasp on what makes these exchanges fruitful, you can begin implementing some of those strategies in your own professional dealings.

#13. Pick Your Words Wisely

Knowing who you’re talking to and tailoring your language choices to them is crucial.

Communicating with your supervisor at work should be handled differently than with friends at a social gathering.

So, always consider the audience and context of your interaction while choosing your words. Also, pay attention to your tone and whether or not you should use slang or jargon when communicating.

How to Add Interpersonal Skills to Your Resume

If you want to get hired, you need to know how to improve your interpersonal skills, but you also need to know how to promote those qualities on your CV.

You can always highlight your interpersonal skills in your resume’s experience section. To make these qualities even more noticeable, you can consider separating them out under the heading “interpersonal skills” or “soft skills.”

Be sure to highlight the skills listed in the job description by doing a thorough reading of the posting. Use action verbs and provide concrete examples of when and how you’ve used these skills to stand out from the competition.

So, this section might look like this:

Soft Skills

  • Empathy: When I was a student counselor, I had to be compassionate and empathetic with students whose problems outside of school were interfering with their studies.
  • Teamwork: At The Dove Company, where I worked in marketing, I had to demonstrate strong abilities in working with others. Collaboration and the smooth execution of marketing initiatives rely heavily on members of the team working well together.
  • Leadership: Once I was put in charge of all marketing efforts at Dove, from planning to execution, I had to use my leadership skills to ensure that everything went smoothly and according to plan.

How to Demonstrate Interpersonal Skills During an Interview

Showing off your interpersonal skills, especially those that are relevant to the role, is essential if you want to leave a positive impression on your interviewer.

Here are a few ways you may set yourself apart from the competition:

  • Listen intently. It’s important to show that you’re paying attention to the other person by nodding, making eye contact, and participating in other nonverbal ways in the conversation.
  • Act assured. Sitting up and speaking with a calm tone sends the message that you are in control of the situation.
  • Be empathetic. You can show that you value diversity of opinion by listening carefully, asking thoughtful questions, and accepting the other person’s viewpoint.

Final Thoughts

This concludes our 13 tips on how to improve interpersonal skills!

Possessing strong interpersonal skills is essential in all walks of life. A person’s ability to empathize, listen attentively, handle conflict, and so on, all contribute to better communication.

So be sure to put these suggestions into practice if you want to enhance the quality of your interactions.