Interpersonal Skills

Loading the player...

What are 'Interpersonal Skills'

Interpersonal skills are the skills used by a person to interact with others properly. In the business domain, the term generally refers to an employee's ability to get along with others while getting the job done. Interpersonal skills include everything from communication and listening skills to attitude and deportment. Good interpersonal skills are a prerequisite for many positions in an organization.

BREAKING DOWN 'Interpersonal Skills'

The term "interpersonal skills" is somewhat of a misnomer because it refers to character traits possessed by an individual rather than skills that can be taught in a classroom. Within an organization, employees with good interpersonal skills are likely be more productive than those with poor interpersonal skills because of their propensity to project a positive attitude and look for solutions to problems.

Interpersonal skills are closely related to the knowledge of social expectations and customs, and they take into account others' reactions to adjust tactics and communication as needed. Some describe interpersonal skills as a type of social intelligence that relies on paying attention to the actions and speech of others and interpreting it correctly as part of forming a response. While they are based in part on an individual's personality and instincts, these skills also develop as a result of life experiences and knowledge.

Interpersonal Skills in the Job Search

Many job seekers cite interpersonal skills on their resumes, knowing their importance in success and productivity in the business world. Among the interpersonal skills often required in business are active listening, or the ability to elicit information from a speaker, and negotiation, a skill that is useful in sales, marketing, law and customer service, among other fields. Additional interpersonal skills seen as valuable include public speaking, conflict management, team building and collaboration.

Improving Interpersonal Skills

While many people believe that interpersonal skills are, to some extent, innate in each person or acquired at an early age, job seekers and those looking for promotions can take steps to improve their interpersonal skills and thereby make themselves more valuable to an organization. Steps individuals can take to hone their interpersonal skills include expressing appreciation for team members and support staff, practicing empathy, moderating disputes quickly so they don't get out of control, and planning communications rather than saying or writing the first thing that comes to mind. Active listening is also a skill that can be learned through the process of repeating back to a speaker what she has said to make sure true communication is taking place.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Soft Skills

    The character traits and interpersonal skills that characterize ...
  2. Underemployment

    A measure of employment and labor utilization in the economy ...
  3. Knowledge Capital

    An intangible asset that comprises the information and skills ...
  4. Structural Unemployment

    A longer-lasting form of unemployment caused by fundamental shifts ...
  5. Social Style

    A categorization of the way an individual interacts interpersonally ...
  6. Skilled Nursing Facility

    A special facility or part of a hospital that provides services ...
Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    MBA Skills: What Employers Are Really Looking For

    To make sure that you have what recruiters want, take a look at Bloomberg's annual job skills survey.
  2. Professionals

    Top 7 Non-Financial Skills Required In Finance

    Top-notch math skills and financial knowledge are important to a financial professional. But they’re only the tip of the iceberg.
  3. Professionals

    Employability, The Labor Force And The Economy

    Individuals do not have absolute control of their employability since employability is also affected by market and economic conditions.
  4. Professionals

    Top Skills You Need On Your Resume

    In this difficult job market, here is a list of essential qualities and skills you need to land a perfect job.
  5. Professionals

    Common Interview Questions for Controllers

    Learn more about the job description of a financial controller and questions that may be asked of applicants applying for this position.
  6. Professionals

    The Best Careers For Your Skills

    Thinking of a career change, but you're not sure where to start? Here is a breakdown of the best industries for your skills.
  7. Professionals

    Sell Your Skills, Not Your Degree

    If you want to switch careers, you may not have to go back to school to do it.
  8. Professionals

    Top 7 Non-Financial Skills Required In Finance

    You need to combining your ability to analyze numbers with skills such as communication, project management and relationship development.
  9. Professionals

    How to Succeed as an Investment Banker

    Here are the top five skills investment bankers need to handle the job’s many pressures, and how to acquire those skills.
  10. Professionals

    3 Proactive Ways To Find Work

    We tell you about some useful tactics you can use while looking for work.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What are some training & development techniques used to improve interpersonal skills?

    Improve your deep listening techniques to improve your interpersonal skills if you find that you are having trouble communicating ... Read Answer >>
  2. What skills do I need to become a Portfolio Analyst?

    Learn what a portfolio analyst does and some examples of skills and knowledge one must possess to become a successful portfolio ... Read Answer >>
  3. What interpersonal skills should a manager have?

    Seeking to become a more effective manager? Understanding empathy is critical to creating a productive workplace environment ... Read Answer >>
  4. When does cyclical unemployment become structural unemployment?

    Learn about the conditions under which cyclical unemployment becomes structural unemployment. Find out more about the relationship ... Read Answer >>
  5. What's the average salary of a financial advisor?

    Learn about average salaries for financial advisors. Explore different levels of compensation financial advisors receive ... Read Answer >>
  6. What is the best time of the day to trade?

    Unlike traditional investing, trading, or day trading, has a very short-term focus. Analysis may be broken down to days, ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. MACD Technical Indicator

    Moving Average Convergence Divergence (or MACD) is a trend-following momentum indicator that shows the relationship between ...
  2. Over-The-Counter - OTC

    Over-The-Counter (or OTC) is a security traded in some context other than on a formal exchange such as the NYSE, TSX, AMEX, ...
  3. Quarter - Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4

    A three-month period on a financial calendar that acts as a basis for the reporting of earnings and the paying of dividends.
  4. Weighted Average Cost Of Capital - WACC

    Weighted average cost of capital (WACC) is a calculation of a firm's cost of capital in which each category of capital is ...
  5. Basis Point (BPS)

    A unit that is equal to 1/100th of 1%, and is used to denote the change in a financial instrument. The basis point is commonly ...
  6. Sharing Economy

    An economic model in which individuals are able to borrow or rent assets owned by someone else.
Trading Center