TOP 8 Important Interpersonal Skills

Job skills requirements seemed all so simple in the past because back then, all you needed was the necessary hard skills to land a job. But as workplaces evolved, many organizations are placing equal importance on both primary and secondary skills to ensure that their new hires will be a good fit for the company. Interpersonal skills obviously belong to the latter, but they are increasingly being considered a priority by employers everywhere.

What are interpersonal skills?

Interpersonal skills, otherwise known as people skills or intrapersonal skills, are what we use to communicate successfully with the people we come across in our daily lives. Intrapersonal skills examples include listening, empathy, effective speaking, assertiveness, and emotion management. Considering that interpersonal skills are something we use frequently in our dealings with people, it’s not that hard to say that they are an essential part not only of our regular lives but our professional lives as well.

What are intrapersonal skills examples?

As a job applicant, it pays to know which interpersonal skills are valued by today’s employers. Here are the top eight intrapersonal skills examples that will make your resume that much more enticing to recruiters and hiring managers everywhere.

interpersonal skills

1. Emotion management

With deadlines and production quotas to meet, there’s no question that work can be stressful for anyone. And with stress comes heightened emotions. This is where emotion management comes into play. Defined as the ability to constructively control one’s negative feelings, emotion management also means understanding the feelings of others.

Tips to develop emotion management:

• Stop before reacting to a situation, and give yourself time to think of consequences to your response.

• Think about other people’s feelings and situations before passing judgment.

• Consider how you would feel if others were to react to you the same way.

2. Team-working

Employees have to be able to work well with others. Having team-working skills is what allows you to collaborate and communicate effectively with co-workers as you strive to achieve individual and company goals. The better you are at team working, the more successful you and your colleagues will be at your job. Not to mention, your workplace will be a much better environment to work in.

Tips to develop team-working skills

• Find opportunities to work with a group of people who share your interests and hobbies.

• When faced with a team issue, avoid complaining and attempt to work together with others instead.

• Observe people with strong team-working skills and learn from them.

3. Negotiation

Generally speaking, negotiating skills are defined as the ability to arrive at mutually agreeable terms between two or more parties. The process of negotiation usually involves compromising to settle differences while avoiding disputes, arguments, and rising tempers so that the best possible outcome—a win-win situation—can be achieved under the principles of fairness. The specific negotiating skills you’ll need depend upon the type of negotiating you excel at, your work environment, and the result you want to accomplish.

Tips to develop negotiation skills

• Do your research before negotiation starts.

• Be clear on boundaries and “non-negotiables.”

• Know the areas where you can accept compromises.

• Seek to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes and maintain relationships.

4. Constructive criticism

Modern society encourages people to voice their opinions. However, the ability to relay criticism positively is another matter altogether. Whether it’s evaluating your colleague’s work or receiving feedback, you have to find just the right balance of being firm and good-natured when it comes to criticism.

Tips to develop constructive criticism skills

• Mind your words. With the right choice of words, you’ll find that people are more receptive to what you have to say.

• Make sure the feedback you have to give is a quality one—meaning, it must be something that helps improve your co-worker’s output. Don’t criticize simply to point out something you don’t like.

• Be honest and straightforward. Avoid beating around the bush.

5. Leadership

In a workplace setting, leadership skills are abilities that allow a manager or employee to supervise people and processes and direct these toward achieving a common goal. Although leadership skills are essential in executive positions, more and more companies are looking for them in their lower-tier employees.

Tips to develop leadership skills

• Walk the talk. A good leader leads by example. People will judge your ability to lead by the examples you set.

• Be a good follower. A good leader won’t have any issues yielding power to another when necessary.

• Be a good listener. Sometimes, all a person needs to inspire co-workers to collaborate as best they can is to listen and be sympathetic to their needs.

6. Conflict mediation and resolution

Like negotiation, conflict mediation involves helping those in conflict find a resolution. The difference is that in the former, the involved parties are the ones working out their own agreement, while conflict mediation requires that an impartial third party initiate the steps toward ending the conflict. To have this skill, you need to learn how to look at situations objectively and be adept at finding out-of-the-box solutions.

Tips to develop conflict mediation and resolution skills

• Listen to each side of the story before making any conclusions.

• Remove your own personal opinions and emotions from the equation.

• Find the root cause of the problem, as this is often key to the resolution process.

• When faced with conflict, stay calm and maintain a positive attitude.

7. Sensitivity

With the modern workplace’s increased focus on diversity, sensitivity towards other cultures becomes even more essential for today’s employees. Being sensitive towards other people of different backgrounds is one of the most sought-after interpersonal values that employers look for in candidates, as it helps ensure diverse colleagues are able to work together harmoniously.

Tips to develop sensitivity skills

• Start by seeing sensitivity as a strength, not a weakness.

• Try to empathize with what others may feel regarding the things you say or do.

• Seek to build goodwill and better relationships with co-workers.

8. Problem solving and decision-making

Although they are two separate interpersonal skills in and of themselves, problem-solving and decision-making complement each other, simply because solving a problem means you are making a decision. With the many issues that employees often face at work, it definitely helps to have keen problem-solvers and decision-makers in the group.

Tips to develop problem-solving and decision-making skills

• Learn to identify the root cause of problems.

• Think of similar problems you’ve encountered in the past and how they were resolved.

• Make a decision and put it into action.

• Live with the consequences of your decision, and learn from mistakes.

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