What are Interpersonal Skills?
Interpersonal skills are the life skills we use every day to communicate and interact with other people, individually and in groups. Interpersonal skills include not only how we communicate with others, but also our confidence, and our ability to listen and understand. Problem solving, decision making and personal stress management are also considered interpersonal skills. People with strong interpersonal skills are usually more successful in both their professional and personal lives. They are perceived as more calm, confident and charismatic, qualities that are often endearing or appealing to others. Being more aware of your interpersonal skills can help you improve and develop them. We provide an extensive library of articles to help you learn about and improve your interpersonal skills.
A list of Interpersonal Skills could include:
You already have interpersonal skills. We all learn how people are likely to react to what we say, how we say it and what we do, as well as how these actions make others, and us, feel. These skills are easily further developed with a little time and effort spent working, thinking and practicing them. Remember it is worth spending time developing these skills as good interpersonal skills can improve many aspects of your life. Interpersonal skills are also sometimes referred to as soft skills or people skills. The foundation for many areas of our lives are good interpersonal skills since these are relevant to our personal relationships, social affairs and professional lives and are the basis on which we can develop other life skills. Unlike specialised and technical skills (hard skills), interpersonal skills (soft skills) will be used every day and in every area of our lives.
The term ‘Life Skills’ refers to the skills usually associated with managing and living a better quality of life, they help us to accomplish our ambitions and live to our full potential. There is no definitive list of life skills, certain skills may be more or less relevant to you depending on your life circumstances, your culture, beliefs, age, geographic location etc. Perhaps the most important life skill is the ability to learn. By learning new skills we increase our understanding of the world around us and equip ourselves with the tools we need to live a more productive and fulfilling life. Life skills are not always taught directly but often learned indirectly through experience and practice. Communication itself is a complex subject, you may want to start by reading – What is Communication? Interpersonal Skills refer to the skills we use when dealing with other people, for example we use both verbal and nonverbalcommunication techniques when engaged in face-to-face communications. Listening skills are paramount to understanding and empathising with others, do you listen effectively? Do you fully understand the message being conveyed? Effective listening skills together with techniques such as clarification and reflection can help prevent misunderstanding.
Assertiveness is a skill often referred to in social and communication skills training. Often wrongly confused with aggression, assertive individuals aim to be neither passive nor aggressive in their interactions with other people. Although everyone acts in passive and aggressive ways from time to time, such ways of responding often result from a lack of self confidence and, therefore, are inappropriate expressions of what such people really need to say. Non-assertiveness may be seen as the use of inefficient communication skills, whereas assertiveness is considered a balanced response, being neither passive nor aggressive. This article looks at the rights and responsibilities of assertive behaviour and aims to show how assertiveness can benefit...
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