What Are Interpersonal Skills?

It may surprise you that we all need/ require interpersonal skills because none of us lives in a giant fishbowl or a bubble that’s cut off from everyone else. You need interpersonal skills to succeed in life, be it your high school, college or your career. 

And if you don’t know what this is all about, then it’s time to take a closer look at “what are interpersonal skills?” For example, if you use a chauffeur to drive you from one place to another, you will need interpersonal skills to interact with him on a social level.

That begs the question if interpersonal skills are so critical, why do some people lack the same while others excel? That’sThat’s fair – take a closer look at the query, “what are interpersonal skills?” and the answer should be self-evident.

People from disparate backgrounds often lack adequate interpersonal skills due to several environmental factors stemming from a lack of schooling, education, poverty, and other environmental factors. Either way, it’s high time you looked at some of these interpersonal skills to understand their importance better.


It may surprise you that self-appraisal often ranks relatively high when it comes to the question of interpersonal skills. While this may seem a bit of a stretch because most people often lie about self-appraisal, your superiors would often request the same. 

You might have already been asked to appraise yourself and your work, from school to college. It would have been termed neatly as a form of self-evaluation.

Self-appraisal is more often than not essential since it enables you to understand and come to terms with both your strengths and weaknesses. 

For example, if you are a career professional, then a self-appraisal can indicate to your management that you can be brutally frank and honest, even over a question of self-appraisal. It shows them that you are willing to accept the responsibility for the same and plan to work and improve on the same.

 Good communication is the key:

Good communication often figures in the top five when it comes to interpersonal skills. Not everyone can communicate well; some can, and others cannot – for various reasons. 

They may be unable to put their thoughts into words because of their stutter or lack of confidence. As a result, they often prefer to remain silent. And this can be a significant handicap where interpersonal skills are concerned. 

The fact is that interpersonal skills are essential since they enable you to manage all interactions, be it at the social or professional level. As such, a lack of adequate communication ability can often be seen as a significant drawback.

That’sThat’s why most children are taught how to speak and read clearly, from a young age. And if they should display any inability to talk clearly, you can help them get over their stutter.

So what happens if the person cannot speak at all due to being born with a disability? Does this mean they should lack the requisite interpersonal skills for the rest of their life? Not necessarily; it merely means they must concentrate on other forms of communication, including non-verbal ones, to communicate clearly!


While empathy may sound like something you are bound to have come across in a periodical, the fact is that it is one of the core interpersonal skills you need to develop. And this particular interpersonal skill assumes importance when it comes to your career. 

With empathy, you will find that you can better communicate clearly with others. You can often gauge their emotions and determine their current mood. With the requisite empathy, you should be able to lead your team successfully and complete the requisite projects ahead of schedule.

 Be optimistic:

Now, that sounds like an overreach, given the current turmoil various quarters face. But the fact is that by having an optimistic outlook at that, you are more likely to have a significant impact on those around you.

Whether at your desk or in the boardroom, having a positive outlook tends to rub off onto others. Sounds corny, but it is valid to an extent. Moreover, having a positive outlook can enable you to collaborate better with your whole team and even inspire and motivate them to work harder.

 Stress management:

You must learn how to control your stress points and manage your stress better. For example, the recent episode of an anglo-Saxon American woman losing her temper to a black woman at the airport ended up causing a fight to break out. 

The result, the former, was severely trashed, which only goes on to show you that even simple incidents can act as a trigger.

And that is why all professionals need to learn how to manage and control their stress better. Can you imagine the outcome of a similar brawl breaking out at the office over a simple miscommunication or a racial slur being thrown about? 

The office would soon devolve into a free-for-all. And no office manager wants that to happen, so you need to learn to identify and manage your stress triggers early on.

These are critical interpersonal skills you need to learn early on during your schooling. If you still need to, you can join a course to learn more about interpersonal skills, their importance in the workplace and the current interpersonal skills. Good luck!