5 Interpersonal & Social Skills for the Workplace

Before we could even speak our first word, we were learning socialization skills from the caregivers around us. In the workplace, these social skills are more popularly termed as interpersonal skills. Both social skills and interpersonal skills refer to the same thing—interaction with others.

So what makes interpersonal skills so essential? At your workplace, you deal with people every day. People of different designations, age, background, etc. Strong interpersonal skills will enable you to interact with them effectively. Interpersonal skills not only enhance your communication skills, but also help you develop sustaining relationships with people. Strong relationships with the people you work with will help you succeed at your workplace.

It’s a no-brainer; No research is required to prove that a lack of good interpersonal skills is the number one reason why people in the work environment don’t get along, don’t get promoted or, even worse, lose their jobs.

Here’s a list of 5 interpersonal skills tips which we feel are a must in order to develop strong relationships and a healthy environment at your workplace:

1. Managing relationships
2. Understanding the feelings of others
3. Cooperating with others
4. Great Attitude
5. Showing respect
6. Appropriate contact

1. Managing relationships
You spend most of your day with the people at your workplace. If you are a full-time employee, you can expect to spend a minimum of 40 or more hours a week with your coworkers. Considering that, you can begin to understand why it is so important to have good relationships with your coworkers and managers! Good relationships not only help you get along well with people, but also makes it much easier to do your job better.

Have a difficult coworker or manager? Always remain polite and professional towards them. If you need to confront that person, make sure you do it thoughtfully and in their best interest. You never know, a difficult coworker could become a friend over time.

2. Understanding the feelings of others
Empathy: The ability to understand and relate to the feelings of others. When you show empathy, people feel that you understand them and how they feel.

When people tell you about something important, it shows they feel comfortable around you. Do your best to put yourself in their shoes. Think about how you would want to be treated if you were in their position. What would you want someone to say to you? Behave accordingly.

3. Cooperating with others
Cooperating, or working well with others, is an important part of interpersonal skills in the workplace. Although individual tasks and goals would differ, but the entire team has one common goal: Work towards the success the company. Without cooperation, the workplace can be an unpleasant place, which in turn will affect the growth of the company.

Before starting on a group project, make sure each person understands what is expected of them. Ensure each person is able to share his or her ideas or thoughts. Encourage your group to be a safe space for sharing and collaborating.

4. Having a Great Attitude
Having an overall positive attitude will affect many aspects of your work. A great attitude will help you cope with pressure and stress, as well as create a positive effect on others around you. Always sharing a positive attitude will help you grow in your position and ultimately help you move forward in your career.

How can you achieve a positive attitude?

Avoid negative thinking and complaining
Spend time with people who have a positive attitude
Be thankful for your job
Give yourself a chance to recharge
Reward yourself for doing a good job

5. Showing respect
When you show respect for others in the workplace, people will show respect for you. You can show respect for others by being polite and using your manners.

When people are talking to you, listen to what they are saying and make eye contact to show that you are listening. Wait until other people have finished talking before you respond.

Remember: Interpersonal skills impacts your growth more than your actual performance at work.

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