INTERPERSONAL SKILLS: DEFINITION, Examples, All you need & how to improve (+free PDF’s)


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Speaking about interpersonal skills, it is not just for a particular group of people but it is important for everyone.  Interpersonal skills are the skills we use every day when we interact and communicate with other people, both individually and in groups.

This includes a wide range of skills, but particularly communication skills such as listening and effective speaking. However, they also include the ability to control and manage your emotions.

It is therefore, no false statement to say that interpersonal skills are the foundation for success in life. People with strong interpersonal skills tend to be able to work well with other people, including in teams or groups, formally and informally.

They can communicate effectively with others, whether family, friends, colleagues, customers or clients. They even have better relationships at home and at work. You can improve your interpersonal skills by developing your awareness of how you interact with others and practicing your skills.

This post explains where these skills are important and why, including particular jobs that may require very good interpersonal skills. Finally, we will discuss in this post how you can start to develop your interpersonal skills further.


The definition of interpersonal skills is not a new one because it is visible in all spheres of life. However, an interpersonal skill is the skills you need and use to communicate and interact with other people.

This definition simply implies that interpersonal skills include:

  • Communicationskills- which covers:
  • Team-working – being able to work with others in groups and teams, both formal and informal.

Negotiation, persuasion and influencing skills – working with others to find a mutually agreeable (Win/Win) outcome. This may be considered a subset of communication, but it is often treated separately.

  • Conflict resolution and mediation – working with others to resolve interpersonal conflict and disagreements in a positive way, which again may be considered a subset of communication.

Also, the definition of interpersonal skills is as thus: Interpersonal skills are the behaviors and tactics a person uses to interact with others effectively. In the business world, the term interpersonal skills refers to an employee’s ability to work well with others.


There is a wide range of examples of interpersonal skills that can help you excel in life. However, we have major and common examples of interpersonal skills that we have put together below.

  • Awareness (of yourself and others)
  • Caring about other people
  • Collaborating and working well together with others
  • Comforting people when they need it
  • Clear communication skills
  • Conflict management and resolution skills
  • Constructive feedback (ways people can improve)
  • Diplomacy (handling affairs without hostility)
  • Empathy for others
  • Encouraging and inspiring people to do their best
  • Flexibility in thinking and operating style
  • Humor and lightheartedness
  • Inspiring and motivating others to active greatness
  • Listening well
  • Mentoring and coaching team members
  • Networking and building relationships
  • Nonverbal cues and body language
  • Patience when dealing with others
  • Public speaking and presentation skills
  • Respect for everyone, no matter who they are
  • Sensitivity toward the preferences and wishes of others
  • Socializing skills
  • Being good at team building and at building trust
  • Tolerance and respect for team members

However, these examples of interpersonal skills need to be nurtured and developed so that they can function adequately for you. The effective function of these examples of interpersonal skills depends on how you develop and execute them in the requested area.


The workplace demands the input of interpersonal skills, to ensure smooth running and success of the business. The benefits of interpersonal skills to the workplace have made it important for all employees to have and develop theirs effectively.

Interpersonal skills in the workplace increase productivity help in the cordial relationship of colleagues in the workplace. It also boosts the public image of the workplace as well as increases sales.

There are certain skill sets that are crucial for professionals to be able to exercise in their work environment. Regardless of your industry, interpersonal skills (such as being able to effectively communicate) are important and the others include:

Exercising Self-Awareness

Generally, self-awareness means that a person is able to consciously know what they’re feeling and why they’re feeling it. Self-awareness falls within the realm of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence consists of four primary components:

  1. Self-awareness,
  2. Emotions,
  3. Empathy, and
  4. Relationship building.

Being aware of your own feelings and emotions can help you be cognizant of the messages you convey to others whether through your words or non-verbal forms of communication.

Being Cognizant of Nonverbal Communication

Are you conscious of the nonverbal messages you are sending throughout the workday? However, nonverbal cues can either make relationships stronger or damage them depending on how you use them and the context of the situation.

Some forms of nonverbal communication include:

  • Eye contact,
  • Facial expressions,
  • Body language,
  • Gestures, and
  • Physical contact (such as shaking hands, touching an arm, pushing, etc.).

Being Respectful of Others

It’s well known that respect can go a long way in fostering positive relationships and work environments. However, not all employers establish work environments that encourage respect. In some cases, managers themselves can be among the biggest offenders in terms of being disrespectful toward others.

Showing respect in the workplace can be done in any number of ways, including:

  • Showing appreciation for employees’ efforts and time;
  • gratitude and courtesy;
  • Listening to what others have to say rather than listening only to respond;
  • Being respectful of others’ ideas and opinions, even when they differ from yours;
  • Not disparaging, insulting, or attacking others; and
  • Not taking credit for others’ work; even if you build or improve upon someone else’s work, be sure to acknowledge their initial contributions.

Showing Empathy and Understanding

Having empathy for others is a crucial part of relationship-building in the workplace because it helps you take into account the thoughts, feelings, and needs of others. There are different ways that learning and development professionals can encourage employees to develop and grow these skills through empathy-building exercises.

Empathy, along with active listening and strong communication skills, also is useful in terms of negotiation tactics.

Being a Clear Communicator

Regardless of where you’re from, communication is an important part of life, as well as a necessary component of any personal or business relationship. Having effective communication skills can be the difference between success and failure.

Engaging in Active Listening

This interpersonal skill is important in the workplace. Active listening is pretty self-explanatory. It’s all about actively listening to what someone else has to say rather than passively hearing their message. Approach each conversation like you to have something to learn — because, in reality, you likely will find yourself doing just that.

Behaving Appropriately

Behaving appropriately should go without saying in the workplace. Depending on the culture of your individual organization.  However, there are some universally accepted behaviors that should be exercised by employees, including:

  • Being punctual;
  • Being friendly and respectful of others;
  • Showing courtesy;
  • Being cooperative and easy to work with;
  • Having a positive attitude;
  • Dressing appropriately; and
  • Taking personal responsibility and being accountable.

Being Receptive to Feedback

Feedback is necessary for personal and professional growth. However, no one likes to feel like they’re under criticism. This is why it’s important to recognize the difference between receiving feedback and criticism. Feedback — whether positive or negative in nature — is like criticism in that it involves an evaluation of some kind by another person. However, a significant difference between these two terms is intent.

Once you are open and receptive to feedback in your workplace, it will help you to learn and grow from what others — your colleagues, supervisors, and clients — have to say. All these interpersonal skills in the workplace is important for the success of any organization.


Knowing how to improve interpersonal skills is as important as acquiring them. Developing these skills is the real importance or benefits of having these skills.

Some of the ways on how to improve your interpersonal skills include:

  • Firstly, Monitor your body language and ensure you’re not doing things that make people think you’re disengaged or aggressive (crossing your arms, looking around, avoiding eye contact, etc.)
  • Secondly, Practice active listening with family, friends, and coworkers  – repeat what they’ve said back to them to ensure you’re accurately listening
  • Thirdly, Try being friendly and chatty with colleagues
  • Fourthly, Practice leading a meeting or presentation
  • Next, Be enthusiastic and engaged when interacting with people
  • Finally, Project an image of being confident and approachable


Interpersonal skill PDFS are quite a lot on the internet today. Each empathizes on the need and importance that you have and nurtures this interpersonal skill. Some of the available PDFS on interpersonal skill include

What interpersonal skills mean?

The personal traits and behaviors we exhibit when interacting with others are known as interpersonal skills. Some personality traits are intrinsic and can be developed, while others have been picked up in particular social settings.

What makes good interpersonal skills?

Verbal and nonverbal communication, conflict management skills, teamwork, empathy, listening, and a positive outlook are all examples of interpersonal skills. The ability to listen, communicate well, and be adaptable are crucial skills for success at work.

What are two essential interpersonal skills?

Other interpersonal qualities, including communication, active listening, adaptability, and responsibility, are all necessary for teamwork. Employees that are good “team players” frequently receive key assignments and may be considered for promotions.

What is the most important key to good interpersonal skills?

This is how long-lasting, mutually respectful, and trustworthy professional partnerships are built. Strong interpersonal relationships also depend on one’s ability to influence and persuade others.

What is difference between personal skills and interpersonal skills?

Personal skills are a person’s aptitudes that are seen as either their strengths or limitations. Interpersonal skills are the aptitudes necessary for a person to effectively and efficiently interact with others.

What is the most basic interpersonal need?

Tenderness is a fundamental human need. Because it is concerned with a person’s complete wellness, tenderness is a universal need. Zonal needs, which originate from a specific region of the body, contrast with general needs, which include oxygen, food, and water.

Who is an intrapersonal person?

Someone who possesses high intrapersonal abilities is said to be intrapersonal. They have a strong sense of self and are aware of their feelings, needs, and desires.

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