Soft skills are often overlooked in the workplace in favor of technical or hard skills. The irony is that soft skills are not soft, but important skills that help individuals achieve their goals while also being considerate and supportive of others. In a time where much of the workforce is remote, people’s skills have never been more important. Here at Workplace Communications Inc, leaders often call on us to help improve communication, teamwork, and problem solving in their organization. To help these issues, we focus on improving the way people relate to one another. Organizations who focus on these essential skills report higher productivity and innovation. In this blog post we will explore why soft skills are so important and how they can help individuals and organizations succeed.
The Power of Interpersonal Skills
Have you ever worked with someone with a stellar resume who could not get along with anyone? Likewise, have you worked with someone who is a master at developing relationships although they may not have the most glowing resume, and yet accomplish more? Interpersonal skills are the foundation of every relationship, and they can make or break a team’s success. Interpersonal skills such as approachability builds trust and helps team members motivate each other and work collaboratively to do a better job. Why? Because people with interpersonal skills are often more likable and easier to be around. When problems occur, or an employee faces a personal challenge, their coworkers are more likely to help the person until they can get back on their feet. When teams have good interpersonal skills, everyone wins. They can better navigate setbacks and overcome obstacles together, leading to higher levels of productivity and innovation. This creates a positive work environment where everyone feels valued and supported. Interpersonal skills create teams who feel connected, and work together to accomplish their goals.
The Different Types of Interpersonal Skills
There are different types of interpersonal skills that individuals need to master to excel in the workplace. These include:
Verbal communication: Your words matter, and how you say things is critical. Mastering the art of clear, concise, and effective communication is essential to succeeding in your career and personal life.
Non-verbal Communication: Your body language and how you communicate without words are equally important. Eye contact, posture, and tone of voice can communicate as much as the words themselves.
Listening Skills: Listening is an incredibly important skill to show understanding. Listening to understand instead of just to respond can go a long way when building and improving relationships.
Conflict resolution: Learning to work through conflict respectfully is an incredible interpersonal skill. Conflict resolution can be a difficult process, but it is essential to creating a healthy workplace culture.
Emotional Intelligence: The ability to understand your own emotions and the emotions of others is also critical. Emotional intelligence helps individuals navigate the complexities of the workplace and build strong relationships.
Improving Your Interpersonal Skills
Improving interpersonal skills is possible with practice and dedication. Here are a few tips to help you improve your interpersonal skills:
- Pay attention to your body language and tone of voice.
- Practice active listening and aim to understand others’ perspectives.
- Learn conflict resolution strategies and practice them regularly.
- Develop your emotional intelligence through self-reflection and self-awareness.
The Benefits of Improving Your Interpersonal Skills
Recently, a client told me that improving relationships at work also improved their personal relationships. Improving interpersonal skills can have just as dramatic of an impact on your personal life as your work life. At work, you’ll be better able to communicate effectively, build stronger relationships, and work collaboratively with others. In your personal life, you’ll be better equipped to navigate complex relationships and communicate with family and friends.
All in all, soft skills are anything but soft. They are critical to success in any job or profession, and they are essential to creating a positive and healthy workplace culture. By focusing on improving interpersonal skills, you can dramatically improve your ability to work with others, communicate more effectively, and succeed at work. The bonus is that it will have a dramatic effect at home as well. Remember, we don’t have a work life and a home life, and what occurs in one facet of our life influences the other. Improving your interpersonal skills can be a win-win for all involved!