It’s no secret that technical skills are highly valued in the job market. Students who have done well in academics—especially in major learning areas such as English, Math, and Science—can easily boost their resumes and impress employers.
However, hard skills are not the only things that matter in the professional world. Most people tend to overlook soft or interpersonal skills.
What are the interpersonal skills? In simpler terms, these are the skills you use to interact with the people around you. It doesn’t matter where you are—at home, at school, or work—everyone uses these skills daily.
Common examples of interpersonal skills are verbal and non-verbal communication, listening, and teamwork. Harder-to-measure abilities such as negotiation, conflict resolution, and problem-solving are also essential interpersonal skills.
It’s important for learners to start developing good communication skills at an early age. This makes it easier for them to foster positive relationships, slowly paving their way towards success.
1. Mending troubled relationships
Conflicts usually happen between two parties that cannot come to an agreement, resulting in troubled relationships. People need to know how to handle conflicts the right way before things become even more complicated and result in more stress.
What are interpersonal skills in the context of conflict management? They can help you deal with difficult conversations, accept constructive criticism, and give useful feedback. But what if you aren’t the one personally dealing with a conflict? Interpersonal skills still play a huge role. Having good communication abilities allows you to mediate between two conflicting parties, de-escalating the situation and providing sound advice.
2. Problem-solving and decision-making
You may think that only hard skills are essential to problem-solving, but this is not the case. Problem-solving and decision-making take more than just analysis, especially when you are dealing with social problems.
Social problems need to be solved with the help of one or more people, discussing, identifying, and deciding on the best course of action—and this is what interpersonal skills can bring to the table.
3. Emotional Intelligence
People with higher emotional intelligence are likelier to form better interpersonal relationships and manage stress more effectively. This includes maintaining small friendships, large work groups, and even business partnerships.
About the Author:
Author: Richard Sharp
“Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced” John Keats
This quote continues to inspire my pursuit of delivering authentic, long-term online learning opportunities for K-12 students and educators. As a former classroom teacher, senior faculty member and current district school board member, I take great pride in sharing my education insights towards technology enhanced learning in the student leadership and future skills of the workforce curricular areas.