There is an unspoken piece of the hiring puzzle that is becoming increasingly relevant in today’s workforce. Important for both employers and employees alike, interpersonal skills can make or break a work environment.
Interpersonal skills are soft skills such as active listening, teamwork, patience, and empathy. With computers and automation doing many of our job-related tasks, we tend to interact with people less and rely on technology more. Through this shift, we have lost our interpersonal finesse.
As employers offer more remote work options, turn to agile workspaces, and incorporate more collaborative project tools, they want employees who can work well with others and be good communicators; however, it is just as important for employers to have great interpersonal skills as it is for employees.
Fortunately, just like any technical task, you can brush up on these skills and learn how to become an interpersonal pro. The easiest way to improve actually starts outside of work. Engage more, call instead of text, make eye contact, be a better listener, and practice patience with your family and friends. Once you have practiced these skills, consider going a step further:
- Attend a workshop or virtual class to help with your public speaking and interpersonal engagement. Consider these classes a no judgement zone and remember that others are there to improve their skills as well. No one is expected to be perfect!
- Build relationships. Look for networking opportunities or even social groups where you can mix it up with others.
- Think about ways you interact with others and how you could improve. Consider asking for some feedback as to how you handled an interaction. You can even seek a mentor and engage in role playing situations and interview scenarios.
- Learn by example – watch others and see how they approach a task or think about what they did during an interaction that you appreciated.
Take the time and make the effort to prove to your employees that you’re an effective team player, a great communicator, and an innovative project manager. Actions speak louder than words, so be sure to show your employees what great interpersonal skills look like.
Being great at what you do from a technical and interpersonal perspective makes you a much more valued employer and will likely give you greater job satisfaction.