Why Are Interpersonal Skills Important?

Feb 11, 2021

"Why are interpersonal skills important? Asked no-one who ever had to make change happen!"


I am constantly amused by the people who describe Interpersonal Skills as a "soft skill". There is nothing "soft" about seeking to influence stubborn, disillusioned, frustrated, tired, dysfunctional or aggrieved people. Indeed, the task is so difficult, I've seen many otherwise confident, important, and well-rewarded leaders resort to all sorts of interesting behaviours, including:

  • Ignoring the obvious emotions and hoping nobody will speak up
  • Volunteering everyone around them to engage the necessary people to get things done
  • Steam-rolling through their proposals using the excuse that there were no other options
  • Defending their case loudly to anyone who will listen, rather than listen to opposing thoughts
  • Resigning themselves to their fate without even trying to do something different.

What Are Interpersonal Skills?

In simplest form, Interpersonal Skills are the set of skills that enable us to get on with our fellow human beings. It's our mindset, our body language, our energy, our tone, our choice of words and so much more. The reason for starting that little list with mindset is because the quickest way to improve our interpersonal skills is to just decide to do so. There are literally hundreds of courses and videos and other sources (like films) that can help.

In this week's video I also explain how our workplace can also be a prime place to enhance and fine-tune our interpersonal skills. YouTube can be fickle. Finding content like mine via their algorithm can be difficult, so please Like the video if you watch it and share it so we can help a few more people.

The Reason Interpersonal Skills Are So Important

There really is only one reason. As the quote at the top of the page suggests, you cannot make change happen in your own, or anyone else's life, without the involvement of other people. Other methods of interaction are available; you could bully, sulk or fool people into helping you, but these approaches will soon wear thin. You also risk alienating people. By building a rich interpersonal skillset you will be able to work with others easily and they will enjoy working with you.

An Interpersonal Skills Challenge

Would you like to improve your Interpersonal Skills? In the video, I suggest that picking one aspect of the skillset per month and investing some time in practicing it, would massively improve your skills. So let's break that down. Here are twelve aspects of Interpersonal Skills. Pick one and make that your focus for the next month before moving on to another one. Only you need know which one you are working on right now.

  1. Relationship building
  2. Problem-solving
  3. Collaboration
  4. Difficult conversations
  5. Negotiation
  6. Listening
  7. Leadership
  8. Decision-making
  9. Conflict resolution
  10. Influencing / Persuasion
  11. Inspiring
  12. Building trust

Are you up for the challenge? If you are and want to join a Community of people building these and other Life and Career Skills, then come and join me in the TCM Community. It's just £1 to sign up. You can find out more here:

Join the TCM Community



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