When you talk to people about interpersonal skills (also called social skills, soft skills, people skills, etc.) in the workplace, it quickly becomes clear that most of them have at best an incomplete understanding of how to leverage them into organizational success. It tends to be one of those examples where people know what bad interpersonal skills look like – everyone can point to examples of poor interpersonal skills they’ve seen in the workplace. While it’s useful and important to be able to recognize when interpersonal skills are lacking, that is not the same as knowing what good interpersonal skills look like, how to develop them in yourself and others, and how to use them in the workplace to make everyone more successful in your company. eLeaP has a robust collection of on-demand video courses geared specifically to Interpersonal Skills Training.
Consciously Tackling Interpersonal Skills Training
The good news is that it’s not as if you’re completely lacking interpersonal skills. If you lacked them entirely, there’s no way you could hold down any job at all! Everyone has been developing interpersonal skills throughout their lives, but you’re likely not even aware of it because it largely happens subconsciously. The more relevant question is to what degree have you developed good interpersonal skills? Or, to what extent have you subconsciously bad interpersonal skills? Interpersonal skills training was developed to bring all of this out into the light in order to consciously examine where you’re at on interpersonal skills and discover where you could do better with a bit of guided learning.
But what falls under this broad category of interpersonal skills? In the broadest sense, it is any skill that helps a person interact and communicate with other people. Commonly identified interpersonal skills include the following:
- Listening skills
- Verbal communication
- Mediation/conflict resolution
- Social awareness
- Relationship management
There are probably more that could be included on this list, but you get the idea. The importance of good interpersonal skills in the workplace cannot be underestimated. Both executives and managers have consistently expressed the importance of good interpersonal skills to success in the workplace, and employers have become increasingly vocal about wanting to hire people with strong interpersonal skills. Many companies are now ranking interpersonal skills as more important than analytical ability. It’s also becoming common to hear that while “hard skills” can get you an interview, it’s the “soft skills” that will get you a job offer. It’s not just about what you know – it’s about how well you can communicate what you know. This increasing importance of interpersonal skills dovetails nicely with the fact that economic activity in the modern economy is so much more service-oriented than it was in the past, both internally and externally. People’s working lives in the 21st century include more relating to and interacting with others than ever before.
It has also been recognized that formal educational institutions have a long way to go in terms of incorporating interpersonal skills into curricula. In other words, employers shouldn’t expect that recent graduates entering the workforce are going to automatically have better soft skills, which means it is up to each company to figure out how to boost interpersonal skills throughout their organizations with training and development programs.
Speaking Up, Speaking Out
Few things say more about people than what comes out when they open their mouths and speak. But what do you do when you encounter a specific kind of situation in the workplace and you open your mouth and nothing comes out because you don’t know what to say? You know you should respond in some way, but you can’t quite figure out how to articulate what you’re feeling inside. eLeaP has a collection of on-demand video trainings that teach the valuable skill of knowing what to say in a wide range of situations you are likely to encounter at some point in the workplace:
What to Say When…
- A Co-Worker Has an Embarrassing Problem
- A Co-Worker is Negative
- A Co-Worker is Too Social
- A Team Member is Late
- Conducting Interviews and Appraisals
- Criticizing a Team Member’s Work
- Employee Collection
- Generations Clash
- Haunted by the Ghost of Your Predecessor
- It’s Someone Else’s Fault
- Manager Collection
- People are Wasting Time Online
- Setting Objectives
- Someone Breaks a Commitment
For more information and to preview the contents of What to Say When, visit eLeaP’s Interpersonal Skills Training Video Courses.
But there’s also more to interpersonal skills than knowing what to say and how to say it in specific situations. Interpersonal skills help employees successfully navigate all sorts of tricky waters, from intergenerational communications and interactions to more effective teamwork, workplace diversity, fostering respect in the workplace, and more. Here are a number of other on-demand video courses available at eLeaP to help develop interpersonal skills in your organization:
- Anyone Can Be an Ally: Speaking up for an LGBT Inclusive Workplace
- Leverage the Power of Generations
- Please Respect My Generation!
- The Respectful Workplace: Redefining Workplace Violence, Managing Harmony
- The Power of Teamwork: Inspired By The Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Team
- The Seven Keys to a Positive Mental Attitude
For more information and to preview the contents of any of these trainings, visit eLeaP’s Interpersonal Skills Training Video Courses.
In the digital era and increasingly service-oriented economy of the 21st century, the demand for stronger interpersonal skills will only continue to increase throughout the business landscape. If you don’t want your company to fall further behind the curve, invest now in developing the interpersonal skills your people need to succeed. eLeaP’s Interpersonal Skills Training Video Courses are a good place to start, and you can enroll in a Free Trial to see for yourself!