Become an effective problem solver

A guide to developing interpersonal skills

In today’s job market, it’s important to develop interpersonal skills. Most job ads mention them as being critical for the role they are looking to fill, regardless of the type of job. But what are interpersonal skills exactly?

In short, they are skills that we use every day when we interact with others. Knowing how to communicate well, understand and manage your emotions, and solve problems, are all skills that will help you move forward in your career and form better relationships in your workplace and personal life.

These are the crucial skill sets you should start working on today:

  1. Communication skills - these will help you minimise misunderstandings and create positive experiences with the people you interact with.
  2. Emotional intelligence - how you perceive, understand, use and manage your own and other people’s emotions are crucial in thriving in an interpersonal work environment.
  3. Problem-solving - problems or challenges will always arise. Knowing how to effectively solve them will help you excel in your career and life.

Now that you know why they are important, let’s find out how you can start to develop interpersonal skills.

Do some self-reflection

The first step is to identify the skills you need to improve on. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What difficulties do I have when interacting with others?
  • How would my family and friends describe me?
  • What frustrates me when working with other people?
  • What qualities do I usually contribute to a group?

It is important to answer these questions as honestly as you can in order for you to clearly understand the areas that you can work on. If you have a trusted friend or colleague, ask them for their honest opinion as well. It may be difficult to hear some of your shortcomings but the good news is that you can start working on them today.

Start learning

The more you learn, the more you grow. There are cost-effective and quick ways to start developing interpersonal skills. You can read articles, books, or take courses to gain a deeper understanding of these skills as well as learn practical steps to help you improve.

Put these skills to use and keep practicing

Every day and every interaction with people is an opportunity for you to practice your improved interpersonal skills. Make an effort to use these skills and you’ll see your interactions with other people instantly improve. For example, practice listening to your colleagues without interrupting them, observe your friends and family and try to understand how they're feeling, and be aware of your body language.

Here are some courses that can help you develop your interpersonal skills:


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