Can interpersonal skills make a difference in the workplace?

Employee with interpersonal skills

We have interviewed thousands of candidates over the past few years for extremely diverse roles. There is one common behaviour across all of them that is incredibly important to employers, it is good interpersonal skills.

Often employers focus on hard skills, the talents that make a person qualified for a role. However, it is the interpersonal skills such as the candidate’s ability to listen, engage and communicate, that are incredibly important, no matter the role.

Candidates with these qualities are seen as great contributors to the workplace. They are more likely to engage with others in the business and build great relationships with external customers and third parties.

The benefits of these traits to a business are huge. The ability to problem-solve with teammates, to build collaborative relationships, and to better understand customer needs.

One particularly important trait is emotional intelligence. We have a great article on our website covering this but in short it encompasses self-awareness, perceptiveness, consideration for others, empathy, and self-management. Other traits are effective verbal and digital communication, active listening, reliability, teamwork, and general positivity.

Someone lacking interpersonal skills can appear to others as being anti-social. Not to be confused with shyness or introversion, anti-social behaviour in the workplace can lead to miscommunication, errors, and an inability to work effectively.

Using effective questioning at the time of interviewing will help you to build up a picture of a person’s interpersonal skills to ensure you get exactly who you need to fit within your team and your business. Of course, you can always ask for our help…we’re interviewing every day.

This article was originally published in Business North Harbour’s FYI magazine. 
Author: Lisa Hill, Managing Director

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