Interpersonal skills are the life skills we use every day to communicate and interact with other people both individually and in groups.
They can also refer to a variety of personal attributes that can help you succeed in different areas of life. A lot of the basic skills that can promote interpersonal relationships are:
1. Honesty: This is the characteristic of being truthful, trustworthy, sincere, frank and morally upright in our activities
with people. Honesty is all about telling the truth at all times. Honesty, therefore, is a very vital skill that promotes interpersonal relationships.
2. Tolerance: For any interpersonal relationship to be sustained, the parties involved must as a matter of necessity tolerate one another. So, tolerance as a skill in interpersonal relationships is the willingness and ability to endure and accept people’s diverse views and opinions even when they are against our beliefs.
3. Kindness: This is the quality of being friendly, generous and benevolent. As a quality of being friendly and benevolent, kindness is a very vital skill that grease and oils interpersonal relationships.
4. Caring: This is the quality of being humane, compassionate and concerned for people. Caring is also a vital skill needed to keep interpersonal relationships going. This is because for people to inter-relate, they must learn to be compassionate else such a relationship may not last.
5. Patience: This is one attribute many people lack but a very important skill needed in promoting any type of interpersonal relationship. Patience is the ability to persevere, endure hardship or provocation and remain steadfast in times of trouble. It is a very vital skill required to keep interpersonal relationships going, as it helps to sustain and unify relationships, especially in times of provocation.
6. Communication: This is the most important or basic skill that can make or mar any relationship. It can be verbal or nonverbal. Some people see communication as sharing experiences, others see it as sharing ideas and feelings in a mood of mutual understanding; a two-way process in which one sends and another receives as well as understands what is received. The basis of communication, however, is that somebody has something to say. Verbal communication is concerned with the use of sounds, speech and symbols. It can be oral or written; face-to-face and non-face-to-face encounters like the use of the telephone, during interviews, and seminars while the written form includes letters, notes, memos and the like.
Whereas verbal communication is concerned with words, nonverbal communication is wordless. It is concerned with body language and this may include gestures with hands, facial posture and bodily expressions and signs.
Words are not needed. A wink, a frown, a tap on the shoulder, and a friendly smile is enough to convey a message. In this type of communication, everything you do or do not do has communicated to another person what your stand on a matter is.
There are certain conditions that are necessary for communication to be deemed effective and they are:
i. Must involve at least two participants.
ii. A channel/medium must be open.
iii. Common language that the parties to a communication understands.
iv. A message that needs to get across.
v. Reaction or feedback after the message gets to its destination, usually the receiver.
An individual who has strong communication skills is a great asset in any relationship. This is because the individual while keeping both his own purpose and the audience in mind is able to convey what needs to be conveyed.
7. Listening Skills: This is another basic skill that promotes interpersonal relationships. Listening is how we interpret both the verbal and non-verbal messages sent by others. Listening is not the same as hearing. As long as an individual is not df, the person can hear any sound made. But listening involves more than mere hearing of what is spoken. Listening takes a step further to include processing of a verbal or non-verbal message and trying to see what course of action will best compliment what was heard.