Interpersonal Skills at the Workplace

The Importance of Interpersonal Skills at the Workplace

According to Chiavenato (2003 apud FONSECA et al., 2016), people are the most important resources of any organization. It is now recognized that the way the organization handles and guides people is the key to its success and competitiveness.

We know that people have different personalities, and in the corporate environment, we find people with the most varied ways to be, socialize and respond. Interpersonal skills are essential in this context.

In this article, we will explore how interpersonal skills can be crucial to developing successful and productive labor relations, understanding their concepts and benefits first and foremost.

Interpersonal skills configure the ability to relate well to other people and generate positive results from these connections. An environment equipped with strong interpersonal skills is characterized by creating more substantial and more rewarding interactions. Such interactions build solid relationships, transparent and efficient communication, ethical behavior, and the formation of effective work teams.

In the corporative environment, developing interpersonal skills is critical, as it directs individuals to work well together and makes them more able to achieve great goals. Thus, an entrepreneur or administrator with such skills should motivate, lead, facilitate, coordinate, communicate and solve problems.

According to coach Regina Giannetti, working relationships have two points that deserve to be highlighted: 

(1) we do not choose our colleagues, bosses, clients, and partners as we choose our friends; and (2) Even without affinity, we need to work well working with these people. At work, it is probably where we will most live with people different from us, in terms of opinion, worldview, education, culture, behavior, etc.

This is where interpersonal skills come in, which, as Gianetti explains, are based on five pillars:

  1. Self-knowledge: recognizing the traits of one’s behavior is essential to identify how one’s actions will affect others and how others’ actions will affect you;
  2. Empathy: Putting yourself in the other’s shoes, considering your opinions and motivations, makes you less selfish and amplifies your perception of reality;
  3. Assertiveness: expressing yourself straightforwardly and respectfully demonstrates clarity in your opinions, goals, and obstacles. As important as knowing how to listen, it knows how to speak;
  4. Cordiality: Treating people well shows consideration and facilitates the formation of good relationships;
  5. Ethics: taking a stance that aims not to harm each other and maintain a sense of justice is essential in gaining people’s trust.

Importance of Interpersonal Skills at the Workplace

Interpersonal Skills Help to Foster Good Teamwork

In the corporate world, developing interpersonal skills is critical, as it directs individuals to work well together and makes them more able to achieve great goals. In addition, regardless of your industry, interpersonal skills help employees develop and foster strong working relationships between themselves and their suppliers and customers.

I once had a working group in college with people who used utterly different work methodologies from mine, and with some of them, I was developing an antipathy; However, this did not interfere with the final result of our project that was to thrive because of my mastery of some interpersonal skills. Emotional intelligence and collaboration are two interpersonal skills crucial to this process; in the absence of this, probably everything else would be more important than the work we wanted to do.

Another important factor regarding interpersonal skills is that they also contribute to our ethical posture, especially in the work environment.

Interpersonal Skills Help to Improve Productivity

Workers who relate well to each other are more motivated and can perform their tasks with greater efficiency and competence. In addition, knowing that they can count on other organization members, people tend to be easier to face significant challenges and become agents of innovation.

To be a successful professional in any field, we need to create genuine connections and positively influence people around us. No one works alone and, together, we need cooperation, respect, and support.

Let us imagine we have our tasks getting done, and colleagues are struggling somehow because of technical issues; if we know how to step up, we will help them. In that way, everything around us will move faster because we won’t be the only ones doing a particular task with excellence.

Interpersonal relationship problems at work influence productivity, motivation, and quality of life, so creating good relationships is vital to building a career.

List of Critical Interpersonal Skills for Succeeding at Work

Interpersonal SkillDescription
Body LanguageBody language refers to the gestures and expressions that an individual demonstrates with the body. Eye contact, for example, is crucial to create a connection in any relationship.
CollaborationCollaboration occurs when two individuals or groups of people work together to achieve a common goal by sharing/discussing their ideas and reaching an agreement professionally. Therefore one should be good at listening and discussing situations and then come up with a just solution.
CordialityTo treat people cordially is to be kind, caring, and sympathetic to show consideration for the other in various ways. So it can be with the “good morning” with which we greet the recipient of our email message, with the act of holding the elevator door for someone to enter or pick up from the ground an object that the colleague dropped.
Emotional IntelligenceEmotional intelligence is a concept that describes the ability to recognize and evaluate your feelings and those of others, as well as the ability to deal with them.
InquiringQuestioning is a great way to start a conversation. It is, however, about the quality of the questions, which should prompt the group to think about new ways to solve a problem.
Active ListeningKnowing how to listen is, in fact, the beginning of efficient communication, the one that inspires and that leads a safer environment for employees, reduces misunderstandings, improves employee’s experience, and optimizes their influence in the organization.
Non-judgmentEach of us has our values and concepts of what is good or bad, right or wrong, appropriate or not, and so forth. The system of values and concepts is like a lens through which we see the other, and when we see something that does not match our system, the judgment arises.
RespectWhen other people are in a dialogue, avoid interrupting them. This can be seen as a hostile act since no one likes to go through this situation since it hinders the reasoning and makes it difficult to engage in the person’s thinking.
Verbal CommunicationVerbal communication in the work environment is the dialogue between the employees of a company, aiming that they fulfill their tasks in the best possible way.

Importance of Interpersonal Skills in the Workplace

For several reasons, interpersonal skills at work are crucial; most of the time, people lose their jobs because they cannot work well with others. But, of course, the importance of having interpersonal skills at the workplace is not restricted to pleasing your superiors or colleagues. 

The fundamental importance of employees maintaining these qualities lies mainly in creating a more pleasant and respectful organizational environment. In addition, the ability to communicate within an organization depends heavily on people’s interpersonal skills; these are the tools that individuals use to interact and communicate with other individuals in an organizational environment.


  • Each person has their characteristics and personalities, so you should learn the behavioral profile of each of your colleagues. An interpersonal relationship at the workplace makes it easier to identify the best way to deal individually or collectively with each other;
  • One of the essential principles of a relationship is empathy – that is, knowing how to put yourself in the place of another. As we mentioned above, each person is unique within his or her peculiarities, and it is essential to try to understand things from the other’s point of view;
  • Know yourself so you can understand others; only when you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses, qualities and defects will you better deal with the characteristics of the people around you.


Regardless of your industry, interpersonal skills are vital because they help employees develop and foster strong working relationships between themselves and their suppliers and customers and increase team and organization productivity.

When colleagues develop a genuine connection, knowing that they can count on other organization members, they tend to be more accessible and face significant challenges, which leads them to become agents of innovation.

References and Further Reading

AcethePresentation. AmadeBai, Emidio. Top 15 Social and Interpersonal skills at Work.

AceThePresentation.How to Improve your Communication Skills – 7 Essential Communication skills

BigThinkEdge. Top Interpersonal Skills at Workplace. 

Career Addict. The Importance of Interpersonal Skills in the Workplace.

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