Interpersonal skills are the skills used by a person to interact with others properly. In the business domain, the term refers to an employee’s ability to get along with others while getting the job done. Interpersonal skills include everything from communication and listening skills to attitude and deportment. Good interpersonal skills are a prerequisite for many positions in an organization.
The term “interpersonal skills” is of a misnomer because it refers to character traits possessed by an individual rather than skills one can learn in a classroom. Within an organization, employees with good interpersonal skills are likely more productive than those with poor interpersonal skills because of their propensity to project a positive attitude and look for solutions to problems.
Interpersonal skills relate to the knowledge of social expectations and customs, and they consider others’ reactions to adjust tactics and communication as needed. Some describe interpersonal skills as social intelligence that relies on paying attention to the actions and speech of others and interpreting it correctly as part of forming a response. While they are based in part on an individual’s personality and instincts, these skills also develop with life experiences and knowledge.