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Six Interpersonal Skills You Should Learn For The Future Of Work

What are interpersonal skills? Interpersonal skills are also known as social skills. They are transferable skills that help people facilitate communication and interaction with others. Employers in the future workplace are highly interested in people who have excellent communication skills as it makes them more productive workers.

How efficiently do you interact with customers and colleagues? Are you the kind of person who efficiently diffuses difficult situations instead of making things worse? You might just have the right interpersonal skills to stand out in the future workspace. Having the skills listed below will give you an edge in the workspace:

1. Active Listening

One of the most useful interpersonal skills you’ll need in the workplace is active listening. Many people believe that active listening is a skill that should be reserved for psychologists or counselors. However, everyone who wants to excel in the workplace should work on improving their listening skills. You can listen attentively, understand what the person is saying and respond clearly. Empathic and reflective listening are two forms of active listening. Active listening comes in handy when you want to help a customer find solutions to a problem or settle disputes between conflicting parties.

2. Respect

No matter how evolved the human race becomes, showing respect will always be a vital interpersonal skill in the workplace. While respect for the hierarchy is most clearly seen in the military and other armed forces, it is an important skill in every bureaucratic organization. You must show respect, not just to clients but to your colleagues as well. Even when you’re in a heated situation, you need to remain calm and speak respectfully to the people involved. Those in management positions are required by law to treat people under them honorably and with deep respect.

3. Collaboration

Do you work with others or you’re the kind of person who prefers to work alone? Working alone might be beneficial to software engineers when they are assigned specific assignments but even these professionals have to collaborate sometimes. After all, most software development projects are created by different people. Collaboration with others in the workplace will allow the organization to reach its goals quickly and efficiently. To boost your collaboration skills, you don’t need to take any online courses. All you need to boost your collaboration skill is to join group projects and participate in team-building activities.

4. Appropriate Contact

Interpersonal skills aren’t limited to verbal communication, they also include your actions and gestures when dealing with people in the office. You must not give any co-worker a reason to feel uncomfortable around you. You should not touch anyone inappropriately even when you’re having a friendly conversation in the office. There is a thin line between being friendly and harassing. This doesn’t just apply when you’re dealing with members of the opposite sex. Keep your distance when you’re having a conversation with others. In the past, staying at arm’s length during a conversation was ideal but things have changed in the Covid-19 era. You need to stay at least two feet away during a face-to-face conversation.

5. Working Under Pressure

Things aren’t always going to move smoothly in the workplace. There will be times when you have to work under pressure because you’re running late on a deadline or you’re correcting a mistake. During these times, how you interact with those around you count. Do you lose your temper and start shouting at everybody around or do you keep a level head until the job is finished? How you act under pressure is one of your interpersonal skills.

Bottom Line

Interpersonal skills are vital in every workspace but they aren’t the only skills that count. Many other skills will be vital in the future workspace and not all of them are interpersonal. Digital literacy is another vital skill that will be in high demand in the future of work. Employers want to hire people who know how to use modern technology. You can pick up a few tech skills on an online bootcamp like These tech skills are easy to learn for people in the STEM field. However, everyone can pick up a tech skill if they devote the time to learning.


About Artur Meyster
Artur is the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19), an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps. He is also the host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast, which features people with non-traditional backgrounds who broke into tech. You can connect with Artur on Twitter and LinkedIn.



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