6) Practice active listening.
In the allBusiness article “Ten Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Skills,” the editors advise practicing active listening. You can do this by maintaining eye contact with the speaker, nodding your head, and repeating what he says in your own words. The speaker will feel respected, and you’re likely to be able to recall the conversation more easily afterwards.
7) Be assertive.
According to the HelpGuide.org article “Effective Communication: Improving Communication Skills in Your Work and Personal Relationships,” it’s important to be assertive. Be confident in your ability and opinions, and don’t be afraid to express your needs, as well as your limits.
8) Practice empathy. Gain a well-rounded view of things by putting yourself in other people’s shoes. This will help you develop empathy for others, which in turn goes a long way in finding solutions that work for all involved.
9) Maintain your relationships.
Don’t let “out of sight, out of mind” ruin the relationships you’ve carefully built up over the years. Connect with college friends and former colleagues on social media; send them emails; and try to set up face-to-face meetings now and then. This shows your connections that you still value the relationship—and that can go a long way in helping you advance your career.
Even if you don’t work in customer service, sales, or PR, interpersonal skills form an integral part of your professional toolbox. From collaborating on a project with an insecure colleague to liaising with an important external stakeholder, you need the confidence, empathy, and communication skills to make the most of every interaction. By doing so, you’ll gain allies and simultaneously demonstrate to your supervisor that you’re capable of bringing out the best in others. And that’s a key aspect of career advancement.