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Ways to develop social skills for career success | thenewtimes

Many organizations at the moment are looking into hiring people with soft skills, and so knowing where your strong suits lie and what areas of your professional life could use some improvement will help you decide which skills you need to focus on, hence, making you stand out.

Interpersonal skills are the abilities we use every day when we communicate and interact with other people, both individually and in groups.

With interpersonal skills, Alphonse Uworwabayeho, a lecturer of mathematics at the University of Rwanda’s College of Education, believes that one is able to build relationships inside and outside their work environment.

The ability to communicate effectively with others is a core social skill. Net photo.

He says that interpersonal skills are a tool for collaboration and communication, which helps one to achieve success, regardless of their role or the industry they are working in.

Active listening, conflict resolution, communication, collaboration, and emotional intelligence are just some examples of interpersonal skills.


For positive working relationships, Uworwabayeho says interpersonal skills are the foundation.

“This means that one is able to collaborate effectively with teammates and most importantly, is able to pass across vital and clear information regarding what is needed,” he says.

Aimé Prince Lionel Murara, the deputy national coordinator in charge of operations and partnership in Education for Nations and Humanitarian Africa (ENHA), says on an individual level, interpersonal skills can be rewarding.

He says people with interpersonal skills are likely to resolve conflicts whether in the work environment or outside.

Murara goes on to note that people with interpersonal skills are good listeners too, this skill helps them devote their full attention to the person they are speaking with.

With this, Murara says, one can fully absorb the message, and respond with relevant questions whilst retaining key information, which is vital in any work environment.

“Many organizations tend to value active listening skills because such employees are capable of sharing valuable information with others, thus developing and contributing to the company’s success at all levels,” he says.

Jane Nakaayi, an educator, says people who can resolve conflicts amicably always possess interpersonal skills, making them stand out in every task they are assigned to.

For instance, she mentions that this could be as simple as actively listening to all people, identifying the problem at hand and talking about it, communicating clearly, and establishing the next step for both parties.

According to different studies, knowing how to improve interpersonal skills will help your career success. Here’s how:

• Assess your interpersonal skills

If you want to improve your interpersonal skills in the workplace, first undertake a self-assessment. A great place to start is an online assessment, which will help you to think in deeper concrete terms about how skilled you are in interpersonal relationship building and communication. By completing a self-assessment, you can then plan what you need to do to develop your interpersonal skills further.

• Create an interpersonal skills development plan

Once you complete your self-assessment, you will have identified certain interpersonal skills that need to be improved. For each developmental area on your list, determine how you can best up your skill.

• Build interpersonal skills in the workplace

Of course, you can also pursue opportunities at work for interpersonal skills development.

For instance, put yourself forward to participate in more collaborative project work, or spend more time participating in social occasions at work. Be on the constant lookout for any opportunities to put your interpersonal skills into practice at work.


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