What Are Interpersonal Communication Skills? Overview And What You Need To Know

Communication takes place intentionally and unintentionally between two or more people who are aware of one another’s presence in the same place. Having good interpersonal communication skills through the right verbal and nonverbal behaviors will aid great communication and relationships between different parties.

Without uttering a word, your personality, intention and emotional states can be passed across to others through your dressing, facial expressions, signals, or posture. Hence, there’s is a huge importance to pay attention to improving your communication skills.

Interpersonal communication skills is a soft skill that can be learned, mastered and taught.

In this article, you will know more about what are interpersonal communication skills and learn about interpersonal communication skills with special emphasis on examples of interpersonal skills.

What Are Interpersonal Communication Skills

Interpersonal communication skills is a soft skill that pertains to the exchange of message between two or more people through verbal or non-verbal means. Most times, it involves how well we manage our emotions and is demonstrated through our facial expressions, gestures, body language, and tone of voice.

The level of your interpersonal communication skill is measured through how you can transfer messages to other people effectively without being misunderstood or misinterpreted.

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What Interpersonal Communication Skills Do I Need To Excel?

In general, having great interpersonal communication skills will give you an edge over others in many aspects, including your workplace, your colleagues, your clients, etc.

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Quite a several communication skill is defined as interpersonal and its varies according to where you use it. Families are bonded when they can interact with one another selflessly, friendship is strengthened with good interpersonal communication skills, employers seek to employ a candidate with great interpersonal communication skills, and customers connect with sellers that can interact with them excellently.

To excel in having good interpersonal communication skills, there are some examples of interpersonal skills you need to know and improve on:

  • Active Listening
  • Body language
  • Verbal communication.
  • Assertiveness
  • Negotiation skills
  • Empathy
  • Openness
  • Resolution of conflicts
  • Decision making and problem-solving skills
  • Teamwork

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1. Active Listening

This is the ability to withhold yourself from interrupting a conversation.

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Active listeners pay rapt attention to the speaker. Rather than thinking about their response, they show the speaker that they are listening and interested in the subject of discussion, even if it means putting away mobile devices and laptops.

You also clarify understanding by asking questions and making clarifications without interrupting or redirecting the conversation. And at the end of the conversation, you provide an honest and polite response.

2. Body language

Body language is the non-verbal cue that is used to communicate your intentions and feelings. When communicating with others, display open body language such as smiling, taking a relaxed position, nodding your head, uncrossing your arms, and maintaining good eye contact. You will want to avoid demonstrating closed body language such as shifting of eyes, folding of arms or legs, avoiding eye contact, etc to prevent being scrutinized as untrustworthy or uninterested in the subject of discussion.

If you can understand and interpret body language, then you’ll be able to pick up the negative feelings and unspoken words in others.

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3. Verbal Communication

This is one of the many examples of interpersonal skills. it involves the use of words to disseminate a message either through spoken or written words. It is often used to provide missing information and clarifying misunderstandings. In some cases, the use of powerful words is much more beneficial than actions, especially when correcting a wrong.

To communicate interactively through verbal communication, direct your speech to the audience, ensure what you’re saying aligns with your voice and body language, speak with confidence and enthusiasm, reflect on what someone else has said by paraphrasing, and summarising.

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4. Assertiveness

This is the ability to express positive and negative feelings and ideas in a direct honest and open way. Assertiveness is one of the major examples of interpersonal skills, being assertive entails that you understand your rights and opinions while not disrespecting the rights and opinions of others.

Being assertive helps you to be responsible for yourself and your actions without blaming others. You let people know how you feel, listen to what other people have to say and empathize with them, speak at an appropriate conversational volume, maintain good eye contact, and avoid exaggeration.

5. Negotiation skills

This involves having a well-prepared discussion that is aimed towards an agreement. it includes avoiding the assumption of evil, demonstrating patience, conserving integrity, avoiding manipulative tactics and threats, concentrating first on the problem, simplifying problems, rejecting weak solutions, and seeking interest-based decisions.

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The importance of interpersonal skills cannot be overrated. Good negotiation skill is one of the most important interpersonal communication skills that is needed in a variety of situations. The ability to negotiate will earn you respect and trust from people as they will see you as someone who has everyone’s best interest at heart.

6. Empathy

Empathy, which is the awareness of the emotions and feelings of other people is one of the examples of intrapersonal skills that are needed for effective communication. It is an obligation that involves the immersion of oneself to another person’s viewpoint to understand the situation from their point of view.

It is the link between self and others, you’ll be able to understand how people feel to communicate your thoughts and ideas to them in a way that makes sense, and likewise, you will be able to understand them when they communicate.

7. Openness

Openness to feedback is one of the major interpersonal communication skills you must develop.

You shouldn’t only speak with people with related opinions to yours, but also hear from people with different opinions and show interest in what they say intending to understand their mode of thinking.

Being open shows a positive learning attitude. it shows that you are willing to learn from others even though you are in disagreement, and for sure people will love and respect you for that. The importance of interpersonal skills in openness can not be overlooked, to be the best at what you do you must restrain your ego and focus on the factual requirements.

8. Resolution of conflict

Resolution of conflict between two or more people to find a peaceful solution to a disagreement is one of the important interpersonal communication skills needed for effective communication.

The importance of interpersonal skills in conflict resolution helps you to understand underlying problems and listen actively to provide solutions to disagreements. You will likely have to resolve a financial, personal, emotional, or political conflict at some point either within your friends, family, peer groups, or even at the workplace. So, when this dispute arises it is best to negotiate to settle the controversy.

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9. Decision making and problem-solving skills

Decision-making and problem solving are two major examples of interpersonal communication skills. Whatever you are, wherever you are, and whatever you do, you’re often faced with countless problems and decisions in your day-to-day activities. The ability to make decisions and solve problems is a creative way of thinking that helps to maintain unity within a team.

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To be able to make decisions and solve problems, you must be able to identify the problems, explore all solutions available, decide on which solution to implement, implement the solution and review the outcome.

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10. Teamwork

Teamwork involves many other interpersonal skills such as flexibility, active listening, communication, and responsibility. To achieve a common goal in a business or a particular project, people must be able to work well together to achieve this goal. To succeed in teamwork, team members must trust one another to do their roles effectively.

What you need to know about the importance of interpersonal skills

The Importance of interpersonal skills is evident in your personal and professional life where you need to communicate and work with individuals and groups of people. People with a strong interpersonal communication skill tends to understand friends, family, clients, and co-workers to build a solid relationship.

In many organizations, employers have a preference for staff with good interpersonal skills because they often collaborate well with their colleagues effectively and work well on team works. Your ability to motivate and communicate effectively with other people is one of the characteristics of a good leader.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the four principles of interpersonal communication?

The four principles of communication are; Inevitable, complex, irreversible, contextual

What happens if you lack interpersonal communication skills?

The lack of good interpersonal communication skills leads to miscommunication, inefficiency and, discontentment.

What are the main factors that affect interpersonal communication?

Four major factors are affecting interpersonal communications and are Situational factors, Cultural factors, Physical factors, Developmental factors

What are the three modes of intrapersonal communication?

The modes of communication are Interpretive mode of communication, Interpersonal mode of communication, Presentational mode of communication

What are the basic goals of interpersonal communication?

The basic goals of personal communication are to meet social needs, manage personal identity, create shared meaning, and carry out their relationship.


Interpersonal communication is just like any other soft skill that can be learned and mastered. If you have good interpersonal communication skills, you will be seen as understanding and will gain the love and respect of society.


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