What are Interpersonal Skills?

Interpersonal skills are generally considered to include a wide range of skills, such as:

Communication skills

which in turn covers:

  • Verbal Communication – what we say and how we say it;
  • Non-Verbal Communication – what we communicate without words, for example through body language, or tone of voice; and
  • Listening Skills – how we interpret both the verbal and non-verbal messages sent by others.

Emotional intelligence

Being able to understand and manage your own and others’ emotions.


Being able to work with others in groups and teams, both formal and informal.

Negotiation, persuasion and influencing skills

Working with others to find a mutually agreeable (Win/Win) outcome. This may be considered a subset of communication, but it is often treated separately.

Conflict resolution and mediation

Working with others to resolve interpersonal conflict and disagreements in a positive way, which again may be considered a subset of communication.

Problem solving and decision-making

Working with others to identify, define and solve problems, which includes making decisions about the best course of action.