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In places where people work in close quarters and teamwork is vital to accomplishing goals, interpersonal skills that allow people to work together in harmony are essential. Those who bring these skills with them every day are good communicators, doing their share as part of a group effort, and generally contributing to overall workplace wellness.

But some people lack understanding of these interpersonal skills. Maybe they never developed strong problem-solving skills or are poor listeners. Perhaps they display a lack of empathy for those around them, or can’t seem to return even the most basic emails or phone calls. If this sounds like you, it’s important to understand that interpersonal skills are extremely valuable and important to your career. We’ll share with you some simple tips so you can develop or improve this skill set, shoring up any deficits you might have in this area.

In the most basic sense, interpersonal skills are those social skills that allow people to interact well with each other. This includes the ability to communicate clearly with others and nurture relationships with those you work with. It includes a wide range of abilities, from being a good listener and problem-solver to being able to make decisions efficiently. If these are not your strong points, there are a few easy ways you can improve these skills and start connecting better with your colleagues.

Get a Mentor

Pick someone who has great interpersonal skills and work hard to emulate them. It can be a coworker, or someone you know in another capacity. Watch how they interact with people and how they do their job. Ask them for their advice and tell them you’re looking for someone to help you sharpen your skills, so they can work alongside you to help you achieve your goals.


Overcommunicating does not mean oversharing, nor does it mean you need to rapid-fire emails to colleagues filled with every trivial detail from a particular meeting. It means that you have the skills to communicate effectively so that everyone who needs to know something is on the same page. Work projects can involve several colleagues from different departments. It’s important that each person has the same information so they can truly work together to accomplish the goal. This means avoiding the so-called “communication silos” where people working on something only communicate information within their small group, not seeing the bigger picture or involving others from outside their tight-knit circle.

Take an Online Course

Brushing up on your interpersonal skills online, away from other people, might seem counter-productive at first, but it’s really not. Online courses to help you enhance these skills have become more common in recent years. Some can be done in just a few hours, or you can break them into parts and do a course over the span of a few days. Online learning offers privacy, a chance to take your time studying the examples given, and frequently offers videos covering specific scenarios. Some of the topics in these classes include:

  • Learning to appreciate the difference between hearing and listening.
  • Understanding what non-verbal communication is (the way someone looks, moves and reacts) and how learning to read body language can improve interpersonal relationships.
  • How to start a conversation, participate actively, and move it along to other topics.
  • Easy ways to remember a person’s name – and how to manage if you cannot.
  • How to see someone else’s point of view.

Strive to be More Empathetic

Being able to read someone else’s feelings is an important interpersonal skill. At work, understanding why someone is upset, feels left out or overlooked can help you assess their needs, and how that impacts your team. The same goes for motivation. Being able to recognize that a colleague is unmotivated – and getting to the reason behind that – will allow you to deal with the situation and keep your group’s work on track.

Learn to Manage Your Differences

People who work closely with each other will have occasional differences of opinion. You might think something has to be done one way, while a colleague is pushing for a different approach. How you resolve this depends on how strong your interpersonal skills are. Learning to empathetically step into another person’s shoes and see their side of things will allow you to build a bridge between your approach and theirs. You want to practice being assertive, but remember to keep calm. Getting upset can exacerbate the difference of opinion and make the other person dig in and refuse to find middle ground where your solution likely lies. In the end, the goal is conflict resolution and reaching a mutual understanding.

If you have a meeting coming up where a conflict could arise, make sure you prepare beforehand by getting a good night’s sleep.† Try taking Nutrilite™ Sleep Health, a safe and natural way to relax so you can fall asleep. It also contains lemon balm extract, which has a mild calming effect.

Strengthening your interpersonal skills not only makes you a more effective communicator and a better listener, it’s a way to foster wellness at your workplace and make your time spent there more enjoyable and productive.

† This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.