In today’s competitive job market, it’s common to come across job adverts emphasizing the importance of communication and interpersonal skills. But have you ever wondered what employers truly mean by these requirements? Understanding the distinction between communication and interpersonal skills is crucial to grasping what employers are seeking in potential candidates. In this blog post, we explore the nuances between the two and shed light on various types of communication skills that are highly valued by employers across industries.
Communication Skills: The “What”
Communication skills encompass the different methods individuals employ to convey information effectively. These skills include presenting, negotiating, questioning, explaining, listening, facilitating, highlighting, liaising, and engaging in day-to-day interactions. They pertain to both face-to-face interactions and virtual communications conducted over the phone, video chats, or online platforms. Mastering these skills is essential for building relationships, fostering trust, and shaping others’ perceptions of you.
- Day-to-Day Interactions
Your ability to engage in daily interactions forms the foundation of effective communication. Consider how you ask questions, explain ideas or concepts, listen actively, negotiate, facilitate discussions, and liaise between different individuals or groups. These interactions significantly influence how others perceive you and the relationships you build.
Presentation skills are essential for breaking down complex ideas, capturing and maintaining audience attention, and utilizing visuals to enhance your message. Presenting can be intimidating, but it is a skill that can be developed through practice. It’s important to note that presentations are not limited to large audiences; they can involve sharing ideas or visuals with just a few individuals.
Networking often evokes anxiety, particularly for those lacking experience. However, effective networking is a skill that can be cultivated with practice. Building new relationships relies on your ability to connect with others, both in person and online. It involves asking insightful questions, actively listening, balancing self-disclosure, and being aware of your body language.
Written communication is as crucial as oral communication in conveying messages effectively. This includes online communication through emails, instant messages, and workflow tools, as well as conveying key information, concepts, and ideas through reports, memos, job applications, CVs/resumes, website and social media content, advertisements, and even books. Adapting your writing style to suit specific contexts is a vital aspect of this skill.
Teaching is a specialized communication skill relevant to roles involving coaching, mentoring, training, or counseling others. While commonly associated with educators, teaching encompasses the ability to communicate concepts or ideas for the growth and benefit of others, necessitating active listening and effective delivery.
Interpersonal Skills: The “How”
Interpersonal skills focus on how individuals communicate and interact with others. They encompass emotional intelligence, empathy, active listening, conflict resolution, collaboration, and teamwork. These skills contribute to building positive relationships, fostering effective teamwork, and establishing a harmonious work environment.
The Universal Need for Communication Skills
Exceptional communication skills are universally sought-after in all job roles and levels. However, the specific skills valued may vary depending on the position. For instance, a journalist requires excellent writing skills, while consulting, translating, publishing, and campaigning demand specialized communication skills. It is crucial to analyze job adverts to identify the specific communication skills sought by employers in your desired role or industry.
Developing Your Communication and Interpersonal Skills
To excel in communication and interpersonal skills, focus on refining your general written and oral communication abilities, networking prowess, and presentation skills. Pay attention to job adverts for clues about the sought-after communication skills and gain insights into the skills most relevant to your preferred role or industry. Assess your own abilities, identify areas for improvement, and dedicate time to practice and enhance your skills continuously.
When employers emphasize the need for candidates with strong communication and interpersonal skills, they are seeking individuals who can effectively convey information and interact harmoniously with others. By understanding the distinction between these skills and acknowledging their importance, you can proactively develop and showcase your proficiency. Remember, communication skills are fundamental to success across all professions, and with practice and self-awareness, you can become a highly effective communicator capable of thriving in any role.
Lulu Snickerdoodle @ Hobbit Media Network