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It’s no secret that interpersonal skills are the way of the future. In fact, it’s likely they will define your future. A 2018 LinkedIn global survey of 4,000 professionals concluded that “training for soft skills is the number-one priority.”
Why? Soft skills—often referred to as emotional intelligence, or EQ—are what set us apart. According to a 2015 LinkedIn report, people with high EQ make on average $29,000 more than their non-emotionally intelligent counterparts. The bottom line is that you’ll thrive in the job market if you have strong interpersonal skills. While there is a broad range of skills that can be called “interpersonal,” the following five are absolutely critical:
It’s easy to get absorbed in our work (or ourselves) and forget about common courtesy, but demonstrating respect for others is key to developing personal relationships. When you’re in a meeting—or anywhere else, really—wait for people to finish what they’re saying before you chime in. Thank others when they’ve shared an idea, acknowledge their contribution, and build upon it. If you’re leading the meeting, acknowledge everyone’s presence by inviting comments from each person and thanking them for participating.
Another way to convey respect is by showing up on time for appointments and meetings. (And if you come into a meeting late, don’t try to justify it by saying, “I had a meeting with our chairman,” or “I got stuck in traffic.” Just show up on time.)