Human beings are inherently social creatures, thriving best when they can develop connections with other people that are both productive and fulfilling. So, how do you make that happen? You do it by developing both your interpersonal and intrapersonal skills.

Far too often, people focus on one set of these skills and neglect the others, which limits them and subverts their goals. When you develop strong interpersonal and intrapersonal skills alike, you gain the tools that will help you advance your career and find greater enjoyment in your life overall.

Interpersonal vs. Intrapersonal: What’s the Difference?

In a nutshell, your interpersonal skills help you collaborate and work with others, while your intrapersonal skills help you recognize your own strengths and weaknesses. Both skill sets contribute greatly to your personal growth, the ability to set and achieve your goals, and your overall success in both your personal and professional lives.

Interpersonal vs. Intrapersonal Skills (Credit: A Learning A Day)

What Are Interpersonal Skills and Why Are They Important?

Good interpersonal skills boil down to your power to communicate effectively, work collaboratively, and create worthwhile relationships with friends, peers, and clients. Good interpersonal skills can, therefore, ease your way both personally and professionally.

Without good interpersonal skills, you may find it difficult to fit in anywhere or ‘read a room,” and you can inadvertently damage your working environment or create friction that impairs your creativity, productivity, and value to your team or company.

Good interpersonal skills boil down to your power to communicate effectively, work collaboratively, and create worthwhile relationships.

Professionals with strong interpersonal skills know how to work with other people. They’re conscious of everything from their body language to their tone of voice, not just the message they’re delivering through their words. Some of the top interpersonal skills you need in a collaborative environment include:

  • Empathy: Your ability to connect with other people’s feelings and thoughts can help you bond with your colleagues, boost morale, and inspire loyalty.
  • Inclusiveness: An important part of team building, inclusiveness builds a culture of growth and encourages creative thinking. It helps others feel safe expressing their ideas.
  • Influence: Your ability to get others to listen to you and make positive changes can ensure a better working environment and help you achieve greater results.
  • Responsiveness: When you respond to requests for information or concerns promptly and clearly, you ease the frustrations of others and show that you value their time, thoughts, and energy.

What Are Intrapersonal Skills and Why Are They Important?

Your intrapersonal skills are all about the internal dialogue you have with yourself. Good intrapersonal skills help you manage your emotions effectively, set goals, self-motivate, cope with distractions, strategize and adjust your approach to any given situation as needed. Some of the most important intrapersonal skills in a collaborative work environment include:

  • Productivity: Your ability to handle your workload and produce above-average results stems from your internal strengths and core motivation.
  • Resilience: When you bounce back from disappointments and setbacks with ease, you showcase your inner positivity and power.
  • Resourcefulness: Knowing how to optimize what you have inspires creativity and helps you generate new ideas.
Intrapersonal skills require introspection and self-awareness (Credit: Pexels)

How Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Skills Work Together for Career and Life Success

Intrapersonal skills are a requirement for consistently good interpersonal skills. After all, if you don’t understand your own needs, you can’t easily recognize the needs of others. If you haven’t taken care of yourself, it can be impossible to put the focus on others. Your intrapersonal skills, such as self-awareness, resilience, and positivity, allow you to better contribute to your team or company.

The confidence you build through intrapersonal development conveys a sense to others that you have yourself together. People generally trust and enjoy working with other people that seem to be full of positivity and strength, so strong intrapersonal skills tend to inspire even stronger trust and collaboration.

Essentially, your intrapersonal skills involve self-awareness and an internal dialogue with yourself that informs your interpersonal skills and the interactions you have with those around you. Together, they form the emotional intelligence that can set you apart from everyone else in your field.


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Cover Photo Credit: Pixabay