Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills are how people relate to one another.

Successful Peer Mentors/student leaders develop good interpersonal skills:

  • The ability to balance one’s own emotions and opinions while
    relating to others, and a genuine interest in developing a shared understanding where each of you has accurate information about the other’s ideas and suggestions, feelings, intentions, emotional responses and assumptions.

Effective interpersonal communication include the following skills:

A structured way of active listening and responding to others by
focusing attention on the speaker:

  • Listen, be encouraging, and clarify (check that you understand by restating or paraphrasing). Show concern for the person and their feelings, summarize and validate.

Transmit information (speak/share information) without accusation or judgement.
Suspend your own frame of reference and judgment to fully attend to the speaker:

  • Describe actions/details without generalizing about motives or attitudes. E.g. “Bob has done most of the talking and the rest of us have said very little”, rather than “Bob likes to hog the spotlight”.

Identify feelings by conveying information about your inner state and not as an accusation. E.g. “I felt hurt when you ignored my comment”, rather than “You’re rude“. “I am disappointed that you forgot”, rather than “You don’t care about me”.