Interpersonal Skills in Organizations


Skills have a huge impact on the way an individual carries him or herself. This involves both personal and organizational lives. According to sociologists, there are a number of factors that influence the ability of an individual to acquire and develop various skills that influence their personality (Dowd, Dejanasz, & Schneider, 2014).

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Some of these factors include the kind of upbringing, the environment, social factors such as friendships, and to some degree, biological factors through inherited traits. They involve the outcome of the conscious and unconscious choices that someone makes regarding various elements in life. Human beings have the ability to choose between good or bad, right or wrong, as well as valuable or not valuable, an element that influences the development of individual skills (Dowd et al., 2014).

One of the greatest human desires is achieving success by achieving both personal and career goals. In order to fulfill this objective, sociologists argue that there is a need for better alignment between individual values and corporate goals of the organization that someone works for. Choosing the kind of workplace that suits one personality is also a very important decision that depends a lot on individual skills (Dowd et al., 2014).

The value of this decision reflects on the way employees ought to behave in various organizations depending on their corporate goals. Some of the skills that an individual can incorporate into their organizational life include self-awareness, self-disclosure, conflict management, teamwork, effective communication, and diversity management (Dowd et al., 2014).


Self-awareness refers to the ability of an individual to understand their own individuality. This involves an individual knowing their wants, feelings, strengths, shortcomings, habits, and dislikes, among others. According to experts, one of the most important aspects of human development is self-awareness (Dowd et al., 2014).

In order to develop and advance in life, someone needs to identify the problematic areas in his or her life, accept them, and start working towards making the necessary changes. This means that it is impossible to make any improvements in life without understanding and accepting one’s individuality (Dowd et al., 2014). This skill can be effectively aligned with the values of an individual’s workplace in order to achieve collective success.

This skill enables people to adapt well to various environments, work with people from diverse backgrounds, and handle conflicts in an effective manner. Workplace environments are very dynamic and experience numerous changes regularly (Dowd et al., 2014). Therefore, employees ought to have good self-awareness in order to adapt to the numerous changes in a manner that does not compromise their output.

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In order to achieve organizational success, self-awareness by the employees is inevitable. One of the most important elements of this skill is emotional intelligence. This involves the ability of an individual to understand his or her emotions and the way they can affect others (Dowd et al., 2014).

The fact that workplaces are environments characterized by high levels of diversity, challenges such as conflicts is inevitable. Emotionally competent individuals have a greater awareness of the best way to deal with conflicts depending on the way they understand themselves. In addition, this kind of awareness helps one to improve on the elements of their habits and emotions that attract negative reviews from their colleagues.

However, experts advise that people should not mistake their ability to understand their individuality as a license to believe that they can deal with all manner of challenges (Dowd et al., 2014). It only serves as a good basis for initiating changes because all the flaws are easily identified and dealt with according to one’s values.

Self-awareness makes organizations very successful and stable because employees have a better understanding of each other. Organizational leaders have a responsibility to ensure that the workplace environment is inclusive enough and supportive of various personalities exhibited by their employees (Dowd et al., 2014). Self-awareness can be used as a collective organizational skill to create a strong and reliable benchmark for development.

Communication barriers

Communication is an important element of both individual and organizational lives. Information is very important, thus the need to ensure that it’s conveyed using the best possible means. According to sociologists, certain individual skills such as communication develop through socialization, which in turn depends a lot on the same skill. Interpersonal relationships are very important within organizations, thus the need to ensure that the communication platforms available support the development of this skill among employees (Dowd et al., 2014).

There are a number of factors that affect the ability of individuals to acquire and develop this skill. These factors exist in the form of barriers, whose effects also extend to the organizations in which an individual works. There are several categories of barriers, such as linguistic differences, psychological factors, physical limitations, systematic barriers, and attitudinal impediments (Dowd et al., 2014).

Linguistic differences entail the inability of an individual to pass the message in a clear manner, as well as the receivers’ comprehension ability. According to experts, the psychological condition of both the sender and receiver impacts the perception developed about a message (Dowd et al., 2014). These conditions include anger, stress, and personal issues, among others.

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Physical limitations entail some of the bodily challenges such as hearing problems that have the ability to impact on the way people pass, receive and comprehend information (Dowd et al., 2014). In addition, elements such as long-distance can, at times, qualify as a physical barrier to communication. Communication experts argue that people tend to pass information more accurately through physical contact or over short distances that do not require the use of complex technology.

Systemic barriers are very common in organizational settings and involve the lack of reliable communication channels. The reliable and constant flow of information between different departments within an organization is very important. Thus the need to ensure that the information systems used are effective. In addition, the employees should have knowledge of the various models of communication adopted by their organization (Dowd et al., 2014).

Attitudinal barriers entail the habits, beliefs, and perceptions by people that inhibit their ability to pass, receive, or comprehend information in an effective manner. Some of the factors that contribute to these kinds of communication barriers in interpersonal relationships and within organizations include poor handling of conflicts, lack of effective leadership, unwanted change, as well as lack of incentives for motivation (Dowd et al., 2014).

Some of the notable barriers that affect the development of this interpersonal skill include the use of jargon, low concentration spans, the difference in viewpoints, and cultural diversity. Effective communication is very crucial for the development of interpersonal relationships, as well as the achievement of organizational success (Dowd et al., 2014).

Conflict management

Conflicts are a common element in both interpersonal relationships and organizational cultures. The main reason for the development of conflicts is the diverse opinions, experiences, interests, and personalities. Good conflict management skills are a highly desirable competency, especially in the contemporary workplace environment that is characterized by high cultural diversity (Dowd et al., 2014).

Culture has a huge impact on the way people perceive various things, thus the need to ensure a high degree of cultural competency within the workforce. The initial step of dealing effectively with conflicts is developing a sense of self-awareness. This mainly involves interpersonal relationships, whereby one individual ought to learn every element that influences his or her personality in order to communicate with others well (Dowd et al., 2014).

Self-awareness is the form of employees getting to know each other is also a good step towards managing conflicts effectively within an organization. According to conflict management experts, lack of understanding and mutual respect is some of the main causes of conflicts in the workplace. They argue that it is important for people to share their feelings because it creates an opportunity for others to know them and understand their reason for behaving in a certain way (Dowd et al., 2014).

Poor listening skills also contribute to the development of conflicts in interpersonal relationships and within the workplace. In most cases, someone tends to feel ignored or disrespected when communicating with a passive listener. Active listening can be a solution to this challenge and eventually help in reducing the number of conflicts.

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In some cases, people have issues managing conflicts because they do not give the other party involved in the scuffle the opportunity to explain themselves. Giving each other turns to talk is an effective interpersonal skill that applies very effectively in avoiding conflicts and addressing them whenever they arise (Dowd et al., 2014).

According to experts, it is also very important to avoid developing any forms of defensive mechanisms whenever there is a conflict to be solved. Compromising is an important element in conflict management. It involves the ability to conflict parties to exercise their flexibility by willingly making concessions with regard to their opinions. Research has established that a lack of commonly agreeable solutions to issues within the workplace can lead to conflicts (Dowd et al., 2014).

However, investing in healthy interpersonal relationships can be an effective strategy for addressing such challenges. The essential interpersonal skills for this challenge include effective communication, cultural competency, emotional intelligence, careful evaluation of issues, and a positive attitude (Dowd et al., 2014). In addition, employees should ensure that organizational interests are prioritized over theirs whenever they are in the workplace.

Diversity management

According to research, one of the most attractive skills among employees in the contemporary workplace is cultural competency. Modern workplaces are characterized by employees from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds who also serve a client base with the same features (Dowd et al., 2014).

This has made it hard for some organizations to remain competitive, especially if its workforce does not have a good balance with regard to ethnicity, work experience, religious beliefs, and educational background. Experts argue that people have had very different experiences growing up that end up shaping their personality traits and perceptions about various things.

It is very important for individuals to understand people from other cultural backgrounds and develop effective mechanisms of working with them (Dowd et al., 2014). This is necessary within an organizational setting because employees often work in teams. It is important to note that diversity is a key element for success in every organization.

This relates a lot to multinational corporations that have operations across the world (Dowd et al., 2014). Crucial elements such as the business etiquette vary a lot from one culture to another, thus the need to have a good comprehension of the major cultures across the world.

The best way of exploiting this element is by encouraging employees to develop a deeper sense of self-awareness and establishing all the things they are capable of achieving. When the employees have good knowledge of their strengths and weaknesses, it becomes easier for the organizational leaders to organize them in teams that can deliver maximum output (Dowd et al., 2014).

Research has established that due to factors such as globalization, the rate of immigration across the world has increased a lot over the last couple of decades. This has made it imperative for organizations to build a highly diverse workforce capable of meeting the needs of their large customer base (Dowd et al., 2014).

This phenomenon has also be necessitated by the fact that people are moving to various parts of the world in search of better jobs than those available in their natives land. This means that for such individuals to easily fit into their new working environments, they ought to have the right attitude, skills, and a passion for learning about the value system of the people they will be serving (Dowd et al., 2014).


Everyone needs a little help with something at a certain point in life. Most interpersonal relationships develop a lot because of the ability of the involved parties to play together as a team. According to sociologists, interpersonal relationships play an important role in helping individuals learn the skills and values of working with others. Once these skills are passed to the organization through the workforce, it becomes easier to achieve all the corporate goals (Dowd et al., 2014).

There are a number of strategies that can apply effectively in enhancing this skill among individuals. They include capacity building, encouraging increased personal awareness, developing group tasks, and creating an employee welfare program. According to experts, these strategies help to increase cohesion among the employees because they tend to work together for a long period of time (Dowd et al., 2014).

Development within an organization often banks a lot on the ability of its teams to remain strong and united through the course of various projects. All employees have an ethical responsibility to ensure that whenever there is a team project within the workplace, they give their best output by prioritizing the organization’s needs before theirs. The concept of teamwork is closely associated with interpersonal skills because a good team comprises of different individuals, who put together their various skills and abilities to achieve a common goal (Dowd et al., 2014).


Interpersonal skills play a pivotal role in regard to organizational success. Some of the most notable individual skills that easily align with most organizational cultures include good communication, conflict management, self-awareness, cultural diversity, and the ability to work in a team.

Some people can have two or more of these skills, thus putting them in a highly competitive ranking within an organization that allows one to be a boss or a leader. Research has established that in order to achieve prolonged success, as well as development, there is an urgent need to increase the alignment of interpersonal skills with organizational cultures.


Dowd, K., Dejanasz, S., & Schneider, B. (2014). Interpersonal Skills in Organizations. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.

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