5 Interpersonal Skills ALL Effective Managers Need

Social Media And ConnectionsWhen new managers are appointed, employers often evaluate their technical skills or industry-related experience before hiring them.

However, managers need other valuable skills to effectively lead teams to do their jobs, as well.

Interpersonal skills are on top of this list, as a good leader needs to be able to communicate with, motivate and discipline employees.

Interpersonal management skills

Here’s a list of 5 important interpersonal skills that every effective manager needs. At the bottom of this article I have also linked to a further 2 comprehensive resources that provide a lot more detail about interpersonal and communication skills – how they are different and how to improve each one.

Whether you are looking to hire a new manager for your firm, or you are a new manager looking to improve and have had no formal Management Training, consider which areas you need to work on to be more productive.

Verbal communication

This is a key when leading a team.

Managers must be able to speak concisely, professionally and to the point.

They must have the vocabulary required to make themselves understood; otherwise their staff will not be able to complete their tasks.

But there’s a difference between communicating and communicating effectively. The best managers can get their point across and at the same time use their people skills to communicate in such a way that the other person understands the task and more importantly that they are bought in and want to complete it.

Nonverbal communication

Although often overlooked, is often more important than verbal.

This includes tone, pitch, volume, facial expressions, hand gestures, clothing choices, etc.

A leader who constantly crosses their arms when addressing their staff may seem uncomfortable or standoffish.

A manager who can’t hold eye contact during a conversation will seem bored and uninterested. It’s not “what” you say, it’s “how” you say it that is remembered more. To improve your communication skills please check out our Communication Skills Training.

Listening skills

These skills are necessary for effective leaders.

This requires truly listening in a one-on-one conversation or in a meeting to make sure all questions, concerns and comments have been heard and addressed.

Effective listening can ward off potential mistakes and screw ups, and can greatly impact the communication process.

Motivation interpersonal skills

Understanding what makes other tick is a key skill of a top manager. They understand the motivations and drivers of their staff so they can manage and lead them effectively. There’s more to motivation than just money though!

Within our Influencing Skills Training we cover seeing things from others’ perspectives and listening effectively.


In my book is one of the most important interpersonal skills.

Interpersonal skills are all about people and if you can’t understand others, their world and what they might be going through then you will have a hard time to truly connect with them and get the best out of them.

Put yourself in the shoes of others and see life from their perspective. That’s what having empathy is all about.

Interpersonal skills special guides

The guides below offer a more detailed look into interpersonal skills for managers. Take a look at the differences between communication skills and interpersonal skills and also the 3 most important roles for a manager.

Click below for more.

communication vs interpersonal skills
interpersonal roles


I hope all this information is of use to you. If you’re a manager and looking to improve your skills further then please check out our FREE Online Management Course. It’s split out into 5 online sessions and it’s all yours with no charge. Topics include managerial styles, coaching, feedback, delegation, communication, and leading high performing teams.

Get in touch if you’d like some further information about our Management Skills Courses or Leadership Development Training.

Thanks again




Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   

Personal Development Hub

Please click below for other relevant personal development tips and advice.
Our personal development hub contains useful techniques and
strategies to improve your skills as a manager.

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Updated on: 22 July, 2016

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