interpersonal skills of leadership

About the author : Valerie Dansereau

Connecting and communicating with others is the heart of leadership. To be an effective leader, you’ll need a variety of interpersonal skills since you’re likely to be interacting with others most of the time. This includes employees, vendors and managers who lead other departments. What are some of the most essential interpersonal skills of leadership?

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is what makes it possible for you to understand and evaluate the emotions being experienced by others and how feelings can drive behavior. It also allows you to recognize and connect with your own feelings while managing your emotions. Emotional intelligence is what helps you manage stress, give feedback to others and successfully coach or lead teams. It also can help you to successfully manage conflict.


As a leader, you’ll need confidence in your ability to lead your team and your ability to communicate to superiors what your department needs for optimal functioning. Confident leaders make eye contact and stand or sit up straight. Speak with clarity and use bold gestures such as firm handshakes, nodding and smiling. Ask leading questions to stimulate discussion.

When leading a meeting or giving a presentation, be concise in your communication since brevity helps others to stay focused. Avoid rambling. Practice thinking on your feet and work on continually improving your communication skills while projecting confidence.


To earn the trust of others, you’ll need to have authenticity. People are inspired by leaders who are open and honest rather than saying what others want to hear. As an authentic leader, the decisions you make each day reflect your beliefs and your personality. Be honest with your staff and give them reasons to trust what you say and how you act.

Positive Energy

An effective leader projects positive energy and has the ability to uplift one or more members of the team when needed. Drawing on positive energy can boost morale and can help you inspire and motivate those around you. Instead of wasting energy complaining about stressful situations, keep looking for and suggesting possible solutions. Projecting positive energy whenever possible can help others to flourish.


The ability to clearly communicate both verbally and in writing is a very important skill for leaders. This comes into play when delegating tasks, when leading meetings and when giving performance reviews. When you are able to deliver your message with clarity, you avoid misunderstandings. Speaking with clarity is also important when you have to give feedback to a staff member that’s critical.

Interest and Empathy for Others

Genuine interest and empathy for others can go a long way toward building relationships with others. Be interested and respectful and take the time to try to understand what’s driving people. The things people are saying isn’t the only clue that can let you know what they’re feeling. Pay attention to facial expressions and body language.

Active listening is an important skill to develop. Allow others to express their thoughts and concerns without interruption. Listen attentively while taking notes and ask questions to clarify anything that might be misconstrued.


Bringing out the best in others depends on bringing out the best in yourself. Get in touch with your words and actions including the body language you’re projecting to those around you. Recognize that you may fall short from time to time, but every interaction provides a new opportunity to learn or sharpen the essential interpersonal skills of leadership. Working with a mentor or coach is a great way to grow in awareness of what you’re doing right and what could use some improvement.

Reach out to Peaceful Leaders Academy to learn about peaceful leadership training.

About the author : Valerie Dansereau