Five Interpersonal Leadership Skills To Empower You as a Leader


As per a Gartner study, 90% of HR leaders feel that focusing on the human aspects of leadership is important for success in the workplace. That said, strong interpersonal skills are no longer bonus qualities in a leader; they're a necessity. These skills help a leader build trust amongst team members to achieve remarkable things. Let’s learn about a few such essential interpersonal skills, explore the challenges leaders face developing them, and discover how to overcome them with the power of AI-driven coaching software. 

Five Essential Interpersonal Leadership Skills For the Modern Workplace

Deep Listening

Most leaders limit themselves to active listening. Active listening skills are invaluable for building trust and rapport with team members. When team members receive your full attention, they open up and provide valuable ideas or feedback that might otherwise be overlooked. However, deep listening is an interpersonal leadership skill that requires you to focus on the non-verbal cues of other persons to understand their needs even though they do not say it out loud. In a study where only 10% of employees feel heard and supported by their leaders, imagine what change a deep listening ability in their leader can bring in them.  


How good are you at communicating your ideas to others? In a recent study, 91% of employees said their leaders do not have good communication skills. Communication should not be a monologue but a dialogue. However, as a leader, communication with empathy and transparency will return trust. The better you are recognizing and validating the feelings of your team members, the more valued they feel. Being transparent in communication involves openly sharing organizational goals, challenges, and opportunities to build a trust between you and your team. 

Conflict Management

Conflict management is one of the core competencies for many leaders. Conflict is a common phenomenon during teamwork. A good leader knows how to turn a conflict into a positive result. When a leader knows how to do that, it leads to a positive work environment and increased productivity. The art of conflict management requires mastery of many interpersonal skills, such as emotional intelligence, problem-solving, negotiation, observation, self-awareness, etc. When leaders self-reflect on their leadership blindspots to improve these qualities, they can resolve conflict to find better outcomes for everyone involved. 


We talked about the role of empathy in communication. But, good leaders know how to use empathy in all dimensions of employee management to extract better outcomes. While 86% of employees look for empathy from their leaders, only half say they get lucky. However, cultivating empathy is a real challenge in the corporate world. It goes beyond simply active listening and making yourself approachable for one-on-one meetings. Rather, empathy stems from encouraging healthy debates and through acknowledging unconscious bias from different angles. This is where leaders can leverage a 360-degree feedback tool to automate the entire process to save them from avoidable problems.


Leaders do not control, they influence. Without influence, leaders struggle to translate vision into action and achieve results. Theoretical language defines influence as an art of persuading others to support your goals and follow your ideas. However, today’s leadership is all about being influential. How can you become influential? Well, it requires you, as a leader, to collect diverse viewpoints of your team on a common objective and build consensus. Involve team members to hunt common ground and bridge idea gaps with collective efforts. When you lead by such an influence, you spark and get similar behaviors from others.   

Challenges of Working On Developing Interpersonal Leadership Skills

Working on your skills is equivalent to working on your flaws. If you want to improve your deep listening ability, you have to first understand what holds you back from doing it in the first place. But, it is easier said than done. Even the most dedicated leaders can face challenges when developing their interpersonal skills. These challenges could be anything (or everything) of the following: 

  • Blind spots: not being able to recognize bottlenecks in their communication, empathy, or emotional intelligence 
  • Fear of feedback: uncomfortable with accepting constructive feedback on interpersonal skills from colleagues 
  • Authoritarian Tendencies: battling with shifting the mindset from a command-and-control style to a collective-feedback-driven environment  
  • Difficulty with open communications: finding it hard to encourage open communication amongst employees to encourage diverse viewpoints  
  • Busy schedules: lack of self-development time while juggling between numerous responsibilities 

How Unifai’s Leadership Coaching Software can Help You Develop Interpersonal Skills

Unifai’s advanced leadership coaching software, coupled with powerful AI models, can analyze communication patterns, leadership styles, and various other interpersonal skills of a leader through surveys and candid feedback. This can help identify blind spots and identify areas for improvement. Unifai includes an automated 360-degree feedback tool that is contextual and longitudinal; it anonymously gathers performance insights from colleagues, subordinates and key stakeholders to provide leaders a helicopter view of their strengths and areas of improvement. 

Let Unifai help you refine your interpersonal skills and unlock your hidden potential. 

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