Human Relations Skills (With Definition And Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 13 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Human relations abilities and skills are essential for developing meaningful professional and personal relationships. These skills can help employees create a positive work environment, enhance collaboration and improve productivity. You can improve your career, leadership style and communication by developing your human relation skills. In this article, we define what human relations skills are, discuss some examples of these skills, explain how to improve them, describe their utility in the workplace and share how to highlight them while applying for jobs.

What Are Human Relations Skills?

Human relations skills are the interpersonal abilities of an employee that help them communicate, multitask, negotiate, collaborate and achieve professional goals. These skills play a crucial role in helping employees and organisations achieve their goals. Professionals with strong human relations abilities tend to be more efficient and motivated as compared to their peers.

While human relation skills mainly comprise an individual's innate qualities, it is possible to learn these skills with adequate time, effort and training. Organisations that help employees develop their human relation skills can benefit from having a more engaged and productive workforce. Such organisations are also more likely to have an open, collaborative, respectful and transparent workplace culture.

Related: Interpersonal Skills: Definitions And Examples

Examples Of Human Relations Skills

Here are some prominent examples of human relationship skills:

Communication

Meaningful and productive communication can be essential for employees to freely express their thoughts, ideas, opinions and feedback. Strong communication skills can help employees effectively overcome cultural, collaboration and productivity barriers. Using the right modes of communication and through active listening, managers can encourage an inclusive dialogue between senior leaders and subordinates and enable peers to interact with each other in a transparent manner.

Related: Top Communication Skills For A Resume (With Examples)

Conflict resolution

Conflicts arising due to varied opinions and strong personalities can be common in the workplace. When managers and team members know how to avoid and resolve disputes, they can help build a fair and inclusive work environment. Conflict resolution includes abilities such as active listening, emotional intelligence, problem-solving, stress management and teamwork.

Related: Conflict Management Skills: Definition And Examples

Multitasking

The modern workplace culture and environment can often be unpredictable. Employees who can multitask several crucial work processes simultaneously and focus on unanticipated work emergencies can be valuable assets for their company. Knowing how to multitask can include skills like prioritisation, goal setting, time management, deadline management, stress alleviation and decision-making.

Organisation

Organisation skills can be essential for maintaining high productivity. These skills can help employees meet deadlines, manage time and optimise work processes effectively. Besides physical organisation skills, such as orderliness, abilities like delegation, attention to detail, analytical thinking, planning, time management and stress management can be vital for employees in the workplace. These skills can be particularly important for professionals who manage large amounts of data, documents or figures.

Ethics

Ethics are the moral codes and duties that employees follow to perform their roles with honesty and sincerity. Ethics help develop trust between employees, employers, customers, clients and other stakeholders. Working ethically can be critical for a workplace and its employees to function optimally. Some important abilities that include ethics are honesty, integrity, confidentiality, compassion, fidelity and privacy. Employees who act ethically can help their company generate goodwill with customers, prevent malpractice, reduce the risk of non-compliance and attract talented employees.

Related: Business Ethics: Definition, Principles And Importance

Empathy

Empathy helps employees recognise and manage emotions effectively in the workplace. Being empathetic can be essential to providing feedback, managing client expectations, setting realistic goals and crediting team members for their contributions. Empathic skills include abilities like curiosity, active listening, self-awareness, emotional intelligence and open-mindedness. By being mindful of your emotions and the sentiment of others, you can be empathetic in your interactions with your colleagues.

Related: Empathic Skills: Definition And Examples (With Tips)

Negotiation

Negotiation is the ability to discuss, persuade and agree to mutually agreeable solutions or terms. Employees deploy negotiation skills when finalising their salary during interviews or promotions, discussing deadlines with team leaders, deciding the dates of a break and signing contracts with clients or vendors. These skills can help develop professional relationships, save financial resources, avoid conflict and create practical solutions to disputes. Negotiation skills include planning, strategising, persuasion, listening, problem-solving and emotional intelligence.

Related: Negotiation Skills: Definitions, Benefits And Examples

Respect

Self-respect and respect for your colleagues can help develop a positive attitude and high motivation. Organisations, where communication, collaboration and culture are respectful, tend to be more efficient and inclusive. Being respectful includes interacting politely, listening to different viewpoints, offering sincere feedback, valuing each others' time and conducting professionally.

Related: Social Skills: Definition, Examples And Why They Are Important

How To Improve Human Relations Skills?

Follow these steps to improve your human relations skills:

  1. Set clear goals. Clarifying your role and what the company expects from you can help set clear professional goals, which enables better communication and transparency. Doing this can help create mutually-acceptable professional goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based.

  2. Improve collaboration with team members. Find new opportunities to collaborate with company leaders, managers and employees. Join employee network groups or volunteer for projects that help you improve your teamwork skills.

  3. Accept feedback and criticism. Seek feedback from managers, mentors and colleagues on how you can improve your human relations and interpersonal skills. This can be crucial to identify existing weaknesses and improve your strengths.

  4. Use technology to enhance productivity. Identify relevant tools and software applications that can help you multitask and communicate effectively. This can also help improve your productivity and collaboration skills.

  5. Measure progress and seek support. Consciously track your progress and measure the outcomes of projects and collaborations. If you think you require professional support from your team or manager to improve specific skills, discuss how making certain changes in the existing workflow can help you achieve the same.

Related: How To Improve Communication Skills

Human Relations Skills In The Workplace

Here is how you can benefit from human relation skills in the workplace:

  • Enhanced productivity: Strong and transparent communication can result in employees collaborating effectively and working on tasks efficiently, which can result in better individual performance and higher team productivity. It can also lead to higher employee engagement and motivation levels in the company.

  • Inclusive environment: Employees with strong human relation skills can help build a more inclusive and equitable work environment that creates a sense of belongingness within the team. This can make employees a stakeholder in the growth of the company.

  • Better flow of information: Organisations, where employees foster respectful professional relationships and trust each other, can regulate formal and informal channels of communication effectively. This can prevent miscommunication and misunderstandings between colleagues.

  • Higher creativity and innovation: Employees with strong multitasking and conflict resolution skills tend to be more creative, innovative and flexible. This can make the workforce and company more agile and responsive to new challenges.

Related: Importance Of Soft Skills In The Workplace

Highlighting Human Relations Abilities In Job Applications And Interviews

Here is how you can highlight your knowledge of human relations during the job search process:

Human relation skills for a resume and cover letter

Choose an appropriate format and structure that showcases your skills effectively. Focus on the skills section of the resume to list relevant human relation skills and emphasises specific skills that the employer has included in the job description. To highlight your skills in the cover letter, select two or three most vital skills and explain them in the body of the letter. You can also use specific examples of using these skills that resulted in quantifiable outcomes in your current or previous job.

Human relation skills for a job interview

Exhibit important skills such as empathy, attention to detail, active listening, confidence and respect during the interview. When asked about your professional accomplishments and work experience, begin by describing your strengths and how you use specific human relation skills to achieve outcomes. Share examples and anecdotes from your professional experience that show how you implemented these skills and discuss how you are currently improving them.

Explore more articles