Key Difference – Personal vs Interpersonal Skill
The difference between personal and interpersonal skills is quite explicit. Humans have evolved with unique abilities compared with other life forms in the world. They are able to use tools, communicate, learn, analyze and synthesize. We can term such abilities as personal skills which are important to succeed in life. Without such advanced personal skills we, humans are same as other living creatures. In the job market, employers decide the suitable candidate for a posting, based on the candidate skills in completing the described task effectively. Generally, people specialize in certain skills. For example, Michael Schumacher had good mechanical skills and was well suited for racing sports. Such specialized skills are generally acquired by birth or developed through experience, training, and learning. They require continuous effort to be sustainable. Communication and ability to interact creates a sub-sector in personal skills named interpersonal skills. Interpersonal skill is part of the personal skills and a vital skill in carrying out the duties in business or employment. The key difference between personal and interpersonal skills is that personal skills are the abilities an individual possess which are considered to be his/her strengths while interpersonal skills are the set of abilities needed by a person to positively and effectively communicate with others. Below we will detail each skill under respective topics.
What are Personal Skills?
Personal skills can be defined as the abilities a human being possesses. These can be in the form of abilities and attributes. For example, Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father of Singapore was a great visionary leader who possessed excellent leadership skills; this is his personal skill. Knowing what skill we specialize is important in personal and professional scenarios.
Personal skills can be categorized into two. One is soft skills while the other is hard skills (technical skills). Soft skills are the intangible attributes of our personality. Soft skills aid us in interaction with others and are related to our attitude, emotions, habits, communication style, social manners and personality. Relationships are built using soft skills with family, friends, co-workers, etc.
Hard skills are specific attributes related to performing a task. Hard skills are more work or revenue oriented. These skills are usually the abilities and knowledge related to certain areas. Further, it can be easily quantified and evaluated. The hard skills are mostly absorbed by the individual via education and experience. Examples of hard skills are language proficiency, subject proficiency (accounts, audit, management, medicine, etc.), driving skills, etc. Such skills determine the employability and help the employer to assign responsibilities & tasks.
Both soft and hard skills are a necessity. They work in tandem and can complement each other which create a unique personality for an individual.
What are Interpersonal Skills?
As already discussed interpersonal skill is part of the personal skill of an individual. Interpersonal skills can be defined as “The set of abilities needed by a person to positively and effectively communicate with others”. They can include skills like leadership, delegation, listening, negotiation, people manners, social awareness, positive attitude, assertiveness, persuasion, etc.
The term is highly used in business contexts to refer to the ability of a person to complete tasks with a group (teamwork) and to effectively communicate with customers. The foundation for strong relationships is good interpersonal skills. Interpersonal skill is classified under the ‘soft skill’ category of personal skills. In daily life and work, awareness of interpersonal skill of own and others can immensely be helpful in completing the tasks and building a positive relationship.
What is the difference between Personal and Interpersonal Skill?
We have looked at a detailed viewpoint on personal skill and interpersonal skills individually. Now, we will look at the differences between these terms.
Definition of Personal and Interpersonal Skill
Personal skill: Personal skill is the abilities an individual possess which are considered to be his/her strengths.
Interpersonal skill: Interpersonal skills are the set of abilities needed by a person to positively and effectively communicate with others.
Characteristics of Personal and Interpersonal Skill
Limitation / Boundary
Interpersonal skill: Interpersonal skill is only limited to the communication aspects of interacting with others.
Personal skill: Personal skill includes all the abilities an individual possesses including the communication abilities. Interpersonal skill is part of the personal skill. Examples of other skills are technical skills, critical thinking, predicting the future, etc.
Interpersonal skill: Interpersonal skill along does not reflect a person’s personality and attitude. It’s just a part of the personality.
Personal skill: Personality is crafted by an individual’s personal skills especially the soft skills. Interpersonal skill is part of the soft skills.
Interpersonal skill: Interpersonal skill alone cannot make an individual whole or complete.
Personal skill: Personal skills can make an individual a complete human. It’s the correct mix of soft and hard skill a human possess makes him/her complete.
Though, interpersonal skill is an important ability to grow and survive this alone does not guarantee a complete human. Other abilities also are required for a person to be complete. Such all skills are known as personal skills.