Interpersonal Relationships

Following on from two of our previous posts, we’ll now focus upon interpersonal, the third element of the EQi ‘wheel’. The interpersonal realm involves developing successful relationships built on trust and understanding, demonstrating a concern for others. Having high emotional intelligence enhances our ability to get the very best from people in order to build long lasting relationships.

Interpersonal capability within a team allows members to establish successful and valued relationships. Fostering both trust and respect, allowing for honest and open communication. Obtaining high interpersonal capability allows us to listen to each other in a different way, so we can read between the lines.

Take a real life situation for example, where one of our senior emotional intelligence coaches worked with a senior leader from a UK based property management service. The senior leader had aspirations of joining the board for organisation but he was held back in the wake of his interpersonal capability. This particular leader was great at building relationships, however it was clear from looking at his reports that he lacked the aspect of empathy. He came across as highly motivated but sometimes failed to motivate his team if they failed to share his vision.

The feedback we gave him allowed him to develop more care and consideration when collaborating with others. It was a worthwhile revelation for his leadership capability that enabled him over three months to adjust his approach and achieve his invitation on the board.


Bar-On (1997) suggested that we need to have the ability to both understand and appreciate others’ feelings in order to be emotionally intelligent. We need to build successful and meaningful relationships to improve our overall well-being and ability to succeed in life.

The Interpersonal element consists of three main parts:

• Interpersonal relationships – These allow you to build on skills for developing reputation and nurturing relationships.
• Empathy – This deals with the ability to understand and to appreciate the feelings of others, putting yourself in their shoes.
• Social responsibility – This shows how you can cooperate within the workplace, demonstrating your concern for others and their wellbeing.


Our Interpersonal skills allow us to consciously empathise with our colleagues. This suggests that we care for their welfare and always maintain successful relationships, hence the importance of this realm of the wheel.


Words: Kimberley Walton

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