The Importance of Intrapersonal Skills in the Workplace

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published August 4, 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.

You may recognize professionals who exude confidence, self-motivation and focus. These professionals typically possess great interpersonal skills, but they also usually possess excellent intrapersonal skills. Individuals interested in developing their emotional and professional well-being may benefit from learning about these skills. In this article, we discuss what intrapersonal skills are, provide some examples of these skills, explain why they're important and review how to develop them for the workplace.

Related: Everything You Need To Know About the Importance of Interpersonal Communication at Work

What are intrapersonal skills?

Intrapersonal skills are a type of soft skill that involves self-awareness. This includes an awareness of your goals, emotions and thoughts. Unlike interpersonal skills, which involve interacting with other people, intrapersonal skills focus solely on you and recognizing your innermost beliefs. Good intrapersonal skills typically mean you possess traits such as having a clear sense of self, understanding your motivations, recognizing desires and identifying your strengths and weaknesses. Intrapersonal skills typically involve controlling your inner thoughts, processes and attitudes. You don't learn these skills, they often develop through your own self-reflection.

Examples of intrapersonal skills

Here are a few examples of intrapersonal skills and how they react in the workplace:

Self-awareness

Self-awareness often takes conscious effort since most of our daily activities and processes unconsciously occur. Consciously practicing self-awareness may help you improve your reactions, initiate internal change, engage better with people and enhance your general cognitive functions. Self-awareness also contributes to your concentration and quality of life. For example, increased awareness might help you recognize how to reduce stress and anxiety within a situation. If you're self-aware of your capabilities, this might prevent you from accepting tasks that don't match those capabilities.

Read more: What Is Self-Awareness? (And How To Increase Yours)

Strategic thinking

Strategic thinking skills typically involve making informed decisions that solve complex issues and consider both future plans and how the decision may affect others. Using this skill in both personal and professional settings may help you establish that you can think for yourself and make choices that demonstrate how you consider others. Strategic thinkers also generally understand the importance of developing plans and how they affect both peers' and their own motivations, goals and beliefs.

Productivity

Productivity levels usually coincide with an individual's motivations, capabilities, goals, thoughts and self-awareness. Recognizing how to interpret and use these things to your advantage in the workplace often helps you increase your productivity levels. Even recognizing these elements within others may help professionals increase the productivity levels of the entire team. Realizing your capabilities and motivations may help you improve your productivity and the overall quality of your work by helping you decide what deserves your focus and attention.

Delegation

Effective delegation contributes to the general productivity and workload of professionals in the workplace. Delegating is the act of shifting responsibilities for particular tasks and decisions to other people while determining what work you can complete. This process requires understanding your own abilities while recognizing the strengths and capabilities of others too. Recognizing your own strengths may help you determine how well you can complete a task, but recognizing your own weaknesses may also help you determine who might be better equipped to do it. This often ensures that the workplace continues thriving and that everyone produces their best work.

Visualization

When you visualize challenges and ideas from different perspectives, you often gain a better understanding of how to manage and follow through with decisions. This skill is useful for both personal and professional life. You may make more intelligent decisions by recognizing important information and how it may affect the situation. You may also recognize how it affects you personally and everyone else involved. Visualization may help you make plans and anticipate the next steps of your process.

Read more: 15 Visualization Techniques To Help You Achieve Your Goals

Why are intrapersonal skills important?

Intrapersonal skills are important because they often form the base of your relationships with other people and help you manage how you interact in your own relationships. These skills typically help you develop your emotional intelligence and how you communicate your wants and needs. They may improve your life and work because they often ensure that your inner processes support your actions. These skills also assist you with your leadership, collaboration, influence and introspection abilities. Just like learning other skills, developing intrapersonal skills often helps professionals develop similar competencies and skills.

Intrapersonal skills also prove their vitality in the workplace because they help you set and achieve goals, stay motivated, focus your attention and use critical and purposeful thinking. For example, when you face a different outcome than you expected on a project, intrapersonal skills may assist you with forming a reasonable and thoughtful reaction. Companies often value intrapersonal skills just as much as interpersonal skills because they typically strengthen a team and contribute to a growth mindset. This may help team members stay adaptable and open to innovation. Here's a list of additional benefits of learning intrapersonal skills:

  • They open your mind to new ways of thinking.

  • They support healthy communication.

  • They often expand relationships and professional opportunities.

  • They often help you relate to others.

  • They often demonstrate your social awareness.

  • They contribute to effective leadership.

How to develop intrapersonal skills

Here's a list of steps you may consider when improving or developing your intrapersonal skills:

1. Ask for feedback

It may initially seem challenging to determine how others perceive you, but you can learn and embrace these perceptions by asking for feedback. Consider asking your peers to share their thoughts and opinions about you and how you present yourself. You may also consider asking them about your performance and how you interact with them. Consistent feedback like this often helps people adjust their thoughts and actions to better convey their inner thoughts to benefit the people around them. Consistent feedback may also help you develop a growth mindset so you continuously recognize and overcome inner obstacles.

Read more: Giving and Receiving Feedback: Definitions and Examples

2. Alter your mindset

Consciously changing your thoughts and attitudes may help you create new self-concepts that can help you succeed at your goals. Consider creating guidelines for yourself and starting small, such as journaling or creating a list of affirmations that you can read every day. Focus on one issue at a time and spend some time every day working with yourself on recognizing the source of the issue and how you may improve it. You may also seek help from outside resources such as the internet and research different tips that can help you elevate your mood and your sense of self.

3. Recognize your motivations

Improving your mindset and practicing self-regulation typically first requires motivation. Ask yourself why you want to develop your intrapersonal skills and think about the long-term benefits of generating these changes. Consider the ideas and concepts that drive you and how you may improve yourself to better embrace or feel the effects of these ideas. For example, recognizing how much you value your peers may help you determine how to better form relationships with them. You may also recognize the different skills or ideas that a successful relationship involves and how you may learn and embrace these skills.

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