August 2022 - Career SPACE Newsletter

Alumni eNews

The secret behind a star employee’s success:
5 steps to interpersonal skills

Research shows that successful people attribute 85% of their success not to what they know, but to their interpersonal skills. This is why acquiring good interpersonal skills is a must for any employee. If you lack these skills or want to improve the skills you have, it’s time take them seriously. Here are 5 tips for improving your interpersonal skills that will benefit your career success.

1. Appearing your best every time.

Do you know what the “Primacy Effect” is? In the simplest terms, it’s the tendency to remember the first piece of information you share when you meet someone new. It can potentially have a significant impact on all your relationships. Thus, making a positive first impression is both powerful and important.

However, as time passes, the Recency Effect is even more common than the Primacy Effect. This means that your colleagues are most likely to remember the last (i.e. the most recent) interaction with you. A simple way of overcoming the Recency Effect is to present your best self every time. Look at these 10 tips for mastering the likeability factor and be one of those likeable people.

2. Courtesy costs nothing, but gains everything.

Having good workplace etiquette not only enhances your personal image, but also helps you build strong relationships with colleagues. Good etiquette enables you to avoid unintentionally offending or insulting anyone.

Company Culture is another key aspect to showing your good manners. When you start a new role, you should take time to understand and observe the company culture and familiarise yourself with it.

3. Communication plays an important role.

Good communication is a crucial factor in interpersonal skills. When interacting with your colleagues or your boss, do you ever feel you are stuck in a kind of verbal traffic jam between your brain and your mouth?

Remember these 7 phrases you should say every day. Keep them in your back pocket when these moments come.

How often do you think about your colleagues’ body language? Being aware of body language in others means that you can pick up on unspoken emotions and reactions. Observing and interpreting these messages are helpful if you need to gauge how your boss and colleagues are responding to your suggestions.

4. Dealing with conflict in an appropriate way.

Workplace disagreements and tension are inevitable. That’s why the way you respond to them is so important.

Ending the conversation, arguing or ignoring a problem can all make you look unprofessional. But if you follow the strategies for how to deal with conflict and use a collaborative approach, you may come to an effective resolution.

We recommended that you combine your and your coworkers’ opinions to reach a win-win situation.

If you disagree with your manager, will you speak up? Although clashing with a higher-up can be career-killing, simply agreeing with your superior all the time and offering no productive suggestions is not good either. So, pointing out problems – especially if they come with solutions – can be beneficial for a business and your career. Provided, of course, you do it properly.

Thus, learn how to communicate under pressure and bring your experience and point of view to the table strategically.

5. Networking makes you more valuable.

An active professional network can expose you to more opportunities in your industry or profession. No matter what stage you are at in your career, networking is essential to your career success.

Learning how to expand your network is vital to your career growth. Be ready to seize opportunities whenever they come along.

If you have friends who aren’t students or alumni of HKU SPACE, but would like to explore the useful content in Career SPACE, click here to get a 6-month access Career SPACE account* for them, they’ll be thrilled!

*For students and alumni, your username is your student number. For any enquiry, please email to

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