Intrapersonal skills such as self-awareness, resilience, and adaptability can make you a highly sought-after candidate
Have you ever noticed those people who seem to have an incredible sense of self and wondered how they do it? They have accurate self-awareness and an acute understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, as well as self-discipline and resilience.
Because of these traits, they can rapidly assess situations, identify their task, and steer themselves toward the goal. They have a clear understanding of who they are and what they can accomplish.
These folks have highly developed intrapersonal skills.
In this blog, we'll take a look at 7 examples of vital intrapersonal skills and discuss how you can improve yours.
What are intrapersonal skills?
Intrapersonal, by definition, means “inside a person.” Intrapersonal skills, then, are the emotional or cognitive abilities that an individual has. For example, these can be the way you see yourself, how you deal with stress, and how you adjust to frustrations. Intrapersonal skills encompass the tools you use to manage your emotions, cope with challenges, and also process successes.
We complete most of our day-to-day tasks on some form of autopilot mode. Heightening your awareness of your emotional and cognitive states enables you to improve your situational reactions and interpersonal interactions.
Intrapersonal skills vs interpersonal skills
Your interpersonal and intrapersonal skills are deeply connected, but obviously very different. Both contribute to your ability to communicate needs, goals, and ideas to others. Both contribute to successful project and task management. But where your interpersonal skills - that is, your ability to interact with others - are imperative for productive collaboration and leadership, it's difficult to project those abilities without a strong sense of self-awareness, self-discipline, adaptability, time management, and so on. In other words, your intrapersonal skills make your interpersonal skills possible.
Why are strong intrapersonal skills vital for your career?
Strong companies seek out employees who have the internal fortitude to see obstacles as a potential for improvement. Team members who know how to focus their attention, set priorities, and revel in purposeful thinking are immense assets to an organization. For that reason, it's easy to see why strong intrapersonal skills can make you valuable to an employer.
Someone with strong intrapersonal skills takes personal responsibility for their own feelings. They're open to new ideas and eager to find innovative solutions, independent of ego. Their motivation is driven internally and rubs off on others.
6 examples of intrapersonal skills
Self-esteem, or self-worth, is confidence in one's own worth or abilities. Put another way, it's how much you value yourself, regardless of the situation. It also affects motivation, since people who have a healthy, positive self-image are more aware of their capabilities and may be motivated to take on new challenges.
You can boost your self-esteem and, if you do make a mistake, attempt to confront any negative thoughts. A decent rule of thumb is to talk to yourself as if you were talking to your friends or someone you like.
Perseverance is the ability to pursue a course of action with energy and consistency, while overcoming challenging circumstances.
It can entail the frustrating process of working through technical issues, grappling with tough concepts, and completing projects while surrounded by distractions. It can also mean resolving issues with challenging co-workers, putting in the time to research source material, or remaining focused on long-term goals that never seem to get closer to realization.
Perseverance requires patience and maturity - two highly desirable qualities in an employee.
Resilience is the ability to adjust quickly and bounce back rapidly from adversity. Challenges in the workplace arise in many forms: projects that hit roadblocks, deadlines that can't be met, and team members that fail at their tasks.
Personal stress can also present itself in a variety of ways: family issues, health issues, and work environment issues. Any of those can affect your work. Everyone has gone through their fair share of difficulties. But how do you respond to those? You can react with anxiety and negativity, or you can remain cool, rational, and in control of the situation. Forging resilience will help you to adapt to change and rebound from stress.
Adaptability is the quality of being able to adjust to new conditions. In other words, it's the ability - and resolve - to deal with abrupt alterations, unpredictable environments, and fast-changing industries. An employee with a high degree of adaptability can handle crises in the workplace with ease, transition into new roles, and integrate new technologies or processes.
Adaptability begins with:
Leaving your ego at the door and focusing on team, rather than personal, accolades
Keeping an open mind, as good ideas can come from everywhere
Learning to embrace change and letting go of the need to control every aspect of the process
“Focus is an elevated version of attention. It's not just fixing your mind on a specific task but it's using concentration to further zone in on that specific thought or action.” - Leyon Azubuike, Professional Boxer
Focus is one's ability to concentrate on a single task, even while other stimuli might demand attention. A person who commands focus can channel their attention into completing the task at hand. A person who lacks focus might be easily distracted and prone to procrastination. Less obviously, however, they might also become overwhelmed or attempt multitasking - unsuccessfully.
Some ways of improving your focus are to:
Actively eliminate distractions in your environment
Set daily task priorities and checklists
Learn to focus on the moment rather than prior or upcoming issues
“To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.” - Socrates
Self-awareness is the ability to monitor your own emotions and reactions. It's knowing your strengths, weaknesses, triggers, and motivators. Being self-aware requires a deep, honest assessment of how you respond to specific situations and the cause behind that response. It can be an uncomfortable process to achieve this level of self-awareness, but the result is a powerful tool to fortify your command of self. The ability to “know thyself” is the first step in behavior regulation. It allows you to embrace or avoid certain stimuli, position yourself with the best possible motivators and tools for success, and even know when it's time to venture outside of your comfort zone.
How can you improve your intrapersonal skills?
For some, intrapersonal skills come naturally. But for others… not so much. They might even appear to be unattainable. But, in fact, intrapersonal skills can be dramatically improved with some effort. For example:
Keep a journal - take note of how you behave in or respond to situations and you might find a new sense of value for yourself
Be kind to yourself
Set achievable goals, as accomplishment has a strong effect on self-esteem
Build healthy habits
Prepare - and adhere to - a daily schedule
Give meditation a try
These are just a few ways of building up your intrapersonal skills. Though it may seem daunting, just a bit of effort can go a long way to developing these vital abilities that will not only make you a more valuable employee but can dramatically improve your own well-being.
To find out if you're showing off your intrapersonal and interpersonal skills to their best advantage on your resume, why not submit it for a free resume review?
What Are Soft Skills? And How to Showcase Them on Your Resume