Interpersonal Skills and Why They are Important for a PSW

To learn the importance of interpersonal skills, one must first understand what they are.

What are Interpersonal Skills?

I nterpersonal skills, also referred to as “people skills”, is the ability to interact and communicate with others. These skills incorporate both your own personality traits with how you have learned to handle interaction with others in both social and workplace situations.  For some, many of these people skills are an inherent part of who they are, but they can be learned and developed over time.

Some examples of interpersonal skills are:

  • Verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Empathy
  • Patience
  • Dependability
  • Active listening
  • Flexibility

How PSWs use Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills are an essential part of a Personal Support Worker’s (PSW) work day, as they spend the majority of their time caring for and interacting with patients/clients. An important part of PSW training is developing interpersonal skills.

Talking with Clients

While many people know that Personal Support Workers assist their clients with everyday activities such as personal hygiene, meal preparation, and light housekeeping, a key part of a PSW’s job is simply to talk to their clients. Sometimes clients are unable to leave their homes and interacting with others makes them feel less isolated, which improves their overall mental health.

Active Listening

Active listening is key to a successful PSW career. Showing your clients that you are engaged in what they are saying helps build trust between yourself and the client. To actively listen you should maintain eye contact, acknowledge what they are saying, and, respond in a way that directly addresses what they have just said.

Throughout your personal support worker courses, you will learn to respect the individuality of your clients by recognizing and understanding that each one has different so that you can respond to them effectively.

Interpersonal Skills Help PSWs Provide Support to Families

In addition to communicating with clients, a PSW also communicates with their families. This provides reassurance that their loved one is in the care of a PSW who is compassionate and trustworthy. Personal Support Worker training also includes how to communicate effectively with family members.

Do you think you might be ready to take the first step towards a PSW career?  Contact any of these colleges to learn about their programs and which might be right for you!