Improving interpersonal relationship skills – 6 tools for self-assessment

Mentorship is an excellent way to improve interpersonal relationships skills. Developing trusted relationships is front and center to our work at OneUpOneDown and why each match lasts three months, rather than being a one-off session. 

Strong relationships play a crucial role in our personal and professional lives, providing us with a sense of support, belonging, and positive energy. Healthy relationships can help us grow, give us a sense of meaning and purpose, and offer opportunities for collaboration and goal attainment. On the other hand, poor relationships can lead to stress, conflict, and feelings of loneliness and isolation. Improving our interpersonal relationship skills can enhance our personal and professional lives, leading to greater happiness and success. 

What are interpersonal relationships?

Interpersonal relationships refer to the social connections and interactions that people have with each other. These relationships can be based on a variety of factors, including shared interests, values, experiences, and emotions.

Interpersonal relationships can take many forms, such as friendships, romantic relationships, family relationships, and professional relationships. They can be positive or negative, and they can have a significant impact on our well-being and quality of life.

In order for interpersonal relationships to be successful, they often require certain skills, such as effective communication, empathy, active listening, conflict resolution, and the ability to build trust and establish boundaries. These skills can be developed and improved through experience and intentional effort.

Factors that shape our interpersonal relationships skills

Our interpersonal relationship skills are shaped by a variety of factors, including:

Childhood experiences: Our early experiences with parents, siblings, and caregivers can shape our beliefs about relationships and affect the way we interact with others.

Cultural norms: Different cultures have different expectations about how relationships should be formed and maintained, which can affect our interpersonal skills and behavior.

Socialization: Our experiences and interactions with peers, teachers, and other social groups can help us develop social skills and shape our attitudes and beliefs about relationships.

Personal characteristics: Our personality traits, such as extroversion, agreeableness, and openness to experience, can influence our interpersonal skills and the types of relationships we form.

Life experiences: Our experiences with romantic relationships, friendships, and other types of relationships can shape our interpersonal skills and our expectations about relationships.

Self-awareness and intentional learning: Being aware of our own communication style, emotional triggers, and beliefs about relationships can help us intentionally develop and improve our interpersonal skills.

Overall, our interpersonal relationship skills are shaped by a complex interplay of personal, cultural, and environmental factors, and they can be improved with intentional effort and practice.

Learning about yourself to enhance your ability to be in healthy relationships with others

Assessing our relationship patterns and tendencies can be a valuable step in improving our interpersonal relationships. 

Here are six self-assessment tools that can help you understand and improve your relationships:

Attachment Style: Attachment theory offers a well-established framework for understanding the nature of our emotional and physical bonds with others. There are four main attachment styles: secure, anxious, avoidant, and disorganized. Understanding your attachment style can help you identify problematic patterns and work towards forming healthier relationships.

Emotional Intelligence: Emotional intelligence involves recognizing and understanding our emotions and those of others. Assessments like the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) can help you gauge your emotional intelligence and identify areas for improvement.

Communication Styles: Understanding your communication style and the styles of others can improve the quality of your relationships. The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI) can help you understand your preferred communication style and how to adapt it to different situations.

Personal Values: Knowing your personal values and those of others can strengthen relationships. The Values in Action Inventory (VIA) can help you identify your core values and how they shape your relationships.

Love Languages: The “Five Love Languages” assessment by Gary Chapman can help you understand how you give and receive love in relationships. Knowing your love language can improve communication and strengthen relationships.

Personality Tests: Personality tests like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) can offer insight into your personality traits and their impact on relationships. This can help you understand your tendencies and work better with others who have different personality types.

It’s important to note that these assessments are not the sole factor in building successful relationships. They should be used in conjunction with other forms of self-reflection and experience including, therapy, mentorship and relationship-building strategies for optimal results.


Improving our interpersonal relationship skills requires intentional effort and practice, but the rewards can be significant, enhancing our well-being and success in both our personal and professional lives. One proven way to develop these skills is through mentorship. As both a mentor and a mentee, you can engage in a purposeful relationship built on open communication, mutual understanding, and growth. The skills you will learn through mentorship will not only benefit your professional development but also improve your relationships in all aspects of your life.


Join our monthly newsletter to get updated on mentorship opportunities and actionable insights to learn and grow through relationships.

Follow OneUpOneDown on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram to stay tuned with the latest news.