So you have been working in the industry for some time, have developed a good working knowledge of the complex chemistry that underpins lubricants, but somehow something is lacking. Could it be that your interpersonal skills need improving?

Interpersonal skills represent the way you interact with others. They form part of your soft skills. Skills such as the ability to communicate and interact effectively with others that form the building blocks of effective relationships whilst supporting you to demonstrate your knowledge and technical skills, the so-called hard skills.

People who lack

interpersonal skills will find it difficult to effectively interact with others, communicate effectively and apply their knowledge. People who have a high level of technical skills might not also have a high level of interpersonal skills. What is needed is a balance to be able to identify problems, suggest alternative solutions and work with others, colleagues or customers, to gain agreement and implement effective solutions.

One model of the way interpersonal skills support you in your role is given in Figure 1. Underpinning technical knowledge provides the foundation for capability in a role or task. Behaviours support the implementation of technical knowledge applied in a real-life situation effectively as problem-solving. Beliefs are then reinforced by the outcome of the application of knowledge supported by the correct behaviours.


Interpersonal Skills

Underpinning technical knowledge effectively David Wright, UKLA Director General

If technical or underpinning knowledge is valid and appropriate, then applied using the correct behaviours in the right way then the outcome should be meaningful and reinforce an existing system of beliefs. So, for example, if I use my knowledge and apply it in this way then the outcome I am seeking should be in line with my expectations.

To complement its existing range of courses aimed at developing technical knowledge such as the Certificate of Lubricant Competence, the United Kingdom Lubricants Association is launching a series of management masterclass courses aimed at developing interpersonal skills which supports industry

professionals in applying technical knowledge effectively.

Figure 1: A wheel of interpersonal skills

The first course will be launched in April 2019 on Management and Leadership and will look at the different roles of both manager and leader in an organisation, what their organisations expect from them and how should they go about fulfilling their roles to meet these expectations.

Other courses planned for the year include: courses on Influencing Skills, Conflict Management and Managing Difference, and Commanding Confidence in Business.


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