What communication and conflict resolution skills do you need for interpersonal relationships? The checklist below lets you take stock of your strengths and weaknesses and set goals for growth and development. Talk about each item with one or more people who know you well.

Score each item as okay (5 points), some change needed (3 points), or much change needed (1 point).

Remember: the point isn’t to get a high score but to improve your relationships and your connections with others!

A. General Skills (14)
1. Asserts self
2. Exhibits patience
3. Clarifies expectations and requests
4. Respects other viewpoints
5. Takes responsibility for own conduct and well-being
6. Verbalizes feelings
7. Participates actively in conversation
8. Listens and tries to understand without dominating
9. Does not assume responsibility for others’ problems or happiness
10. Respects others’ personal space
11. Sets and observes limits with others
12. Makes and receives apologies
13. Forgives self and others
14. Asks for help

B. Listening Skills (12)
15. Reflects others’ statements, asks for confirmation
16. Mirrors body language of speaker
17. Asks open-ended questions
18. Listens without interrupting
19. Does not finish other people’s sentences for them
20. Allows others to finish speaking
21. Asks for clarification as necessary
22. Tolerates silence and pauses
23. Hears disagreement without becoming defensive
24. Notices nonverbal cues
25. Exhibits sensitivity to others’ feelings in the moment
26. Affirms engagement while listening (“Really?””I see,” etc.)

C. Support and Trust (9)
27. Puts self in others’ shoes (shows empathy)
28. Extends trust gradually
29. Offers encouraging comments
30. Accepts others’ statements of feeling as genuine
31. Takes interest in others’ situations
32. Invites trust, acts predictable
33. Avoids criticism of others, does not judge
34. Acknowledges and accepts differing viewpoints
35. Responds when asked for help

D. Emotional Responsiveness (8)
36. Exhibits a sense of humor
37. Avoids sarcasm, name-calling, insults, or hurtful remarks
38. Conveys appreciation and acceptance
39. Addresses conflict in terms of feelings, not right or wrong
40. Acknowledges own feelings
41. Does not impose own feelings or values on others
42. Voices negative feelings
43. Hears others’ feelings while staying connected with own

E. Collaborating Skills (7)
44. Resolves conflicts promptly
45. Treats other people as peers
46. Seeks a win-win solution to problems
47. Focuses on the present going forward, not the past
48. Does not harbor grudges
49. Accommodates others’ opinions
50. Takes a positive attitude toward possibilities

Scoring. After completing the inventory, review and score the list. Evaluate your score using the guidelines set forth below.

226 – 250       Excellent Relationship Skills

181 – 225       Average Relationship Skills

50 – 180       Work Needed