Developing Interpersonal Skills


This resource guides you through Module 3, Unit 3: Developing Interpersonal Skills (Activities 1, 2 & 3) In this unit you will develop an understanding of different interpersonal skills and practise using them within PSYV.


On completion PSYV's will:

  • Develop an understanding of different interpersonal skills and concepts

  • Demonstrate use of interpersonal skills in a PSYV setting


A lot of this unit can be done at home at YV's own pace. However we expect Group Coordinators and Mentors to make time each week to chat to YV's about the activities and give them information and support to complete the work.


This unit is expected to take a notional 20 hours. This includes making time to plan and prepare the practical activity.


Presentation on Interpersonal Skills

Activity 1: Understanding Interpersonal Skills

Give the presentation on Interpersonal Skills (above) to your group. It contains interactive games and topics to discuss on interpersonal skills. The presentation will tell you when to play the videos provided here.
The main interpersonal skill YV's need both as part of PSYV and in life in general is the art of conversation, which actually involves two interpersonal skills: talking and listening. Many commentators say we've lost the art of converstation. PSYV gives us an opportunity to strengthen these skills. See if YV's in your group can identify different interpersonal skills and explore whether they can be self-critical and identify a genuine need to improve. These videos explain why we need to improve and how to improve.
Listening Skills by Julian Treasure

A good way to test if the group were listening is to ask what were Julian's 5 ways to listen better?

  • Recieve

  • Appreciate

  • Summarise

  • Ask

  • Live to Listen - Listen Consciously

Before watching the video by Celeste Headlee try the conversation activity described in the powerpoint presentation. You can write up your selection of random words on a board or flip-chart, or give them out on a sheet of paper. This activity enourages members to share information about themselves and work on perfecting the art of conversation.

Conversation by Celeste Headlee

Give the group a sheet of paper and see if they can write down Celeste's 10 ways to have a better conversation. Now, if they were paying attention after the first video they will have guessed this question was coming right? Encourage this list to be formed as a group as it will put into practise many of the recommendations.

Modelling Behaviour

One of the reasons that interpersonal skills are so important within a PSYV context is that senior volunteers, like adults are modelling behaviour they expect among younger YV's. Therefore look at the information on reinforcement theory (it's pros and cons), what young people need to be able to behave in a positive way and why it's necessary to challenge bad behaviour. Discuss examples (preferably without naming names) where leaders, teachers or parents have modelled good behaviour.

Now watch this video from the Big Bang Theory and think about the pros and cons of this type of modelling?

Big Bang Theory

Challenging Behaviour

There will be times when YV's will come across challenging behaviour. This might involve conflict between young people or confrontation with youth seniors or adults. Whatever the circumstances conflict situations generate strong emotional feelings and it's useful to think about how interpersonal skills will be used to diffuse situations. YV's will need to access and read this link to Youth Scotland's materials on dealing with challenging behaviour.

As a group discuss a time when you or someone you know may have behaved badly. What was the reason for it and how did it make you feel? What interpersonal skills would have helped the situation? What would hinder the situation?

To complete this activity YV's are required to look at this satirical clip of stereotypical teenage behaviour and discuss what interpersonal skills you might use to encourage a positive response from the young man in the video.

The Teenage Song

Responses must be uploaded to the PSYV online platform.

Activity 2: Interpersonal Skills Glossary

This is an activity that YV's can work on individually, in pairs or in small groups. YV's are required to make at least one entry to a glossary of interpersonal skills. This means that as a group (or even across Scotland) we will great a resource that explains in the words of YV's what each concept means.

Although we start YV's off by pointing them to the skills you need website, we don't want YV's to opy and paste verbatim what is here (not least because that would be plagarism). We are looking for YV's to translate the concept into their own words. A really good entry will finds other resources such as images and videos to explain the concept. Examples of how this skills can be used in PSYV is especially interesting. Mentors should give feedback on entries submitted.

Activity 3: Applying your Interpersonal Skills

This is a practical assignment, whereby YV's will plan and deliver an activity to fellow group members on an aspect of interpersonal skills. The activity should demonstrate an example of what they have learned about interpersonal skills and also demonstrate use of one or more of the skills in how you present your topic. YV's should focus on how these skills will be applied by you as a youth leader in PSYV.

Mentors: You will observe the YV's using the observation sheet provided.

Examples of possible topics are:

  • Give a talk on effective communication

  • Design a task for the group that uses problem-solving techniques.

  • Make a cartoon on appearance and making an impression in PSYV and present it to the group

  • Engage members in a game that develops an interpersonal skill

Group Coordinators will organise dates and time slots for each person to present their topic.

Activities will meet the requirements if they identify and exemplify one interpersonal skill. Good examples will show a strong understanding or competent application of the skill. Excellent examples will demonstrate a combination of deep understanding and high level competence of the skill in practice.


The assessment for this unit is formative:

Unit 3 Activity 1: An Introduction to Interpersonal Skills This activity introduces two videos for YV’s to watch which give some context to listening and conversation skills.

Unit 3 Activity 2: Interpersonal Skills This activity takes the form of building a collective glossary by firstly viewing information on the ‘skills you need’ website and using this to create a glossary entry whereby YV’s demonstrate an understanding of one or more interpersonal skills.

Unit 3 Activity 3: Applying Your Interpersonal Skills In this activity YV’s are tasked with delivering an activity to fellow group members on an aspect of interpersonal skills. Mentors will receive a copy of the plan and comment on this as to whether it is sufficient, before it is executed. Mentors will be present to observe the activity delivered. YV’s are also required to submit evidence of what was delivered.

#Module3 #AllTopics