According to the Hong Kong Institute of Service Leadership and Management, interpersonal competence is an important component of an effective service leader. The present paper introduces a lecture embedded in a service leadership subject that focuses on promoting students’ interpersonal competence. Several topics are covered in this lecture. First, concepts and theories about interpersonal competence are introduced. Second, the relevance of interpersonal competence to service leadership is outlined. Third, methods of developing interpersonal competence are presented, particularly different conflict management strategies and assertiveness skills. Finally, conclusions and reflections on students’ own interpersonal competence and its relevance to the service leadership in one’s professional field are discussed. Different activities have been designed and incorporated in the lecture to facilitate students’ active learning and self-reflection. Students are also encouraged to explore their own ways to promote the development of interpersonal competence.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in International Journal on Disability and Human Development, v. 14, no. 3, p. 265-274.

© 2015 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

The copyright holders have granted the permission for posting the article here.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Funding Information

The Service Leadership project at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University was financially supported by the Victor and William Fung Foundation.

Included in

Pediatrics Commons