Social Skills refer to the skills that are used to interact with other people and living beings including animals around us. Our social skills provide us with a benchmark on interaction with people and the way we use and manage these skills makes us a well-functioning social being.
Good social skills reflect in what you say during a social interaction and how you say it. Organizations have a tendency of preferring employees with strong social skills for group projects and leadership roles.
A person who has strong social skills has the knowledge of how to behave in social situations and can understand both written and implied social norms and act accordingly.
IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL SKILLS
At the end of the day, human beings are all social animals. So, social interaction and human indulgence is at the core of all of us. Following are some reasons why social skills are important:
Many social skills are important in building and maintaining work relationships and friendships.
No two social situations are the same. So a person requires base level knowledge of social skills to build strategies and make their social life smoother.
Social Skills serve as a basis to develop professional skills needed for people to function effectively in work settings.
Social skills facilitate better interpersonal relationships which can lead to more effective job outcomes.
Social skills also allow an individual to express emotions effectively, both positive and negative. A person who has apt social skills can help share happiness and divide pain.
Therefore, social skills are important to an individual on all levels. It is a fact that you’re exposed to more opportunities and can make more meaning out of social situations if you have well-developed social skills.
BASIC SOCIAL SKILLS
Following are some basic level social skills and their descriptions:
1. CHARISMA: Charisma refers to the ability of a person to attract the attention and goodwill of others. Having charisma puts you at the top of the social ladder and garners favorable emotions from the people you are interacting with. A lot of positions of importance or social situations require a person to have charisma. For example, most public performers and politicians have a strong charismatic presence.
2. MAINTAINING PROPER EYE-CONTACT: Sometimes little things such as maintaining eye contact can be of crucial importance in communication. Eye contact can be useful to a conversation in the following ways:
Improves bonding with others.
Displays honesty and sincerity.
Can be an indicator of decisiveness and authority.
Improves understanding between people.
Helps build respect.
3. BODY LANGUAGE: Body Language refers to a range of non-verbal signals that you can use to communicate your feelings and intentions. This includes aspects like posture, facial expressions and hand gestures. Body Language is an important aspect of social skills. One’s ability to pick up on body language cues helps a lot in understanding unspoken feelings and issues. However, a lot of the time, body language depends largely on cultural norms. Gestures that might be considered positive in some cultures like a pat on the back, might be signs of disappointment and utilized to show negative emotions like when spanking someone on the back because you’re disappointed in them, a practice common in East Asian cultures.
4. Humor: People as revered as Mark Twain have said that humor is the one most important aspect in a person’s life. Almost 90% of the world population across all genders agrees that humor is one of the most important things in a partner, a leader and a co-worker. Often during brain-storming sessions in companies, people who have more creative and humorous ideas are valued over people who come up with bookish or theoretical knowledge. The degree of humor in a person might differ from individual to individual, however we are born with an innate sense of humor to a certain degree.
WAYS TO DEVELOP SOCIAL SKILLS
Although social skills do develop at different rates in individuals with time and experience, there are simple ways to hone your social skills. Some of these ways are as follows:
Improve your understanding of others’ emotions. Often listening patiently to other people’s perspective helps understand them better and improves the way we respond.
Understand your own thoughts and triggers better. It will then be easier to control your own emotions while interacting with others.
Have an open body language so you look approachable and attentive.
Have a habit of asking more open-ended questions so the person across to you feels seen and heard.
Giving more factual compliments helps people know that you value them and their efforts and that you’re appreciative of it.
Don’t let your thoughts get the best of you. Try not to be too anxious when starting conversations. Take a deep breath, organize your thoughts, and go for it.
Display more animation and interest using slight hand gestures and an open body language.
If you are giving a presentation or in a group interview, maintain on and off eye contact with various people in the audience. Also focus on the ongoing conversation and listen well.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Difficulty in communicating socially and being an effective part of social settings might lead to a lot of impediments in life. A lack of proper eye-contact and inappropriate body language can make you less trustworthy and impedes your ability to engage effectively in the workplace. These smaller hurdles might develop into something that stunts your growth overtime. Therefore, it is essential to develop a better understanding of these basic social skills, one day at a time. In general, what’s most important is to come off as positive and engaging.
Hope you found this article helpful. If you or your organization is interested to learn more about such attributes and behavioral skills at the workplace, feel free to get in touch with us at RGB Training Services!