How to develop Social Skills?


Hi folks!
It is our social skills that help us to work with others, initiate and sustain personal relationships, function effectively as members of a team/group and lead other people. Social skills are important in all aspects of our lives in the community and at work. If you are of the opinion that only professionals in the hospitality business or in media industry require social skills, think again. You may be a senior scientist, a business man, a social workers or a mathematician, but you cannot ignore social skills. Employers are increasingly looking for people who not only possess the technical/professional competence needed to perform well but also those who possess ‘people’ skills or ‘soft’ skills.

Social skills include the ability to communicate and to work harmoniously with others. This is nothing new because we have all been learning how to deal with others and co-exist from the time we were born, through school and college and into the workplace. Social skills may appear to come easily to some people, but that does not reveal the amount of time, effort and attention to detail they would have put into building and maintaining their relationships.
If your social skills are not as up to mark, there is nothing to stop you form learning. Start by the simple measure of making good eye contact, smiling and positive body language. Sometimes, lack of social skills stems from having too little interaction with others. You can resolve that by making an effort to join a club or meeting up with your interpersonal contemporaries/friends and associates every few weeks to catch up and establish ease in your interpersonal communication.

Communication is about expressing and exchanging ideas and feelings with one another. Some people are inhibited because they feel that it is not necessary to share opinions, feelings, news or knowledge. Unwillingness to initiate communication also shows a lack of empathy. You are unwilling to imagine or overlooking reasons why others should be interested in your feeling and knowledge.

Effective communication is always a two way process. When you are ready to share information, thoughts, feeling etc, it also means that you are willing to listen and receive feedback. Listening well is crucial to competence in communication and enhancement of social skills. When there is a dialogue, it can help to erase mind blocks and avoid misunderstanding.
Building rapport is central to developing strong, meaningful relationships. Rapport hinges on empathy, which emerges out of casual conversations about family, sports, children and everyday life. Being able to detect and have insights about other people’s feelings, motives and concerns can lead to a sense of rapport. To sustain a collaborative work environment, it is also important for the group to have fun together. Groups that being in each other’s company, joking and sharing good times amass emotional capital which helps them to excel in good times and also to get through the bad times. Social skills help to get through bad times.
Social skills help to initiate and establish networks and relationships, but maintaining them demands both skills and commitment.

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