How to give your social skills a much needed boost
Honing your social skills can be one of the most beneficial means to leading a successful personal and professional life. Not only can it affect your mindset and interactions with your surroundings, but it can positively impact the quality of your life and make you a more desirable employee. Being cognizant of the methods of improving your social skills is the key to achieving this positive mentality more readily.
“Social skills” is an umbrella term that encapsulates various other attributes and dexterities. Those include: empathy, cooperation, listening, both verbal and non-verbal communication, as well as written communication. Outstanding ability and possession of said skills allow for a more confident and self-assured you. Here are a few tips and strategies on how to work on the aforementioned skills.
Push yourself to engage more with others:
Find ways to further conversations with friends, family, and close coworkers. Try to extrapolate the topic being discussed by asking more questions and relating the topic to past endeavors. Whenever you feel as though a conversation is falling off, try to approach it differently and revive it. Make sure you have left a meaningful impact or shared a substantive discussion before letting them go.
Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and discuss matters you would have otherwise refrained from addressing. Stepping outside your comfort zone can actually help you feel more confident because it makes you feel accomplished. When you do step outside your comfort zone, make sure to focus on your skills rather than the mistakes you might make or the embarrassment you’re so worried to experience. This will help you confront that fear and boost your workplace confidence, leading to more adept social skills.
Invite a coworker to lunch or coffee:
Though it’s essential to be professional at work, a fun and lighthearted demeanor can sometimes be refreshing amidst the constant stress of work. That’s why it’s crucial to get to know your colleagues on a more personal level in outside settings. It can help solidify your relationship and build a robust working relationship. The more comfortable and confident you are with your teammates and coworkers, the more relaxed you will be working with them. It can create a fun and healthy environment that breeds an effective and efficient workflow. Inviting them to lunch or coffee still contains an air of professionalism that helps ease any tension or weariness there might be.
Keep up with current events:
Being up to date and aware of your surroundings—current trends and news stories—will provide you with something to talk about with people. It can be a great way to start a conversation and can help you stick to neutral and common subjects. This can be especially helpful for those who are nervous about socializing with people they aren’t familiar with or afraid that they won’t have something to talk about. It’s important to go into a conversation with an arsenal of topics you can talk about. Try to avoid anything that is too controversial, such as politics, since it might trigger unwanted tension. However, do feel free to talk about other topics that may be of interest.
Asking questions, especially open-ended questions, also applies in social settings; it can be an effective way to get others talking. It can help by allowing you insight and understanding into your friends, family, colleagues, and superiors. What makes open-ended questions so practical is that they are open to interpretation. Whoever is on the receiving end can answer how they see fit, allowing more room to have meaningful connections. In addition, asking an open-ended question helps the other person feel validated in their thoughts and emotions, which can positively impact how you build relationships. Oftentimes, coworkers may appreciate being asked open-ended questions since it shows you are taking an interest in their ideas.
Show interest in others:
By showing that you care about their ideas and thoughts, they will be fond of your attentiveness and willing to learn more about you: allowing the relationship to blossom. Furthermore, the information you learn about the other person and their life might come in handy when working with them or when trying to form a deeper, more meaningful relationship.
Appearing to be interested in what the other person is saying will give them a positive impression of who you are as a person. Impressions and how people perceive you are invaluable—they transcend from one person to another and can influence how others see you. You want to always appear in a positive light so that others will be more willing and even excited to work with you. This allows you to build your network, establish ongoing dialogues, and helps you learn from others.
After having built your social skills, it is now time to build a solid professional network. Start today by clicking here to download Tays, the first step to a prosperous network and career journey.
By: Salma Ahmed