Recognizing and Brushing up Your Social and Communication Skills

Why Social and Communication skills

Strong social and communication skills will help you build and maintain successful relationships both personally and professionally.

They are possibly the strongest determinants of the accomplishment of your future goals and income. Social and communication skills are among the top choiced skills required in today’s workplaces.

Social skills will help you to build, maintain and nurture your relationships with your family, friends, colleagues, customers, clients, new contacts and so on. It is essential to continue to maintain and improve on them no matter what your position, experience level or industry is.

Knowledge, intelligence, other skills, as well as pure “hustle” can make all the difference – but only if you can communicate with others.

What are social skills?

Social skills are the abilities and dexterities that we employ when communicating and interacting with people. It include both verbal and non-verbal communication skills.

Verbal skills deals with spoken language, while  non-verbal skills has to do with gestures, physical appearance, body language, facial expressions, eye contact and so on.

Point to Note: Any time you interact with any person, you’re using social skills in some way.

Social skills include the following

1. Reasonable Communication Dexterity

This is the ability to share your thought and ideas with others. People will like to listen to you and to be near you if you can communicate what knowledge you have. Possessing this skill will make you to be infinitely more valuable than a more knowledgeable person who can’t transport idea(s) from his or her brain to others.

You can increase your communication ability by

  • Monitoring what you are saying or what you have just said.
  • Checking how much time you spend talking versus listening – it’s best if everyone talks for an equal “share” of time.
  • Knowing who you are interacting with – fellow student, boss, stranger, relative, co-worker, and so on.
  • Paying attention to the type of non-verbal body language you are using. This can communicate more than you may imagine.
  • Encouraging others to talk. Don’t monopolize any conversation.
  • Asking questions that require more than a “yes” or a “no” answer and you may open the door to invite the other person to keep the conversation going.
  • Asking questions about a person’s family, career, or hobbies. Let the person know you’re interested in hearing what is being said.

2. Effective Listening Ability

This is the ability to keep an eye out closely to a person who is communicating with you. People who listen actively are generally well regarded by their co-workers because of the attention and respect they offer others.

You can increase your listening skills by

  • Focusing on the speaker.
  • Avoiding distractions.
  • Preparing questions, comments or ideas to respond.
  • Monitor your body language – your eyes, face, hands and posture.

3. Ability to Resolve Conflict

Conflict resolution is the ability to dig to the root of a problem and find a workable solution. Dissatisfaction and disagreements can arise in any situation, your ability to choose and apply the best conflict resolution strategy effectively  will place you over the others.

You can improve your conflict resolution abilities by

  • Listening effectively.
  • Identifying specific points of dissatisfaction and disagreement.
  • Clearly expressing your own needs and point of view.
  • Viewing conflict as an opportunity for growth.
  • Focusing on specific issues without generalizing or escalating the situation.

4. Ability to Show Empathy

Empathy is the ability to identify and understand other people’s feelings. If you have empathy, others will be more likely to confide in you. Being more empathetic takes a conscious effort to carefully consider how others feel.

Socially skilled persons anticipate the effects their words or actions will have on other’s emotions, thoughts and behaviour.

You can improve your empathetic skills by

  • Being polite and constructive.
  • Acknowledging other people’s pain.
  • Sharing how you feel.
  • Showing gratitude and good manners when a person opens up.
  • Showing interest.
  • Being encouraging and supportive.

5. Ability to Respect others

An important part of respect is being conscious of when to initiate a communication and when to respond. In a team or group setting, allowing others to speak without interruption is seen as a necessary communication skill tied to respectfulness.

Respectful communication additionally means utilizing your time with someone else wisely—staying on topic, asking clear questions and responding fully to any questions you’ve been asked.

You can brush up your respect skills with the following;

  • Actively listen to what another person has to say
  • Affirm others
  • Help and serve others
  • Be polite
  • Be thankful when someone does something for you that’s beneficial. Or they say something to you that’s helpful in some way.

6. Ability to Build and Manage Relationships

Relationship management is the ability to maintain relationships and build key connections. It’s all about your ability to get the best out of others, your ability to inspire and influence them, your ability to communicate and build bonds with them, and your ability to help them change, grow, develop, and resolve conflict.

Being able to work and build relationships with others effectively is a crucial quality employers look for in candidates. It can also show your fitness for their company culture.

Ways to brush up your relationships include

  • Be patient – No one wants to communicate or build relationship with angry and annoying people.
  • Get friendly and sociable – be open-minded. Make the decision to talk to new people and to enter into conversations even when you’re feeling nervous about it.
  • Be confident and trustworthy – Show people they can rely on you.
  • Offer compliments generously – Compliments can show others that you are friendly.

Additional ways to brush up your social skills:

  • Probe the reason for the deficiency or lack of social skills – deal with them.
  • Set small goals for yourself – First of all, identify areas you need to improve, then use the SMARTER goals framework to work toward building your social skills in a specific, measurable way.
  • Request feedback – It can be helpful to ask trusted friends, mentors or managers to provide you with honest feedback about your areas for improvement. Use this feedback to start setting measurable goals toward having a strong, well-rounded set of social skills.
  • Search for resources. There are countless classes, guides, books and more both online and off. While you can certainly pay for an e-book or class, there are also many free resources you can consume. You can also find focused resources on topics such as body language or negotiations.
  • Identify areas for practice. Once you have learned tactics and tips for improving your social skills, put them into practice at home and at work. You can also look for volunteer opportunities or extra-curricular activities for which you can practice interpersonal skills with less pressure.

Social skills are a nice way to start improving your employability. They will aid you to outshine others in nearly any job. The easiest way to brush up your social and communication skills is to put your learning into practice. A background demonstrating success with social skills will serve you well in many areas of life.

2 thoughts on “Recognizing and Brushing up Your Social and Communication Skills”

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