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Social Skills

What are social skills?
Social skills allow people to communicate with others in different ways. These ways include verbal, non-verbal, visual and written. These skills are also called soft skills, or interpersonal skills.

What are social skills?
Social skills allow people to communicate with others in different ways. These ways include verbal, non-verbal, visual and written. These skills are also called soft skills, or interpersonal skills.

Verbal skills relate to the spoken language. Non-verbal communication is about body language, eye contact and facial expressions. Social skills are used in every contact. Strong social skills can help people excel personally and professionally, while weak social skills can create socially awkward situations. If one is naturally socially strong, we speak of social intelligence.

In business, strong interpersonal skills help achieve career goals, achieve good performance and expand a network. Understanding and improving personal social skills should therefore play a major role in everyone’s self-development plan.

Social skills definition

A social skill is any competence that allows communication and interaction with others. Social rules and relationships are created, communicated and adapted based on verbal and non-verbal signals. Learning and using these social skills is called socialization.

Interpersonal skills are defined by Timothy Leary as actions used to interact effectively with others. Concepts that are often mentioned when describing interpersonal communication are: dominance versus submission, love versus hate, aggression versus kinship, and autonomy versus control.

Important interpersonal social skills include persuasion, delegation, active listening, and stewardship.

Other examples of social skills

Below are some important social skills you can develop to create better working relationships.

Active listening

Active listening is a listening technique that allows one to remain positively and actively involved with the conversation partner. In this process, the other person is listened to carefully, paraphrasing and reflecting on what is being said. It requires constant attention and strong commitment.

Read more about active listening and why you should master this social skill here.

Conflict resolution

It is only a matter of time before a disagreement or conflict arises in the average workplace. It is then the task of the employees and management to arrive at a good and workable solution.

Good conflict resolution skills are therefore important in almost every job. Especially in HR, where conflicts often end, this is an important core competency.

Empathy

Empathy is people’s ability to understand and identify with the feelings of others. Being empathetic sometimes requires a conscious effort. If you are empathically strong, you are more likely to be able to build strong and respectful open relationships with others. Read more about empathetic listening here.

Improve social skills

There are a number of ways in which one can improve social skills. These are explained below.

Request feedback

Ask people around you if they want to give feedback about possible areas for improvement in your communication. Do this with people who know you, such as trusted friends, managers, or relatives.

Set goals

Use the feedback you get from those around you to set personal goals for communication and social skills. Do this according to the SMART Goals method so that it is easy to determine your progress.

Social skills course

There are many ways to build and improve social skills. The possibilities include both paid and free ways. Examples include lessons, courses, guides and books. This will allow you to gain new insights in communication, practice and learning techniques and methods for strong interpersonal communication.

Keep practicing and developing

Once you’ve learned new techniques and tips for communication, it’s important to put them into practice. Keep practicing and repeat the steps described above.

Autism

People who have a disorder on the autistic spectrum are often characterized by a disability in social functioning. Therefore, many children and adults on this spectrum need help learning how to interact with other people and different social situations. The desire to associate with others is often strong, but they don’t quite know how to make friends or are overwhelmed by the idea of new experiences.

Building these skills slowly and in a controlled manner training through practice and participation is therefore very important.

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Anxiety and Depression

People who have little contact with others often struggle with these skills. This can cause a downward spiral effect for people with mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression.

They experience exaggerated fear of rejection and therefore avoid social interactions. Individuals who experience significant levels of social anxiety often have difficulty communicating with others.

Social Skills Improvement System (SSIS)

December 15th, 2023

Social Skills Improvement System (SSIS): this article provides a practical explanation of the Social Skills Improvement System (SSIS). The article begins with the definition of this term, followed by information about its origin and application in real life. You…

Impression Management Theory by Erving Goffman

November 20th, 2023

Impression Management Theory: this article provides a practical explanation of Impression Management, developed by Erving Goffman. The article starts with a general definition of Impression Management Theory, followed by supporting theories and the different techniques and methods associated…

Listening Comprehension explained

November 8th, 2023

Listening Comprehension: in this article you will find an explanation of Listening Comprehension in a practical way. Next to what it is (definition), this article also highlights the differences between listening and hearing, the elements of listening and understanding, listening…

Aristotle Model of Communication

August 30th, 2023

Aristotle Model of Communication: this article provides a practical explanation of the Aristotle Model of Communication. The article contains the definition of the Aristotle Model of Communication, and example of the diagram and practical tips. Enjoy reading! What is…

Persuasion skills

August 20th, 2023

Persuasion skills: this article explains the persuasion skills, the psychology of persuasion and influence by Robert Cialdini in a practical way. After reading you will understand the basics of this powerful communication skills tool. What are the Cialdini…

Evaluative Listening explained

August 15th, 2023

Evaluative Listening: this article explains evaluative listening in a practical way. This article contains the definition of eveluative listening, examples and practical tips. After reading it you will understand the basics of this powerful communication method. What is Evaluative Listening?…
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