Social Skills: The Secret to A Successful Career

Social skills, such as communication, empathy, interpersonal, and listening skills, are beneficial for your personal and professional life. Additionally, these skills are essential aspects of staff interaction, collaboration, and planning. In this article at The Balance Careers, Madeleine Burry explains how you must improve your social skills for career success.

What are Social Skills?

Social skills are competencies that facilitate communication and interaction with others in any environment. Social skills are crucial, especially when interacting with peers, preparing for an interview, and managing a team project. According to a study conducted by Harvard University, people who could connect social skills to their technical skills had more job opportunities and higher wages. So, how to improve your social skills?

Listen to People

Most people are not listening. They instead try to be the loudest person in the room. You are likely to stand out from the crowd if you listen.

Assess the Situation

It is crucial to analyze what skills you possess and which ones you need to improve. “Consider reaching out to a trusted colleague to ask how you come across. Sometimes, we are not even aware of how we carry ourselves,” says Burry.

Use ‘Open’ Body Language

Body language says a lot about your personality. For example, the way you stand or sit can tell a lot about how you are feeling. Learning how to read these cues and use them helps you in improving your social skills. In addition, open body language demonstrates that you are interested in interacting with others. So, how to practice open body language? Ensure that you:

  • Uncross your legs and arms
  • Turn towards people
  • Stand or sit up straight
  • Relax your shoulders
  • Smile

Hone Your Skills

Along with reading, attend classes to strengthen your social skills. For example, if you find speaking in public a bit uncomfortable, take classes that will help you loosen up. Similarly, you can attend courses to hone your listening skills and other social skills.

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