What are Social Skills?
Social skills are described as definite approaches applied by an individual to carry out social functions effectively and eventually be regarded as socially acceptable. Your behavior and interactions with others are indicators that reveal your status in the community you are in, if you are likely to be a friend or partner, and more importantly if they see you as a future potential asset to a company.
In practical terms, what are social skills?
1. A one on one communication where listening is a give and take interaction and each party intends to understand the messages conveyed.
2. A skill that is acquired through continuous learning. As you interact you begin to learn the aspects of personality of the person you are talking to. You begin to understand the person as to where he or she is coming from and you try to put yourself in his shoes as he relates his past experiences. You are able to draw out impressions of what he is really like and you try to act in a way that is within the appropriate norms.
3. Socials skills have two aspects - verbal and non-verbal. A person with good verbal social skills knows how to say the appropriate things at the right time, has the ability to communicate freely and get the conversation flowing smoothly, is capable of using the appropriate vocal tone and quality and able to convey the message in an educated and understandable manner.
A person with good non-verbal skills knows how to use bodily movement at an appropriate time. Your gestures enable you to convey your message clearly through actions. Your posture, your eye contact, your voice tone and facial expression are non-verbal social skills. Please take note that too many gestures can over kill. Do not over do it.
4. Social skills are influenced by culture and by a particular social group. A person's social skills are based on how he or she was brought up. Most often, our behavior is brought about by our culture. A person's social skills differ from one another. A kiss and hug on the cheek as a welcome gesture may not be a socially accepted gesture in some conservative countries.
5. Your social skills will improve as your self-esteem and worth are reinforced. It feels good to be rewarded with praise from others. One tends to be motivated and relaxed in carrying out the task when there is support at hand.
How you behave during interactions, how you put your words together, your adaptability to the environment you are in, and the way you handle matters at hand are factors that determine how your personality is judged. It is not enough to have the ready smile and feel confident. It's not about looks; it's not about what you know that draws people to like you. It is all about who you are, what you do, how you do things and how others see you that you are judged. Learning what social skills are will help you get the reward of feeling accepted. Step forward and be recognized.