Social Skills: 7 Tips to Raise Your Game

Our lives demand social skills! Some of us have them naturally and are inclined to be a high touch person. Yet others want to flee situations that require small talk or the processes getting acquainted.

Social skills may be innate but they can also be learned. Those without a natural bent can work toward acquiring skills that will arm them for the social demands of a leaders life.

Recently Business Insider posted helpful piece about basic social skills. If you need to sharpen those social skills or are training your kids these seven tips will arm anyone the ability to connect and relate to people.

The piece opens with this statement which I think is very true for anyone and especially necessary for leaders.

“Being likable is entirely under your control. All it takes is the ability to pick up a few key social skills that build emotional intelligence (EQ).”

More from Business Insider:

Here are seven simple ways to start crafting a “million-dollar personality” and be the most likable person in the room:

  1. Make eye contact.

“It is an idiotically simple thing, but it remains one of the most impactful life hacks around,

writes Quora user Brad Porter.

The most attractive quality in a person is confidence. But ‘be confident’ is not very good advice. Instead, find the best proxy for confidence, in terms of interactive behavior. And that’s eye contact.”

Start this habit immediately, says Porter. It requires no practice or special skill; just the commitment to meet someone’s gaze and look them in the eye while conversing.

  1. Put your smartphone in your pocket.

And keep it there until your conversation or meeting is over. Basil Chiasson puts it simply:

“Pay attention. Look at them. Stop what you’re doing. No interruptions.”

This is another simple, yet effective, habit that can be executed immediately and does not require any effort or skill.

  1. Call people by name.

The next time someone greets you by name or uses your name mid-conversation, remember how great that feels.

If you have trouble putting names to faces, try different strategies, such as writing them down or using imagery or rhymes associated with the name.

  1. Smile.

Don’t underestimate the power of smiling.

Additionally, laugh and tell jokes. People unconsciously mirror the body language of the person they’re talking to; if you want to be likable, use positive body language and people will naturally return the favor.

  1. Give a firm handshake.

“Not too hard, certainly not limp and soft, and with no dominance play.”

Research shows that people decide whether or not they like you within seconds of meeting you. A firm handshake contributes largely to that first impression, as do strong posture and positive body language.

  1. Listen.

Listen more than you speak,

“You have two ears, only one mouth. That’s the ratio you should use them with.”

  1. Don’t just listen — actively listen. 

Simply hearing words doesn’t cut it. Likable people truly listen to the person they’re talking to.

Add these tips to your interaction with people. See if you don’t feel more comfortable in social settings. 

Published August 24, 2015