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5 Ways to Build Social Skills

There is a significant correlation between your social skills and your success in any area of life. With good social skills, it’s easier to make friends, build strong relationships and get ahead in your career.

If you lack social skills, it’s important to learn how to build social skills. In this article, I’m going to reveal to you the 5 most effective ways I know for building social skills, based on my experience as a social confidence coach.

1. Practice

 

Developing any ability is largely a matter of practice. In order to develop your social skills, you need to spend a lot of time interacting with others.

By meeting new people, conversing with them and getting to know them, you develop your intuition about people and you gradually become better at attuning to them and building a connection with them.

You may be tempted to avoid social interactions because you think you lack social skills, but unfortunately, this only keeps you lacking social skills. The key to improving them is to interact with others no matter how capable you are right now.

2. Take Risks

It’s not enough to just interact with others. It’s central to also take risks when doing so. This means expressing your true thoughts and feelings, and behaving in an authentic manner.

This is important because if you just stick to behaving during a social interaction in ways that are very strict and safe, you don’t really experiment and explore the possibilities. And this makes it harder for your social skills to expand.

You really want to express your entire personality and notice how others react, in order to wise up socially. If you have trouble in this area, I advise you to learn how to be yourself and little by little to become more expressive.

3. Ask for Feedback

It’s hard to adjust your interpersonal skills when you don’t understand exactly how people see you and what effect certain sides of your personality have on them. This is where feedback comes in.

Ask people you know and you trust to give you feedback. To give you their perspective on how you come across socially, on your strengths and your weaknesses. They can do this casually while chatting, or fill in some sort of feedback form you can devise.

Collect a number of feedbacks and look at the information you acquired. It will help you understand yourself, others and social interactions better. And this is how to build social skills.

4. Interact with Socially Skilled People

One of the best ways to gain social skills is through modeling others. You interact with people who have good social skills, you study their mannerisms and you learn from them.

So, seek to meet individuals who are people savvy and hang out with them a lot. You’ll notice that just by doing this, your social skills will go up.

And if on top of this, you’ll also study them intentionally and try on for size pieces of their conduct, these skills will go up even faster. Socially skilled individuals are an infinite source of wisdom.

5. Work on Specific Goals

There is quite a wide array of social skills and trying to develop them all at once doesn’t yield results. You’re spreading yourself too thin.

A much better approach is to pick one or two specific skills at a time and work on improving them. Only when you’ve made enough progress with them, you can advance to other interpersonal skills.

This means you don’t want to learn merely how to build social skills, but also ways to build the specific social skills that interest you the most. Setting specific goals and working on them is the best way to get results.

As your social skills build, you’ll find yourself feeling more confident in social settings and connecting easier with others. These skills will open up a wide range of opportunities in your life. All you have to do is take advantage of them.

 

Eduard Ezeanu is a social confidence coach. He teaches people how to overcome shyness, build social skills and live life to the fullest. He also writes on his blog, People Skills Decoded.

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  • http://flawlessconfidence.com Martin

    That’s true, modeling other people is a great way to improve one’s social skills. Practice is extremely important – I suggest meeting with different people in different places. Join local Couchsurfing group and meet with fellow couchsurfers, join local Toastmasters group, take martial arts classes, take dance classes, join a gym, travel. There are so many ways to meet new people!

    “You may be tempted to avoid social interactions because you think you
    lack social skills, but unfortunately, this only keeps you lacking
    social skills” – so true. It’s funny when people want to improve their social skills, yet they avoid social interactions.

    “It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that things are difficult” – Seneca.

  • http://hanofharmony.com The Vizier

    Hi Eduard,

    As an introvert I struggle with shyness from time to time.  But I think you have shared 5 very effective ways to build social skills with us.  Here are some of the thoughts I had as I read through them.

    1.  Practice

    There is really no other way to develop good social skills except through practice.  The more you practice, the more you know what works and what does not.  From your mistakes you naturally, learn, adapt and grow if you take the time to reflect on them.  But if you avoid social interactions, there is really no way to grow because you remain in your comfort zone and do not experience anything new.

    5.  Work on Specific Goals

    Trying to do too many things at a time can be daunting and overwhelming.  You are also unable to properly gauge your progress or the lessons learned.  But by learning to focus on specific goals, you will be able to master them fully before moving on to the next one.  There really is no other way to reach your goal but step by step.

    Thank you for sharing this lovely article!  

    Irving the Vizier

  • http://www.clintcora.com Clint Cora

    This is certainly an area that all students should learn early before they start their future careers if possible.  Those who don’t will learn the hard way just how important developing decent social skills are for careers as well as personal life.  One way to ease into it a bit easier especially those who are painfully shy or awkward is to start social interactions with people who have similar interests in non-threatening scenarios.  Clubs or special interest groups would fit into this quite nicely. In contrast, bars would be a lousy venue to start learning social skills if confidence is not there.

  • Franklin

    Great ideas to help people who are shy come out of their shells. Here’s some other tips to help you improve yourself: http://www.becomelimitless.net/

  • http://zealology.com Kevin Martin

    The one thing that I’ve found to work for attracting others to you is to be open with your kindness and love.

  • http://Mazzastick.com Justin

    I really believe that the best thing to do is to be around people who have the social skills you want to have.  Their persona will eventually rub off on you.

  • http://www.tourismdentalindia.com Dental Tourism

    Silence is golden, speech is silver. That is what our elders taught us. But I feel it is seldom applicable nowadays. 

    • Joel Shepherd

      ‘Silent’ is an anagram of ‘listen’. There is a lot that can be learnt through the social skill of listening :) I for one am currently improving on my speaking & confidence in asserting myself. I have quite an agreeable character, but conversations do need abit of loving confliction, that it what I believe builds relationships…love and challenging our perspectives :)

  • http://essaychampions.com/ essay help

    Such  skills are the most inmortant for a good life and good career. And all we need to get then – love people and tak talk talk….And then we start to love it! Thanks!

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  • Dan -nj

    Eduard you wrote “A much better approach is to pick one or two specific skills at a time and work on improving them.” what are typically the specific skills when you are successful professionally; however, struggle to be friendly when not in business situations?

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  • Adam Willss

    One of the most important elements for success in today’s complex business environment is interpersonal communication skills: the ability to enhance the way you communicate with people in your work group, on your team, and up and down the organizational ladder. See more on
    http://communicationintheworkplace.com.au/

  • http://www.overcomingsocialanxiety.com/ Kyle MacDonald

    These are great tips. However tips alone are not enough to overcome shyness and social anxiety. All of these skills require a high degree of self observation skills and ability to learn and apply them in emotionally challenging situations. It is vital that people who struggle with shyness and social anxiety learn how to regulate their emotions and pay deliberate compassionate attention to their emotions. Only mindfulness skills facilitate this. Check out my programme at http://www.overcomingsocialanxiety.com to learn how mindfulness skills can help.

  • Yael

    I liked it and the lessons couldn’t be truer:
    I work as a waitress and I found that interacting with diners gives me a lot of practice being around others – and feeling comfortable speaking with a lot of people.
    When I got comfortable and liked being around people (happy costumers smiling enthusiastically at me helped! *hint hint* = smiling does 70% of the job), so I tried being more attentive by listening, looking in the eyes, smiling, patting shoulders, being quick and helpful, heartfelt apologies for inconveniences and people reacted positively to my presence – and sometimes hug me goodbye! – all because I started being interested in other people and listening to their wants: going out to eat is not about the food – we all have that at home – it’s about the experience!
    My boss told me yesterday that several patrons have addressed him to say how happy they were with regards to my “service”.

    Hopefully, my actions will harden into habits and habits into character
    - A saying by Buddah.

  • Jambar Teambuilding

    Hi Eduard, That’s a great share you have there. Building up strong social skills are crucial at pursuing career and personal life. Keep your options open and like you said, live life to the fullest.

  • shree

    so kind words…:) below link provides the best words to follow..

    http://bingoose.com/improve-social-skills/