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Teaching Social Skills to oneself requires practice. Here are some tips on how to improve social skills.

Job Interview Guide : Social Skills

Social Skills

To be successful in your job it is very important that apart from job related skills you also have requisite social skills. As any job involves dealing with fellow colleagues it is vital that you get their cooperation and here your social work skills come to the fore.

Social skills are the ability to interpret situations correctly and behave accordingly. In job environment it means polishing one's manners to suit the professional work environment. It is estimated that 80% of people who are fired from their job, are fired because they lack social skills. Hence to succeed in today's competitive work environment it is very important to develop social skills.

We begin developing our social skills from the time we are born and from then it is a never ending journey. As we grow older, we learn how to interact with family and friends. In a work environment social skills include: speaking politely with grace and confidence to everyone, having a good dress sense, cooperating with other in the job and being a team player, looking into peoples' eyes while speaking, maintaining your calm and poise in pressure situations and so on.

While some people are born with a flair for social skills not everyone, however, is endowed with good social skills. Social skills can be developed with a little practice. Here are some useful tips on how to develop social skills.
  • Be a good listener. Most of us think we already know what the other person is trying to say. Secondly, we may be preoccupied with other thoughts when our boss is instructing us on how to go about a certain task. As a result, we may forget important details and make mistakes. Listen carefully for things said and implied. Clarify, understand what has been told to you, and reconfirm instructions by quickly summarising what you have understood.
  • Practice asking for help. There are times at work when we are so overwhelmed by the things that need be done that we get all worked up and stressed out. We still do not ask for help, for fear that we might be perceived as incompetent. Try to understand that we all have our limitations. Identify people at work who handle a particular task better than anyone else and request them to help you if they have the time. Vice versa, you should also help others when they are in need.
  • Learn to accept criticism. Don’t get flustered when someone gives you feedback and point out your shortcomings. Take it positively and look at it as an opportunity to improve yourself.
  • Give constructive criticism. Don’t criticize to demean and insult other person. Be sincere, honest and caring while giving constructive criticism. Express your faith in the person and his/ her ability to successfully implement and reap the benefits of the suggestions given.
  • Give compliments. When someone does a good job praise him / her for the job well done.

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