Social Skills are important because they can help you communicate more effectively and efficiently and, as a result, help you build, maintain and grow relationships with colleagues, clients and new contacts alike. These skills are important to maintain and improve no matter your position, industry or experience level.
The right social skills can help you become better in your business and as a leader. This ranges from picking up on social cues to empathizing with others.
You must develop these skills to better accommodate your team and it has also been generally acknowledged that social skills and character development are more difficult to attain and harder to change when people get older, so the sooner you start, the better for you and your business.
Social Skills That You Need to Master
To deal effectively with current complexities on a personal and professional level, every business leader needs to exhibit positive emotional responses. Offer support and a safe haven for others through extended emotional and social capacity. This will help to strengthen relationships as well as create a thriving culture and organization.
It is one of the simplest of all manners, but oftentimes it is forgotten. Every business leader needs to mind their manners and learn the simple power of saying “thank you.” Most people simply forget to say this simple statement in business, maybe in life too, but it is absolutely one of the most important things we can say to make those around us feel appreciated.
Humility is a great social skill to master when becoming a leader. At this point, you may outrank a lot of people, so be sure to remember that you were there once and needed your leaders to help you grow. Focus on sharing what you’ve learned versus holding it over everyone’s head. Acting as part of the team will go much further than speaking to everyone as if you know more than them.
The Ability to Read The Room
Learn to read the room. I have a leadership client who can walk into the room and get an immediate sense of what’s going on. She tunes into the mood, picks up on power plays and intuitively knows who are the makers or breakers. This skill enables leaders to position their points for maximum impact and hit the hot buttons of key influencers.
Collaboration is the number one social skill that business leaders should master. The following two workforce trends are shaping the way businesses get work done: Moving from hierarchies to a network of digitally connected professionals and renting employees versus buying employees. As the way we work changes, the way we lead must also change. This means learning how to drive collaboration.
Build your empathy muscles. Empathetic leaders are approachable, listen deeply and are able identify the emotions beneath words. This makes others feel understood and accepted. By putting yourself in other people’s shoes and recognizing others’ feelings you can connect more authentically and appropriately–whether it is assuaging fears, motivating, encouraging or rallying a conference audience.
The Ability To Inspire
The one social skill every business leader should master is the ability to inspire their people and motivate their teams to work together towards a greater cause making an impact. Some of the best leaders inspire their employees to have a sense of purpose and mission with their work. An inspiring leader who keeps their people highly motivated and engaged will drive action and long-term results.
Ask questions, pay attention and be a good listener. Lead with curiosity and genuine interest. The saying is that people will forget what you say, but will never forget how you make them feel is true. If you’re looking in the background or checking your phone, you send the signal that you don’t value the person. The impact of presence can’t be overestimated. It’s truly a gift.
Hands down, public speaking is the most valuable skill any leader can learn and use to inspire teams, elevate a brand, attract customers, launch products, communicate a vision and attract attention. A well-crafted speech in front of an audience of 50 or 50,000 can change the course of your career or bank account in a day. Hire an experienced platform speaking coach.
Every business leader should master authenticity. How does that translate into a social skill? Easy, be yourself! Be your true and authentic self with people. Teams are more prone to follow and support you when you are being real with them, showing that you are “human” too and are relatable. This is important when teams want to feel heard and engaged with.
Your listening shapes what words come out of someone’s mouth. Master asking great questions. Be clear on your intention in a conversation, and then listen for that intention being fulfilled. Often, the best responses follow after a long pause. Patiently listen through the pause to discover golden nuggets that often yield unpredictable results.
Be approachable. Look at people while walking down the halls, smile on video calls, be pleasant in group settings and show gratitude. Business leaders become approachable by listening, being open to diverse perspectives and then making decisions. Leaders welcome conflicting views. When people leave your office, they should feel heard.
Be mindful of non-verbal communication. Three key components of effective social skills and connecting with others are body language, facial expressions and vocal signals. Much of communication is not what is said, but how it’s communicated. Hence, in addition to focusing on your words, connect via mirroring body language, smile, maintain eye contact and speak a warm, animated tone.
- Choosing Your Words Carefully
Be impeccable with how you choose your words. Always speak in conversations that are constructive and non-destructive. If you are going to speak, it should be to leave a positive emotion or add a criticism that leads to a specific action or improvement.
You can also check out the updated business tips page for amazing business tips and if you are also thinking of starting a business you can check out the business ideas page for business ideas in agriculture, trading and so on.