Top 6 Ways to Up Your Social Skills

Before the pandemic, when everyone worked in office spaces, it would be easier to ‘read a room’ by keenly observing visual cues, body language or tone of voice. But now that we are all isolated behind our personal workplaces i.e. home, it is difficult to gauge the mood of a superior, peer or colleague, and hence, having professional or personal conversations can be challenging. Social skills, or ‘soft skills’ as they are called in the professional world, enable an individual to not only survive but thrive in any setting, be it a business meeting or personal call, irrespective of the location or circumstance. Here are six ways you can sharpen your social skills while working from home:

1. Expand communication skills: Effective verbal and non-verbal communication skills remain a top priority for professionals in any field or industry. You need to make sure your thoughts are easy to grasp and clear. One way to practice good communication skills is by learning to present your work both formally and informally – so that you have a trial run to give you a feel for the main event. Trying this out with peers will give you good feedback, too. 

2. Be empathetic: Whether it is with family and friends, or at the workplace, it is crucial to be able to ‘put yourself in someone else’s shoes’. If you want to build a strong, healthy and long-term relationship based on trust, practicing empathy, being transparent with your communication and holding space for the other person’s thoughts and feedback will go a long way.

You might also be interested to read: The Importance Of Human Skills In Your Business

3. Active listening: This doesn’t just mean hearing what the other person says, but also absorbing what they are trying to convey. A good way to acknowledge that you have actively listened to them is by paraphrasing some of what they said back to them, along with your thoughts. This way, you have an engaging conversation where both sides have felt like they have been attended to. 

4. Accountability and visibility: When you work in a remote or hybrid dynamic, accountability is paramount, because we are no longer in one office space where the paper trail or conversation thread can be followed on foot. Always practice ownership over your tasks, and accept responsibility for their updates, successes or failures. This gives your superiors the impression that you stand out with integrity and can be relied upon.

5. Be realistic: Do not make promises that you cannot keep. Humility goes a long way when making deals or discussing business online or on a conference call. Stay realistics about goals, resources and strategies, keeping in mind what you are able to provide. This will help your client or colleague move forward with clarity and also respect your boundaries.

6. Conflict navigation and resolution: The past two years with the pandemic have been boot camp for companies in learning how to effectively navigate conflicts and unpredictable economic ups and downs. If you are met with a conflict within the team, remember to place the problem on one side and the team on the other. Never pit one person against the other, because a divided team will only make the work suffer more. Offer positive reinforcements to the team, to help them believe that any problem can be solved by the team as a team. This not only makes you a team player, but also shows your leadership skills. 

Reference: From “How To Sharpen Your Social Skills When You WFH” | Glassdoor Team, Glassdoor | 16 September, 2021

You might also be interested to read:

Comments are closed.