What does it mean to be social? Is it being able to carry on a conversation at a party, connect with your coworkers, posting funny tweets on twitter or is it something much deeper? Impeccable social skills, either in the real or digital realm, are incredibly important for all of us to develop and work on. Like anything, developing your ability to socially communicate is a skill necessary for building your business, career and personal life. While a few seem to be born with a heightened ability to be social, all of us have to practice our skills to get better.
Social communication skills are critical to success in business, as well as, our personal life. It’s also critical in our social success online. For over 10 years, I’ve coached and taught social skills and social communication skills to children like my son with ASD, (Autism Spectrum Disorder), as well as, coached and taught these same skills over the past decade to wannabe speakers wishing to know how to perform from the platform and connect to their audiences. What I’ve found through my work over the past decade is we all can use training in social communication.
I’m reminded of this daily on social media alone. So what’s the secret to being flawless socially? The secret is awareness. Awareness can be learned. I’ve seen those born without these skills learn them, apply them and achieve enormous success in navigating socially without a hitch.
According to AnxietyBC.com there are three primary areas of communication we can build our social muscles in. These are:
a) Nonverbal Communication – A great majority of our communication with one another is non-verbal. Our body language and tone of voice can communicate our emotions, attitudes, knowledge and honesty. Examples of non-verbal communication include gestures, eye contact, voice tone and volume, fidgets and other movements, posture, distance and facial expressions.
b) Conversation Skills – This is all about our ability to start, effectively manage and end conversations.
c) Assertiveness – It’s great to be able to have a conversation, but does anyone remember what you had to say afterward? Being able to be assertive is key to not only sharing your message but being noticed. Remember, however, assertiveness isn’t about being loud, always right or drowning others out. True assertiveness is being in a state of comfort with yourself and your topic to the point of being able to communicate with command.
Below are three key social conversation tips everyone can use and master:
1. Read the room – Before entering a conversation, look at the setting, take some time to observe and make mental notes. Resist the temptation to jump into a conversation right away (or conversely run from the room in terror). On the other hand you don’t want to appear as a wallflower disinterested in connecting.
2. Add Value – Offer to the conversation something of like interest and share authentically.
3. Ending a conversation – In real life and digitally, everyone can sometimes have trouble sometimes extracting themselves from a conversation that either feels complete or is begging us to pull away because it is not engaging us anymore. It’s just as important to know how to end a conversation as it is to know how to start one. Read more…