Social skills affect our everyday actions – from a simple hello to forging lasting relationships.
Hence, we asked 7 experts “Why are social skills important?“
See their top insights below!
Co-founder and Executive Director, Face2Face Youth Group Inc.
Social skills are critical.
Learning face-to-face social skills provides a number of benefits. Human beings are social animals, and functioning effectively in society requires the skills to interact within society.
For the first time in generations, however, our kids aren’t learning how to socialize in person.
These days, too many young people are spending hours staring at the screen of a digital device, such as a smartphone, tablet or another device.
As a result, we’ve seen the rates of depression and self-harm among teens surge upward (30% between 2010 and 2015 alone).
Positive social skills promote dialogue among and between teens.
Having a network of friends provides a support network and a sounding board, helping each other to come up with ideas for dealing with a difficult situation or challenge.
Having positive social skills increases understanding and empathy of (and by) others.
Positive social interaction can promote understanding of other viewpoints.
The APA points out, “By seeing how other people tackle problems and make positive changes, you can discover a whole range of strategies for facing your own concerns.”
Good social skills are necessary to become a part of most social groups.
Belonging to a social group can reduce or eliminate feelings of isolation, and promote overall improved social, mental and emotional well-being. People who are accepted members of a group tend to be happier and more satisfied in general.
President & CEO, PhoenixNAP Global IT Solutions
Social skills can make or break a business deal, a relationship, or something as simple as a pleasant conversation.
The ability to hold a conversation, be engaging, and listen actively is not just a skill but a necessity in any business situation.
Within the technology industry, far too often is it considered acceptable to have a closed-door policy of poor social skills with the understanding that someone is just a “developer” or an “engineer” and that it’s acceptable.
There are stereotypes, and there are acceptable social norms. Having a strong social presence and ability to network, even at a basic level, is an invaluable resource.
Injury and Accident lawyer | Owner of Tina Willis Law
I’m passionate about health and well-being, including fitness, nutrition, and fulfilling work.
But many studies also show that social connections are extremely important to health and longevity.
That used to concern me because, although I generally get along well with people, my husband and I are self-employed, solo business owners, and we never really made the time to use our social skills.
In other words, we didn’t go out and meet new people. So our friendships were limited to just a couple of people we had known all of our lives (and who we weren’t able to see very often).
We often felt lonely and scared about being even more lonely in the future.
Last year, we decided to start attending “meetup” groups and formed our own.
I’d say social skills were crucial to taking connections made in those groups to the next level. We had to be outgoing enough to make friends, and have them want to stick around, plus we had to exert the time and energy needed to get together with them.
We now have at least twenty (20) people we could ask to dinner, or for a favor, plus several new very close friends. I don’t know what impact this will have on our health or longevity, but I do feel far less anxious about the future (and we now have lots of social options every weekend, which is both a good and bad thing!)
Obviously, without social skills, we couldn’t have made new friends and would have continued feeling lonely, which, if you believe the science, wouldn’t have been good for our health.
LGBTQ affirming Therapist | Owner of True You Southeast
Social skills are important because they are the foundation for having positive relationships with others with your partners, friends, and for your career.
If you have social skills, you will be able to make small talk with your coworkers, meet new people at parties to increase your friendship base and meet potential romantic partners in person.
Social skills allow you to connect with other people on a level that is important in life so you can have more in-depth relationships with others.
Social skills take your relationship with other people to the first level of becoming friends and colleagues.
Relationship Expert | Founder, Road To Solidity
In order to communicate what you want to communicate, you must have a reliable communication channel. This is true with everything you want to communicate.
When it comes to communicating with people, if you don’t have a reliable communication channel, you won’t be able to convey your message properly.
When you communicate with people face to face (or even by phone or by text), your communication channel is none other than your social skills.
People with poor social skills won’t be able to interact properly with people, especially with strangers. As a result, it will be difficult for them to meet new people and expand their network.
Social skills allow you to initiate contact with people.
Social skills are very useful when it comes to approaching people, whether it is to meet new business partners, to make friends, to start a conversation with a woman or a man you find attractive, and so on.
When you know how to initiate contact in a way that will make the other person feel good, you’ll meet new people on a regular basis, and thus quickly build a big social circle, in turn allowing you to meet even more people.
Social skills allow you to convey the right emotions.
According to numerous studies, more than 70% of your message doesn’t come from the words you use, but from the emotions you convey.
What is important is not what people hear, but how they feel.
If they feel good when talking to you, they will appreciate you and will want to see you again.
On the other hand, if they feel bad when talking to you, they won’t appreciate you and won’t want to see you again.
Great social skills allow you to convey the emotions you want.
It allows you to feel the right way when you interact with people, and thus naturally make them feel the right way. Since they usually don’t feel very comfortable when interacting with people, people with poor social skills fail to convey the right emotions.
Social skills also allow you to understand people, and thus to deliver a message that suits them.
Social skills come with an increased ability to understand people and to sense how they feel, as well as their wants and needs. This ability allows you to adapt to the people you’re talking to, which is extremely important if you want to be able to connect with them.
Ultimately, social skills allow you to be liked by people.
Since your social skills allow you to meet and connect with people while making them feel good, it will allow you to be liked by people. This will provide you with many opportunities that will help you improve your life like never before.
Social skills will help you form an excellent elevator pitch.
Your elevator pitch is a concise way of explaining your credentials, current work, and goals.
In a nutshell, your elevator pitch consists of what you’ve done, what you’re doing, and where you’re going. What you’ve done includes degrees, certificates, past projects, or skill’s you’ve developed.
What you’re doing comprises current major projects, the position you’re working, your job status, main roles, and top-line professional information, or the pursuit of degrees.
Where you’re going involves your goals within the next 3, 5, or 7 years.
Since your elevator pitch can be 20-second long for informal meet-ups or two-minutes long for the interview question “Tell me about yourself,” it’s a great way to demonstrate your value and confidence.
People like confidence in others.
It’s inspiring and comforting. The elevator pitch allows you to present yourself on your terms. If you can do this, you’d leave a good first impression with networking partners or interviewers.
Remember, you’ll never get a second chance at a good first impression.
Content Marketing Executive, SIA Enterprises
Social skills are important in many definitions.
As an entrepreneur myself, I like to be social to be able to promote my brand and market myself. Basically being social is to market yourself with the surroundings and be active in formal and informal discussions.
This can create many opportunities as in career growth or in maintaining a social network worth following. As Gary Vaynerchuck would say; “Surround yourself with famous and successful people“.
Social skills can enhance your networking and your ability to upscale yourself in the eyes of the viewer or the listener.
Being an introvert has its own benefits, but being social not only on online platforms i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc, but to make your physical social circle or group of friends vast.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can social skills impact my career success?
Social skills are a crucial component of career success because they allow you to build relationships, communicate effectively, and work well with others. In many industries, it’s not just about what you know but who you know and how you interact with others.
Social skills can help you build a strong professional network, collaborate effectively with colleagues and clients, and navigate complex social dynamics in the workplace.
In addition, social skills can impact your job satisfaction and overall well-being. When you have positive relationships with others at work, you’re more likely to feel fulfilled and engaged in your work.
This can lead to:
• increased motivation
• overall work performance
Finally, social skills can help you navigate challenging situations at work, such as conflicts with colleagues or difficult conversations with clients or superiors. If you have strong communication and conflict-resolution skills, you’ll be better able to handle such situations constructively and effectively.
How can I improve my cultural competency?
Cultural competency is the ability to understand, appreciate and communicate effectively with people from different cultures and backgrounds. This is an important social skill in today’s diverse and interconnected world.
To improve your cultural competence, you should start by educating yourself about different cultures and their values, beliefs, and practices. You can do this by:
• reading books
• attending cultural events
• taking courses on diversity and inclusion
It’s also important to challenge your own cultural biases and assumptions. Take time to reflect on how your cultural background affects how you view and interact with others. Practice empathy and open-mindedness when interacting with people from different cultures.
Avoid making assumptions or judgments based on stereotypes or generalizations. Another key aspect of cultural competence is effective communication. When interacting with people from other cultures, be sure to use clear and concise language and avoid idioms or slang that may not translate well.
Listen attentively to others and ask questions that demonstrate your interest and curiosity. Avoid interrupting or dominating the conversation, and be respectful of others’ cultural norms and communication styles.
Finally, building relationships with people from other cultures and backgrounds is important. You can seek out diverse social groups or join multicultural organizations to do this. Making genuine connections with others can expand your cultural knowledge and awareness and become a more effective and culturally competent communicator.
How can I improve my social skills in a virtual setting?
With the rise of remote work and virtual communication, it’s more important than ever to have strong social skills, even in a virtual setting. To improve your social skills in a virtual environment, start by paying attention to your communication style.
Use clear and concise language and avoid jargon or technical terms that others may not understand. Use the appropriate tone of voice and body language in your virtual interactions, and use visual aids such as facial expressions or hand gestures to convey your meaning.
Another key aspect of virtual social skills is active listening. When communicating with others online, make an effort to truly listen to them and reflect on their perspective. Resist the urge to multitask or look at your phone during virtual meetings, and be present and engaged in the conversation.
Finally, respecting others’ time and boundaries in a virtual setting is important. Be sure to schedule virtual meetings and events in advance and communicate clearly about expectations and objectives.
Avoid sending emails or messages outside of business hours or on weekends, and respect the privacy and personal space of others during virtual interactions.
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