If you feel like you’re one of the most awkward person at social events or you feel tough to enter into conversations because you’re shy. Literally, it can impact your social life and your career at most.
It matters most to you if you are trying to be a good public speaker, event host or manager, preparing for an interview or want to be a successful entrepreneur. You must apply these strategies for better results in every aspect of your life.
Do you want better results? Take more action.
The most important thing to improve your social skills is just to take more chances, get yourself to more social functions and interact more with people.
However, you can start to improve social skills by just following these 10 strategies and soon, you’ll be able to enter into conversations with confidence. Even you can be a brilliant and effective stage speaker too.
1. Create Goals for Yourself
Establish some small goals for yourself to improve social skills. Either you want to practice one specific skill or maybe you want to start attending a social activity in your community.
Goals can be used in two ways.
- The first is when you write out what you’d like to achieve. This helps in clarifying and mapping out the areas you need to deal with.
- The second is when you commit working on those issues for particular time, and you set clear goals to focus your efforts.
Establish a goal and begin to work on strategies that improve your social life. They can be-
- Try to get out more often and meet new people.
- Become more confident starting conversations with people, you don’t know about.
- Take the initiative to be friendly and make plans with people.
- Start feeling more confident about your value as a person someone wants to be friends with.
2. Behave Like a Social Person
You should behave like a more social creature, even if you don’t feel like it.
If you have a good social behaviour or etiquette, it can add value if you have some basic knowledge of proper ways to act around others. Some simple ways to learn good social behaviour are understanding your audience, improving your conversation skills, having good body language and dressing appropriately.
Don’t allow anxiety and hesitation to hold you back. Make the decision to confront your weakness. And enter into conversations with people even when you’re feeling nervous and shy about it.
Tips you can follow to be a more social person are-
- Understand mindset of your audience.
- Think about who you’re around.
- Notice how other people interact.
- Be open to new and different people and experiences.
- Avoid statements that specify certain groups of people.
- Read social cues regularly.
- Use simple and everyday manner words.
Work on these traits, it will get easier over time and you’ll quickly start to improve social skills.
3. Encourage Others to Talk about Themselves
Mostly people really enjoy talking about themselves and sharing their own experiences. Ask a question about a person’s career, goals, hobbies or family. Let them know that you’re interested in hearing what is being said.
If you are also struggling within yourself with the questions, what to say when you meet someone new? You’ll get the answer by simply focusing on them. According to Dale Carnegie, “be a good listener and encourage others to talk about themselves.” When they share things about themselves, they love or enjoy. They’ll feel good as they interact and they’ll associate those good feelings with you. That’s a winning formula for winning friends and influencing people.
- It helps you build stronger relationships.
- Being social creatures, people crave to be heard.
- People love to be asked questions that they enjoy answering and talking about past accomplishments, their aspirations, goals, and relationships.
- Often the best friends we have are the ones who are most interested in talking to us.
- Connect people emotionally. It’s the foundation of building trust and deep relationships with people.
The great leaders understand that most people are a thousand times more concerned about their own aching tooth than hundreds of elephants are being killed for tusks every day.
4. Ask Open-Ended Questions
It is one of the most essential feature to improve social skills. If you want the attention in a conversation, just get familiar with open-ended questions. Encourage others to talk. So you needn’t have to make the idle chit-chat. Open-ended questions provide the facility to raise even more questions within themselves.
Ask questions that require more than a yes or no type answer and you are able to open the door to invite the other person to keep the conversation going.
The ability to ask open-ended questions is one of the Executive Coach skills. You can do this in order to draw out your client’s opinions and thoughts. It’s a skill that one can develop, and it’s essential to leaders and managers seeking to create a coaching culture rather than a command and control environment for their profession.
‘Did you like the blog, ’Rest to Best’?’ is a closed-ended question. Since the reply requires only a yes or a no.
On the other hand,
‘What do you think of the blog, ’Rest to Best’?’ is an open-ended question. Since it asks the respondent to share their thoughts and opinion, and elaborate beyond a thumbs-up or thumbs-down.
5. Offer Compliments Generously
Compliments can be a great way to open the door to a conversation and even derives the attention of the worthy one.
Giving a genuine compliment accordingly is an amazing positivity boost. But compliments are not only good for the recipients but they’re great for the people who give them as well. When you say something nice and give thoughtful praise to another person for the qualities, it definitely amplifies your self-confidence and nourishes your self-esteem too.
The act of giving generous compliments creates a virtuous circle. Telling someone that they have made a positive impact on your life, or you admire the way they handled a situation, is a blessing. You reinforce their value in the world, while automatically strengthening your relationship. It builds a positive image of you.
Be a source of positivity and happiness in others’ lives too. Everything you give will automatically come back to you many more times.
Compliments don’t just make others feel great. Doing so you feel your own self-confidence to be enhanced.
You should also learn how to accept a compliment with grace. It demonstrates self-confidence, which itself can contribute to a more positive and productive life.
6. Read Books about Social Skills
There are so many books in the market that can help you learn specific social skills, ways to start conversations and influence people.
However, keep in mind that only reading about these social skills won’t make you an expert. You need to practice them over and over again.
As a child move on to adulthood, his real guidance is a book. Similarly, when you move to the job market, learning appropriate methods of social interaction at an early age is even more important. Reading books can improve these skills.
I personally recommend reading very effective and worthy books by Dale Carnegie. His efforts and principles are even admired and adopted by the world’s top billionaire and investor Warren Buffet. His most prominent works on public speaking and to improve social skills are ‘The quick & easy WAY TO effective speaking’ and ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’.
- Reading books improves your concentration and patience.
It is generally well known to us that reading improves focus and concentration in academics. That same focus is essential to social interaction and public speaking.
- Reading books, especially fiction increases empathy.
Reading fiction puts us in the character of another person, allows us to experience everything, face every challenge, feel every emotion, and triumph over adversities right alongside our favourite characters. This direct immersion in another character’s mind stimulates systems in the brain and automatically develops the ability to empathize with other human beings.
- Reading books enhances social problem-solving.
Scenes full of character dialogue show effective and ineffective ways to handle conflict in any kind of situation. It allows us to experience a range of moods and emotions they aren’t likely to experience in actual life.
- Reading books provides not only learning but topics for discussion too
In addition to solving life problems, books hold the gold standard for sparking thoughtful discussion, no matter what of age or status you are.
7. Keep Your Body Language in mind
Action speaks louder than words.
Non-verbal communication is very important, specifically for the stage speaking or an interview. Pay attention to the type of body language you are using. By improving it you can appear more positive, effective, engaging and approachable.
Things to keep in mind to improve social skills by paying attention to the body language are-
- Try to appear relaxed.
- Have a positive posture.
- Sit and stand up straight.
- Keep your head always up.
- Have a firm handshake.
- Try to make eye contact
- Use open hand gestures while speaking.
- Avoid staring.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Have a genuine smile.
- Control your pitch while speaking.
- Avoid yelling and swearing if you’re angry.
8. Be Up to Date on Current Events
Read current trends, achievements and news stories so you have something to talk about with people. And can illustrate your presentation with some good and fresh examples to improve social skills.
There are three main ways to keep up to date with what’s happening in the social world. You can read plenty of blogs and news dedicated to social media platforms, listen to podcasts to gain perspective on how people are incorporating the changes, or visit live trainings and conferences. Read or watch the news to see where to catch breaking news and how to make keeping up with changes easier.
- Blogs and Curated News
One of the main sources for gathering information, blogs, websites, and news companies is incredibly valuable for learning what new technologies are being incorporated into your social media platforms. Most social media platforms and press media also have a blog or press room where they announce new features.
- Podcasts and Videos
Podcasts are also easier to keep up with because of the format. It’s easy to pop on a podcast during your commute, as you are on a workout, or while you clean around the house.
- Conferences and Training
Absolutely, it’s also a great opportunity to meet with like-minded individuals. This is the best way for networking and connecting with people in your space. You can build relationships with people in real life too.
Try to avoid anything that is too controversial, such as politics, trolling but do talk about other news stories that may be of out interest.
It can be a great way to start a conversation and can help you stick to natural subjects.
9. Replace Negative Thoughts
If you have a lot of negative thoughts about your social interactions, it could become a self-creating prophecy. As like attracts like in the universe, your negative thoughts can be proved to be fatal for you.
For example, a student in a class who think that he is really awkward and he will embarrass himself, he may sit in the corner in the class and didn’t talk to any other children. As a result, he may think that he must be really awkward because no one talked to him.
Identify negative thoughts that are unconsciously dragging you down. Replace them with further realistic thoughts such as, “I can make conversation and I can meet new people.”
Don’t allow yourself to dwell on thoughts that aren’t productive. Find out How Not to Let Negative Thoughts overlap the Positive Vibes.
10. Join a Social Skills Support Group
Many communities and organizations offer social skill support groups. Support groups help people who feel shy, awkward, hesitating or extremely anxious in social situations. Here you can learn and practice new skills.
If you start improving social skills and you’ll be able to make new friends who can understand your difficulties.
Great social skills won’t come easily. You need to practice yourself and honestly try these tips by talking with others. These strategies will definitely work to improve social skills.
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