Developing social skills is a continuous journey in this ever-changing world. The great Dale Carnegie discusses in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People that you have to become genuinely influenced in other people. But how do we do that? I believe the following key points are important in developing your social skills.
Let’s face it, smiling is contagious! Why not share the smile with others. By smiling when you approach an individual, you will share you positive energy. This will reduce any discomfort they may have and will avoid those uncomfortable ‘awkward moments’.
Accept people for who they are, not by the way they look.
How many of you have heard the old story ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’. The same goes for human beings. Take the time to get to know someone; don’t try understanding them just by the way they look. In the process of getting to now someone, learn to find the greatness in people. Each person has something unique about him or her, challenge yourself to find the greatness in each individual you meet.
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Remember their name.
A person’s name is their identity. William Shakespeare once said “There is no sound so sweet as the sound of one’s own name.” Remembering someone’s name takes a small amount of effort but shows the individual that you are paying attention and listening. Remembering someone’s name creates a natural connection you and the person you are communicating with. We all like to feel recognized and remembering someone’s name will do just that.
Learn to ask ‘Tell me more’.
“We have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak”. Epictetus. The communicators in the world are the ones who show a genuine interest in what others have to say. Find a common interest and keep them talking; ask them to tell you more about the specific topic. Not only will you find out lots of information about an interesting individual but you will also develop a strong trust with the person you are communicating with. Try to avoid yes or no questions, as you want to keep the conversation rolling.
Empower the other person – affect the other person’s life in a positive, sincere way.
By this stage the person you have been dealing with will feel more relaxed, Build Self confidence, energized, Improving self Esteem and comfortable around you. This is now the vital part, leave on an empowering note. So many people will remember the way they feel after a conversation over what was said. I definitely do! As the conversation is coming to the end, let the other person know how much gain you have got out of the conversation. Use some examples from the conversation; be specific and concise. Finally, leave them with a line that makes them feel great could be something as simple as “Thanks for the chat; you’re a truly interesting and inspiring person. Have a great day”.
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