6 soft social skills to improve your interpersonal relationships

“Social skills are an important asset in fostering interpersonal relationships, at a time when people are more less focused than ever”

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Social skills are incredibly important at improving interpersonal relationships and it goes without saying that many people may already subconsciously know what I have listed below.

These soft skills listed in this blog refer to meeting people and getting aquatinted.

It is important to show respect to people in conversation and to engage with them neutrally and non-aggressively, in order to create constructive dialogue. It is not rude if you wish to exit a conversation, because time is precious, but the manner in which you conduct your exit or entry from a conversation is important. The way you compose yourself in social settings reflects your persona to others; so remember that soft skills are about being civil and professional.

1. Remember peoples names

The easiest on the list to understand and sadly the one that many people fail to master. When you meet someone and they say their name, repeat their name back to them. “Nice to meet you John” and then say their name in your head over and over. Remembering names is a skill that statesman and woman, lawyers and people in high profile social settings take seriously. 

2. Look people in the eye

When talking to someone or shaking their hand, look them in the eye. An easy and simple social skill that is dying-off as many become distracted with phones.

3. Body language

Crossing your arms, leaning down over someone or looking-away and disinterested while someone is talking; are all minor ways you convey a negative message. But the same works in reverse, you can also send a message of confidence and positivity. If you stand straight with your shoulders back and face someone as they speak you are conveying your self-confidence but also your willingness to engage openly.

4. Don’t use a phone when talking to someone

A pet hate for many people. It shows you are dis-interested and not willing to invest in the person. A valuable social skill if you can separate yourself from the rest. This social skill reflects back to point 2.

5. Be a good listener

Listen, don’t just wait for your turn to talk. Try remembering past conversations that you have had with someone, and bring up those topics next time you meet. This will highlight to the person that you invested the time in properly listening to them. When someone is talking, listen to what they are saying without first having the intention of immediately talking afterwards.

6. Shake hands

As simple as it may sound, offering your hand in a hand-shake is an important gesture to many men and woman. It’s a sign that straight away you are willing to engage with them, so don’t just shake their hand with a floppy hand that portrays an intention for you to pull-away immediately. Shaking hands is a soft skill which is valuable to building interpersonal relationships and you shouldn’t try and ‘dominate’ a handshake but rather convey meaning through how you shake. Eye contact is very important.

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