|Simple emoticons of the five temperaments: Sanguine (top right), Choleric (bottom right), Melancholy (bottom left), and Phlegmatic (centre), with the new temperament Supine (top left) and Phlegmatic blends in between. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Social skills developmentI am not an introvert, but I sometimes find it difficult to avoid blanks in conversations, or to avoid interrupting the speaker. So, in this article, I will provide you a list of simple and extremely efficient tools to improve your social skills and small talk ability in seconds! You don't believe me? Have a look to the list, and I am sure you will notice outstanding improvements!
Social skills tipsTop 5 tips to improve your social skills immediately:
- The triple nod. If your interlocutor is a bit hesitating and stops talking, just triple nod. It will encourage her to continue.
- Touch the arm, or at least, shake hands: this one is highly culturally dependent, so, use it carefully. The idea is just to touch the arms or the shoulder of people when you feel good with them and just shared a joke for instance. Also shake the hand of as many people as you can: do not just say hello, stand up and shake hands!
- Say your name first: people are often shy and do not dare to introduce themselves. Help them, and introduce yourself: "Hi, I am Alan ! How are you ?"
- Ask people how they are doing, with a genuine interest: in almost every culture, asking someone how she is doing is seen as a mark of respect and interest. So, ask frequently to people how they are doing.
- Ask open ended question: I am an engineer. Engineer love unambiguous questions that can be answered by yes or no. Sure, that's useful with technique, but that's terrible with humans. Because you drive the conversation and give no possibility to your interlocutor to talk about what she really wants to talk about. So, ask open ended questions!
Become extravertWith these 5 tips, you will already start to be considered as an reasonably extraverted person. The next 5 tips will bring your social skills and emotional intelligence to the next level.
- Match the rate of speech of your interlocutor. If she speaks to fast, she is stressed. To calm her, speak slower.
- Offer coffees! The return over investment of offering coffee to colleagues is huge. I offer coffee to colleagues to know them better, be friendly, and obtain data in an informal scope. This has been a key lever for my professional success. Some people who would refuse to grant 10' for a meeting will spend 30' with you easily if you offer them a coffee instead of asking for conference call or meeting.
- Meet people at their office, not yours: it's a sign of respect and interest to visit someone in her office, especially if it is far from yours. So, it's a very good habit to propose to come and visit colleagues when you need a meeting. And it is so much more efficient to create trust and friendly relationships, in comparison to a phone call.