Important Social Skills

Have you taken the public transport lately?


What have you observed? People staring at their mobile phones.

We seem to have lost the art of socializing these days. Gone were the days when people mingled with those around them face to face and not through a small screen.

So here’s a refresher course on some basic social skills:

  1. Smile – this is an instant ice breaker (when someone doesn’t smile at you, it doesn’t mean their mean or grumpy. People will low self-confidence never make the first attempt to smile.)
  2. Be humble.
  3. Shake hands with confidence. This step is important to counter balance step number 2 because power players may think of your humbleness as a sign of weakness.
  4. Ask questions. A wise, fat man once said that everyone is only interested in themselves. Thus the one that asks questions is the one who controls the conversations.
  5. Never interrupt the speaker. I have seen people who can’t wait for the speaker to finish speaking before they can say something. This puts you in a very bad light. Always take a second or two after the speaker has finished speaking to provide your reply. This shows that you’re thinking about your reply before replying.
  6. Empathize with the person you’re speaking with. Understand what’s important to them.
  7. Maintain eye contact. Don’t look over them, around them or at their chest. Look at them. People tend to note your eyes to see if you’re interested in what they’re saying.
  8. Maintain interest.

A long time, Dale Carnegie wrote an excellent but simple book, “How to win Friends and Influence People“. The book became a best seller and was translated into many languages. It’s still one of the best and simplest book you’ll ever find on this subject. This book was originally published in 1937 but it’s still one of the best sellers on Amazon. It was recently updated in 1998.

Financial success, Carnegie believed, is due 15 percent to professional knowledge and 85 percent to “the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm among people.”

But most importantly, people like to be valued. No one likes to be attacked, especially in public. And it’s always easier to convince someone of your ideas by speaking to them gently than either berating them or humiliating them.

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