Just as emotional intelligence is essential for today\’s world, social skills are the support through which you interact with other people.
This is what is called a set of capacities, some general and others specific, that are used to establish contacts and solve inter-personal problems, and at a social and emotional level.
The postulate about social skills was shaped by the work of Dr. Arnold Goldstein, a psychologist and professor at Syracuse University, near New York, United States. He is the author of more than 60 books and more than 100 articles on assault, prosocial skills training, and juvenile delinquency. He also served as chair of the New York State Task Force on Youth Gangs.
What are social skills for?
From the implementation in daily life, both in personal and professional spheres, social skills allow expressing attitudes, desires, opinions, rights and feelings in an appropriate way, at the same time that they seek to respect the behaviors of other people .
Because they are based on specific behaviors, they are necessary to interact with people effectively and satisfactorily for both parties.
For example, social skills are the ability to listen, start a conversation, ask questions, say thank you, know how to introduce yourself, introduce others, praise, empathize, and be assertive.
Others require more attention: emotional intelligence, the ability to communicate emotions and feelings, define problems and seek solutions, negotiate and apologize, among others.
How social skills are born and developed
Since we are born, each person is influenced by the environment in which they develop. The processes of socialization from babies onwards, education, learning with its process of modeling and shaping behaviors and habits in early childhood, is crucial for the future development of the person.
When the environment has been one of positive encouragement, support and help to develop social skills, it can be affirmed that the young person and adult may have a greater capacity to develop assertively.
The opposite also happens in cases of lack of affectivity, or in environments of aggression, abandonment, poverty, precariousness, lack of education and behaviors that go against basic human rights. These types of people may tend to replicate them in their future life. Although there are always cases of those who manage to overcome those childhood challenges and build meaningful lives that add value for themselves and for other people.
For psychology in its various streams, learning is one of the major influences to acquire competent social performance; and they affirm that aspects of inhibited or uninhibited temperament also influence.
Social skills self-test
Just for reference and without implying scientific rigor, here you will find 50 classified social skills, which will guide you to detect possible opportunities for improvement.
Rate yourself from 1 to 5 on each one, where 1 is the lowest rating and 5 is excellent.
You can average each of the following six groups. In each one, it is also possible that you extract the opportunities for improvement in those scored from 3 downwards.
Below I share how to measure the results.
GROUP 1 – First social skills
02 Start a conversation
03 Have a conversation
04 Ask a question
05 Give thanks
06 Introduce yourself
07 Introducing other people
GROUP 2 – ADVANCED SOCIAL SKILLS
09 – Ask for something
10 – Participate
11 – Give instructions
12 – Follow instructions
13 – Apologize
14 -Convince other people
GROUP 3 – SKILLS RELATED TO FEELINGS
15 – Know your own feelings
16 – Express feelings
17 – Understand the feelings of others
18 – Coping with the anger of others
29 – Express affection
20 – Resolve the fear
21 – Self-reward
GROUP 4 – ALTERNATIVE SKILLS TO AGGRESSION
22 – Ask for permission
23 – Share something
24 – Help other people
25 – Negotiate
26 – Employ self-control
27 – Defend your own rights
28 – Respond to jokes
29 – Avoid problems with others
30 – Do not get into fights
GROUP 5 – SKILLS TO DEAL WITH STRESS
31 – Make a complaint
32 – Respond to a complaint
33 – Demonstrate sporting ability (whatever)
34 – Resolve the shame
35 – Coping with when you are left out
36 – Defend a friend
37 – Respond to persuasion
38 – Responding to Failure
39 – Facing Conflicting Messages
40 – Responding to an accusation
41 – Prepare for a difficult conversation
42 – Coping with peer pressure
GROUP 6 – PLANNING SKILLS
43 – Take initiatives
44 – Discern about the cause of a problem
45 – Set a Goal
46 – Know your own skills
47 – Collect information
48 – Solve problems according to priorities / importance
49 – Make a decision
50 – Concentrate on a task.
The following does not represent a scientific evaluation. It is presented only as an informative title. When you have completed each of the items in the six groups of social skills, you will have a fairly accurate outline of your self-perception of your social skills, and a roadmap of your continuous improvement in this regard.
If your average is 4 or 5, you have good ability in social skills. You can even propose to exercise those that still present opportunities.
If you have 3 you are half way to develop and several aspects of improvement.
If the average gave you 1 or 2, you may need a significant reinforcement in the entire set of these social competencies.