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Emotional Intelligence Series: Social Skills

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

The best place to put your skills to the test is at work. Without social interaction, nothing would get done.

I remember years ago at a gathering being struck by a lady from across the room. She was shorter than average height, a tad heavy, middle age, with short sandy hair, wire-rim rim glasses and a green dress. There was something magnetic about her, something magic… She had something that just made me yearn to meet her…

As leaders, it is inevitable that we will be thrown into social situations. How we react in those situations and the impressions we give to others can have a tremendous impact on our success. Studies as far back as 100 years ago show that the success of leaders is determined 85% by their soft skills and only 15% by their technical skills.

The good news is, that just like technical skills, social skills can be learned, practiced and mastered. There is an art to active listening, clear communication and having a calm, yet commanding presence in a room. Seeking out social situations, then actively asking for feedback from trusted colleagues can aid in social skills development. Many times others can see what we can’t, especially in social situations.

Reflection Question: What does actively practicing my social skills look like?

Topic Next Week: Empathy

(The lady I mentioned at the beginning of the post, I did have the pleasure of meeting. She was a wonderful business consultant and MBA teacher that inspired many people throughout the US. There is no doubt that her social skills contributed to her remarkable success. She has just recently retired.)


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