There’s one “make or break” factor which will determine your success: your interpersonal skills.
Plenty of research has been done about the connection between strong social skills and success. Social skills are the key to teamwork and building long term relationships, but they can feel hard to measure. If you lack them, you’ll suffer the consequences.
The good news is that you can improve your interpersonal skill set, once you know what to focus on. Here are five indicators that someone is socially adept:
1. They show their appreciation of others
Everyone wants to feel special, so a strong starting point is to make them feel great about themselves. If they’ve had a “success” of some kind, mention that, congratulate them, show that they are special in your mind.
2. They listen deeply
Another great skill is the ability to listen. It’s not as easy as you might think, which is why if you encounter someone who’s really good at listening, it often makes a strong impression.
A study by the Harvard University Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab revealed that people spend 60% of their conversations talking about themselves. When we aren’t talking, we’re often constructing our response.
3. They’re grateful
Thank others for what they have given you or done with you. I frequently spend time with people who ask for business guidance. I am delighted to do this, but I am somewhat disheartened when there is no follow-up “thank you.” This is common courtesy. Saying “thank you” holds for professional conversations, networking chats, and even encounters with friends.
4. They’re enthusiastic
We’re drawn to people who give us energy – people who are upbeat, enthusiastic, and positive in their outlook. To achieve this dynamic connection with others, think of leading and inspiring others, no matter your position.
5. They use language effectively
Your social skills involve more than your words. To build interpersonal rapport, use body language.
Look others directly in the eye and show warmth. Don’t let your eyes dart away when someone passes or when you get a text on your phone.
Consider also the expression on your face, and your tone of voice. Finally, align your body with that of the person you’re talking to. If you’re standing, mirror the other person’s body position. If that individual is sitting, sit down next to them, rather than towering over them.