HR experts and people recruiting new employees are very sensitive to soft skills and capabilities that we often overlook (or don’t put as much effort into highlighting). These are the so-called “ soft skills ”: those skills defined by our behavior according to our way of understanding the various social codes, and according to our attitudes and expressions in society.
What are social abilities
The social integration of each person depends largely on these skills, which are crucial not only for personal well-being but also for a favorable work environment, quality of work and agility in conflict resolution . But not everyone naturally has good social skills. There are people who need to stop to analyze their own and work on them.
These are three activities or exercises that some specialists recommend to enhance soft skills:
Develop communication skills
An exercise that can be useful in groups or individually is that each team or individual must assess how they would respond to a specific situation that is given to them.
Example: “You go to the movies with a friend and she doesn’t stop talking… how do you tell her how you feel?”) according to the three communication styles (assertive, passive and aggressive) previously explained by an advisor or instructor. Once each case has been answered and even staged, the groups must analyze the consequences that their different expressions may have on the other person. The objective of the activity is to reflect on which style of interpersonal communication can be more effective in relation to personal well-being. A person who is able to express her needs and opinions while respecting others will have better self-esteem and will improve her relationships with others.
Practice active listening
Listening requires attention and self-discipline. We need to listen to feel empathy with the other, to understand instructions, to show respect for the person with whom we are talking. There are ways to keep our attention focused on the conversation, such as alluding to something the other person has already mentioned, as well as asking questions from time to time to expand on the information we have. All this without interrupting.
Role playing or interpretation of roles
Putting yourself in another’s shoes in a tense or conflict situation is not always easy. Especially if social skills are not a strong point. Making a scene with an exchange of roles or adopting the position of a profile different from ours can enhance empathy and help us understand all the parties involved in a case that has already occurred or may occur in the future. Thus, not only will we understand the reactions of others more easily, but we will be able to anticipate how we ourselves would respond in the future and avoid unwanted reactions.
Learn to unlearn
Don’t take everything you know for granted, sometimes it’s time to start from scratch and relearn with an open mind to different solutions