While the term “social skills” is incredibly broad, in the context of emotional intelligence, it means something specific. Let’s get nitty gritty.
When it comes to emotional intelligence, your social skills are how you handle and influence others’ emotions. Your ability to do so effectively begins with, well, you. Emotional intelligence begins with an understanding of your own feelings and the ability to manage them to achieve your goals. When you understand yourself, you can understand the feelings of others and connect with them in more meaningful ways. It all starts with you taking responsibility for yourself.
Here are five ways tips for improving your social skills and increasing your emotional intelligence, so you can improve all your relationships across the board.
Work on Your Communication Skills
Your communication skills are a vital part of your emotional intelligence. People who demonstrate high emotional intelligence effectively listen to others and convey their own thoughts and feelings appropriately. Good communicators listen well and make sure that they understand what is being said. That’s right—communicating means listening, not just talking at someone, no matter how clearly. Listening and watching for comprehension allows you to register and act upon emotional cues so you can respond appropriately.
Improve Your Conflict Management Skills
Let’s be honest—conflicts and disagreements are inevitable. The art of managing and resolving disputes is critical for your success, both personally and professionally. Improving your conflict management skills starts by being aware of the importance of diplomacy, and how good social skills can be used to diffuse a tense situation. Again, this comes back to listening; you may discover the person you’re in conflict with has more in common with you than you first thought.
Improve Your Leadership Skills
Your leadership skills are inextricably linked to emotional intelligence. Leaders must tune into their own and other’s emotions if they want to be influential. Good leaders create impact through their ability to articulate a vision and empathetically support their colleagues, while still holding them accountable or their actions. Miscommunication between leaders and others is often what creates inefficiencies and frustration within an organization or project.
Develop Persuasion and Influencing Skills
Persuasion is the art of motivating others and winning them over. People who have high emotional intelligence are skilled at persuading others to see things from their perspective and getting them on board with a specific course of action. Persuasion is not about strong-arming or coercing. Instead, persuasive people can read the emotional currents in any given situation and fine-tune their response to appeal to everyone involved.
Work on Building Rapport
If you want to improve your emotional intelligence, then it is vital that you figure out how to build and maintain positive, healthy relationships with others. Developing this skill will improve your relationships and help you build a life that is copacetic in every way—emotionally, professionally, socially, and beyond. . Not only are highly emotionally intelligent people good at building rapport, but they also are willing to put in the work to maintain the relationships they already have. There’s wisdom in that children’s song: Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other gold.
When you have high emotional intelligence, it’s obvious to those around you, from your friends and family to your colleagues. That apparent empathy and ease of communication is what, at a baseline level, we call “good social skills.” But no one’s born with it; we all get better by practicing over the course of our lives. If you want to improve your emotional intelligence, then scroll to the top of this list, read it one more time, and put these tips into practice.