Part of being an effective leader is knowing how to make connections with your colleagues and the individuals under your care. This involves the social skills element of emotional intelligence.
Leaders with good social skills are able to:
- Effectively give and receive feedback
- Resolve conflicts
- Form positive relationships with those in their circle
- Manage change
- Inspire their team to work toward a common goal
It’s a common misconception that you are either born with a high aptitude for social skills, or you’re not. In reality, this skillset is like a muscle you can build over time by setting the right habits in place
How can you build social skills? Here are my 3 tips.
1. Listen, and Listen Well
Active listening shows that the listener is fully engaged with what the speaker is saying. Subconsciously, this communicates to the speaker that the listener cares, is empathizing, and truly values the speaker and what he/she has to say.
In order for the people who you are leading at work to like you, they first have to feel like they can trust you and your ability to care for them well. One of the best ways to build their trust is to ask them questions (on both a personal and professional level) and listen to their responses intently. Everyone likes being heard, so your team will be more likely to speak up and engage with you more regularly.
2. Be Intentional With Your Body Language
Even the most exciting stories can seem monotonous with ineffective delivery. If your body language makes you appear distracted or bored, your team members might walk away feeling brushed off even if you did hear every word they said.
A word to describe the ideal body language in the workplace is open. When people are speaking to you, you should face them head-on, keep your arms uncrossed, stand/sit up tall, and maintain eye contact. For bonus points, try nodding occasionally while the other person is speaking. This will show that you are attentive, confident, and receptive.
3. Pay Attention to How You Speak
What you say is only half of the equation; you also have to pay attention to how you are saying it.
Your tone and word choice should convey confidence without seeming overbearing. Avoid starting sentences off with “I think” or “Maybe…” and be mindful of “um”s between your thoughts to show that you are sure of yourself and what you are saying. Also mind how quickly you are speaking; speaking slowly and clearly will convey that you are fully engaged in the conversation.
When it comes to volume, pay attention to how loudly the other person/people are speaking and mirror them. Speaking too loudly may be startling and off-putting, while speaking too softly will be distracting as people are trying to decipher what you are saying.
Are you struggling to build relationships with your team? Executive leadership coaching could be just what you need to solve the problem.
Contact me today for a free 15-minute consultation to learn more.
About Dr. Wilkerson, PD, MBA, PCC.
Do you want to increase your impact? Do you want to increase profits under your leadership? Do you want to develop and use your abilities to the fullest to better connect with and lead others? Executive Leadership Coaching covers these bases. Dr. Jerrund Wilkerson, PD, MBA, PCC, has more than 30 years of successful executive leadership coaching in the United States and internationally.
As a licensed pharmacist, he is particularly passionate about helping develop effective leaders in the healthcare community. Dr. Wilkerson has coached and trained thousands of managers and leaders. He is a certified coach and member of the John Maxwell Leadership Team.
CLICK HERE to learn more.