Strong social skills are the difference between a good business person and a great one. Yet in business, the importance of social skills are often overlooked and neglected.
Universities and business schools do not formally teach social skills in their curriculum. It is expected the “soft skills” you need to interact effectively with other team members will be learned on-the-job or through corporate training initiatives.
However when companies and human resource departments choose corporate training for their employees, they often prefer to invest in developing their employees technical skill rather than their interpersonal or social skills.
Technical skill is important. It allows you to complete the tasks required for your job. However technical skill alone will not make a great business person.
A great business person will always go one-step further and strive for the rare combination of technical plus social skill. They understand that by improving their ability to interact with other team members and clients, they can get the job done faster, more efficiently and cost effectively.
In essence, by having a strong level of social skill, a higher level than your peers, you can increase the amount of value you add to the company. For employees, this could mean more promotions. For entrepreneurs, this could mean more clients.
As a business etiquette consultant, I regularly work with professionals who want to improve their social skills. Specifically, they want to know how to project more confidence in business, how to start and continue a conversation, and how to show their professional competence and worth.
Mastering these skills is the difference between a good business person and a great one.
In this article, I want to share with you 24 reasons why as a professional or entrepreneur, you need a strong level of social skills in business.
1. Social skills help you give a good first impression because you know how to present yourself positively and form a connection with others.
2. Social skills help you start a conversation with somebody new in your office which can lead to better relations with your coworkers and a happier work environment.
3. Social skills help you start a conversation with a potential client which can lead to increased sales.
4. Social skills help you identify the right outfit to wear in the office and at business events so you establish the professional image you want to be known for.
5. Social skills help you dress for your industry which allows you to look like you “fit in”.
6. Social skills help you walk into a networking event with poise and confidence because you know the right body language to use.
7. Social skills help you choose who to talk with at a networking event so you can form the right connections in business.
8. Social skills help you interact smoothly in different cultures because you understand cultural differences and you can avoid offending others.
9. Social skills help you connect better with your coworkers, clients, and boss because you know how to hold conversations and interact positively with others.
10. Social skills help you to get others to know, like and trust you because you know the exact steps to build each element.
11. Social skills help you build a leadership reputation because you will look and feel more comfortable and confident in business situations.
12. Social skills help you build a strong professional brand because you know how to establish a consistently high level of presentation and interaction with others.
13. Social skills help you interact in a polite and professional manner on social media, and help you avoid damage to your professional reputation.
14. Social skills help you deal with conversation pitfalls such as an interrupter or a conversation hog.
15. Social skills help you remember and use names in conversation which will in turn help others to like you.
16. Social skills help you offer the right handshake for business and as a result convey the right message to others.
17. Social skills help you exchange business cards with respect so you make that person feel important and appreciated.
18. Social skills help you understand the hierarchy of your company and the chain of command, which will help you navigate the corporate environment.
19. Social skills help you understand the dangers of extreme levels of know, like and trust so you can avoid damaging your professional reputation.
20. Social skills help you prepare for networking events so you can approach each networking event with strategy, focus, and less nerves.
21. Social skills help you work more efficiently and effectively in a team, leading to a more harmonious and happier work environment.
22. Social skills boost your team’s productivity and therefore help your business become more profitable.
23. Social skills help entrepreneurs connect better with clients, leading to more contracts and increased profits.
24. Social skills will make you feel more comfortable in business situations (because you know what to do), and as a result, more confident.
As a high-achieving professional or entrepreneur, which reason resonates with you the most?