Monthly Archives: February 2005

Social Skills Training Made Easy

by Peter Murphy

Just as no one learns to ride a bicycle without first being
trained to ride a bicycle, so too does no one truly acquire
social skills without undergoing some kind of social skills
training.

While it’s not always easy to define what is meant by
social skills, it’s easy to identify individuals who lack
them and need social skills training: they tend to be
socially isolated, frustrated, depressed, even prone to
anger and acting out.

Social skills training for both children and adults focuses
on creating individuals who are able to make and maintain
friendships, understand and express emotion, work
cooperatively, and develop assertiveness and self-worth.

In the workplace, social skills help employees embody the
traits most valued by employers: compliance, civility, and
cooperativeness.

Mental health experts have identified four primary areas of
social skills:

1. Survival skills, such as listening and following
directions, focusing on the task at hand, and using
positive self-talk to reward success.

2. Interpersonal skills, such as sharing, participating
appropriately in activities, and learning how to take turns.

3. Problem-solving skills, including knowing how and when
to ask for help, deciding upon the correct course of
action, and accepting consequences for behavior.

4. Conflict resolution skills, such as dealing with
misunderstanding or accusation.

The goal of social skills training is to facilitate
desirable behaviors while minimizing the incidence of
undesirable ones. Through positive modeling, coaching, and
role-playing, effective programs need to:

1. Teach listening skills, conversational skills, and
social participation skills. Central to all three is eye
contact, knowing when (and when not) to speak, and how to
show interest in what other people are saying.

2. Describe how to ask questions and favors appropriately
of others, and how to follow directions. Help people
determine the best time to speak, how to know who to ask
for help, and how to get another person’s attention in a
friendly and non-aggressive way.

3. Provide direction in how to interpret body language.
People communicate volumes through their facial expressions
and by many other non-verbal cues that can be nuanced and
challenging to understand. Teach participants to observe
other people closely through role-play and through modeling.

4. Teach the skill of working cooperatively. Working well
with others involves being able to listen, to identify what
needs to be done and how it should be accomplished, and to
be attuned to the needs and feelings of the people involved
in the task.

5. Train people how to communicate positively and
productively. Teach them when and how to say thank you,
how to give constructive compliments, and how to give and
receive positive feedback.

Accepting a compliment is not easy for some people, but
learning how to do it graciously and appropriately is a
valuable social skill.

6. Instruct on the proper techniques of conflict
resolution. Accepting the consequences of behavior means
knowing when and how to apologize, understanding how
actions influence other people, and demonstrating the
ability to empathize.

Social skills have been referred to by some psychologists
as “life skills”. Therefore, social skills training is
really about giving people the skills they need to succeed
in life.

Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert. He recently
produced a very popular free report: 10 Simple Steps to
Developing Communication Confidence. Apply now because
it is available for a limited time only at:
http://www.howtotalkwithconfidence.com/report.htm

4 Great Ways To Improve Social Skills

by Peter Murphy

Improving your social skills can be a difficult thing to
accomplish but it can be done. Nothing is more
uncomfortable than inadequate social skills.

Below are a few basic steps to take so that improving your
social skills becomes not only a change but a better
lifestyle for you.

Step #1 Start socializing close to home.

Not literally but metaphorically. Start by looking at your
closest social interactions. If you are the kind of person
who is more off to themselves and not very active at your
friends’ parties then you are more than likely the same
person who can’t speak up in a business or find the courage
to initiate a date.

So start by mingling yourself with your closest people more
often. Practice by holding conversation with family you
don’t regularly speak too or becoming more active in the
party scene with your friends.

There’s no need to become outrageous just speak up with
those you fell comfortable with.

Step #2 Improve your conversation skills.

Nervousness is a common occurrence when it comes to
interacting with other people, it doesn’t have to be an
obstacle though.

Watch the conversation and don’t let those uncomfortable
pauses scare you. Remember if you are nervous there is a
good chance that the other person is nervous as well, so
just take it easy.

Try small talk, like the weather or the economy or things
locally that you have in common such as the job or what’s
been on television lately.

When you see the conversation picking back up then just let
it flow naturally and if you need to guide it back to amore
important topic.

Something else to remember in the conversation is to avoid
talking over the other person. Watch the person’s reaction
and if your are really worried about interrupting, try and
anticipate their next move.

Above all, apologizing instead of simply ordering the
person to continue speaking when you interrupt is never
overrated. Being polite is the easiest way to improve your
social skills.

Step #3 Improve the body language in your social skills.

Crossing your arms is subconsciously offensive because you
display a piece of aggression, stating that you would
rather not become deeply engaged in the conversation and
that possibly you might be bored.

If you are seated, crossing your legs displays the same
message. Try and keep your arms down, hands in the pockets
are fine.

Try and keep your legs down and if you are standing don’t
sway. Swaying can suggest again that you are bored or that
you are in a hurry.

Step #4 Ending the Conversation.

Knowing how to end conversation is just as important in
improving your social skills as holding the conversation is.

Holding onto a conversation that is clearly over labels you
as annoying and selfish. Watch the other person’s movements
and actions.

We as humans have very subtle but dependable signs of
letting each know when we are through. If the other person
tends to refer to their “to do list” for the day or are
constantly shifting their body weight or displaying other
physical signs of boredom, let them go.

Improving your social skills can be done. Don’t worry, keep
trying and aim to improve a little each day. Good social
skills are the foundation for success!

Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert. He recently
produced a very popular free report: 10 Simple Steps to
Developing Communication Confidence. Apply now because
it is available for a limited time only at:
http://www.howtotalkwithconfidence.com/report.htm

Improving your social skills can be done!

How to Communicate At Your Best

by Peter Murphy

Knowing how to communicate well is a big issue. According
to a recent National Survey, Americans fear public speaking
and communication more than they fear dying.

Why is this?

Because knowing how to communicate well requires very
personal attention between you and another human being and
let’s face it, anything personal opens a door to insecurity
and feeling of inadequacy. So how can you overcome these
insecure feelings about communication?

Is there a better way to learn how to communicate
effectively?

It takes some individual commitment but for starters,
follow these 3 basics steps.

1. Relax and Breath.

Whether it’s a business meeting, a conference room or a
first date the first thing you must do in order to
communicate is relax.

When you relax you are in control. You control your
reactions and your reactions do not control you. Breathing
is central to relaxation. Take a few deep breaths and your
body will begin to be more at ease.

2. Think and you will be prepared.

Have you ever heard the old saying, “think before you
speak”? Well, it rings true. An effective sentence,
paragraph and speech must first be formed in your mind.

Try to think a few sentences ahead, predicting your follow
up sentences and the ones following them. If you forget to
think you will wind up dumbfounded and back at step one,
but don’t worry, relax and keep going.

By thinking ahead about how the conversation might flow you
will be better prepared, more at ease and more confident.

3. Follow the flow of the conversation.

If you are giving a speech, watch the audience and know how
to read their reactions. For example, if they are bored,
key up your speech.

If they are tired, then maybe it would be best to wrap it
up. If your communication is more personal like a date, do
the same but remember communication is a give and take
process.

If you are uncomfortable, being silent will only make it
worse and make the other person uncomfortable as well. So
when all else fails follow through with small talk until a
common topic appears.

A good way to keep a conversation going is to ask the other
person questions. People love to talk about themselves and
if you do this they will leave the conversation thinking
very highly of you.

Learning good communication skills is not something out of
reach. You can learn how to communicate with confidence
whether it is through written communication, verbal
communication or non verbal communication if you make an
effort.

So good luck and good communication.

Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert. He recently
revealed the secret strategies all high achievers use to
communicate with charm and impact. The same techniques you
can use to overcome shyness, develop great conversation
skills and build self-confidence.

Click here now to reserve your
365 day trial of this simple
step-by-step system:

http://www.howtotalkwithconfidence.com

You can learn how to communicate with confidence!