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A Useful 4 Point Social Skills Checklist for Better Conversation

Aug 17, 2007
As you try to improve your social skills, an invaluable way to monitor your progress and check how your abilities have improved so far in your social interaction, is the use of a social skills checklist.

A social skills checklist outlines the major social skills and present helpful hints in achieving a better appreciation of these skills. This checklist could be acquired from a counselor or social skills coach. It may also be found in some books on communication and books on social graces.

A social skills checklist can be customized. It can be designed to meet your specific needs and goals. Below is a generalized social skills checklist that you may consider studying. This may serve as your aid in brainstorming ideas as to which social skills you do intend to observe and develop.

1. How to become a good listener.

Listening is the most important social skill and is also the hardest to observe. To improve your social skills you must be determined to meet that objective in the end. There is a need for discipline. In as much as social skills involve one on one communication, listening plays a major role.

You need to listen to your partner when he or she talks and vice versa. You should bear in mind that they don't just want to be talked to; they also do want to be talked with. The social skill of listening is a give and take interaction. When both parties try to exchange communications, it is an indication that advanced social skill is demonstrated.

Being a good listener, you are not supposed to interrupt as others speak. Never judge harshly and try to comment back after. To make an occasional quick comment is an indication that you are on the same page and you are focused on the topic being discussed. It takes a lot of effort to be patient and courteous as you wait for your turn to be heard. But if you will come to realize it, you will learn a lot if you focus on what the other party is saying.

2. Always say "please" and "thank you".

The use of the words "please" and "thank you" are sometimes overlooked.

Most often, people tend to forget to express gratitude for the things that were done for them. You should take time to say "please" and "thank you" to those who have taken the time to carry out their services as you have expected them to perform. A kind deed earns good rewards. Your being polite and appreciative of their help will motivate them to further improve their performance.

3. Adopt an open and inviting posture.

Your non-verbal social skills such as your bodily movements, eye-to-eye contact and controlling nervous habits are vital in making other's feel at ease with you.

Try to behave in a manner that would not be construed as a defensive attack but a posture that would indicate a welcoming gesture.

4. Practice speaking to strangers and start conversations with them.

Small talk may be very hard to evaluate, as little real information may be shared in the conversation. Try to ask surface questions to strangers and listen to their answers. You could be surprised at how their answers will often serve as a lead into an interesting conversation.

Social skills are hard to measure since they are not definitive or material. Thus, you need a social skills checklist handy as you evaluate yourself and how far your social skills progress.
About the Author
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 only at: conversation starters
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