In today’s article you’re going to learn everything you need to know about how to develop social awareness skills.
Social awareness means having the sensitivity to pick up what is going on around you.
If you have strong social awareness, you are comfortable around other people; you don’t have problems striking a conversation and connecting with them.
You easily pick up on the nonverbal cues other people drop and you know how to read between the lines.
At work, it’s not hard for you to pick up on the office politics and the pervading group dynamics. Your clients like you, and so do your co-workers.
You can improve your social awareness through these six steps.
How To Develop Social Awareness Skills:
Step 1: Get to know more about the people around you, both at work and at home.
It’s really important for you to know the people around you – their likes and dislikes, what’s going on with them.
You don’t have to work towards being their confidant, but nonetheless it would be great if they see you as someone they can confide in. You get to do that by taking the time to get to know them.
At work, try to make it a point to be friendly with your coworkers, superiors and subordinates.
Ask how they are doing every once in a while, and ask about their families too. If they have a birthday coming up, it won’t hurt to send them a birthday card, or even an e-card.
It also pays to keep your ears to the ground and be familiar with how things work in the office. You’ll never know when you’ll be caught up in the office politics, so learn how to tread the waters.
At home, try to spend as much time with your family as possible. Have date nights with your spouse, take your parents to dinner, play video games with your kids.
The more you spend time with them and show you’re interested in what they’re doing, the more you’ll learn how to maintain harmony at home.
Step 2: Consider how your feelings affect other people.
People react to your moods and the emotions you display, just as you react to other people’s moods and emotions.
So, before you interact with other people, try to check your mood and what you’re feeling first.
If you’re in a bad mood, it’s highly likely that you will become a mood dampener too. Develop a ritual for boosting your mood before you start interacting with people.
For example, if you’re in a bad mood because of traffic on your way to work, shake the bad mood off by stopping by the restroom to check on your appearance.
If work got you stressed out, try to unwind before going home so your spouse and kids won’t pick up on the negative energy coming from you.
Step 3: Improve your listening skills.
If you are a person who is socially aware, you know what is going on around you most of the time.
That’s because you would know how to listen and you encourage people to share information with you that they wouldn’t normally share to just anyone.
Being a good listener is more than just having clear hearing and hearing clearly what is being said.
Most of the time, people imply more than what just the words dropping from their mouth are saying.
It’s the message that isn’t being said that you need to be attuned to.
When you listen to someone, maintain eye contact and focus on the person talking to you. Avoid any distractions that will disturb the conversation.
Pay attention to the person’s facial expressions and how they change during the course of the conversation.
Show them that you’re listening by nodding and smiling and holding your body in an open posture. Don’t interrupt them while they’re talking.
Once they’re done talking, provide feedback by repeating what you understood of the conversation. Let them correct you if you’re wrong.
Be candid, honest and respectful, and don’t be judgmental or argumentative (1).
Step 4: Observe people around you.
Some people have a habit of observing other people whenever they are out in public. It’s an activity called people watching.
People watching can be an awesome exercise when you’re trying to build social awareness.
For instance, when you’re having a drink at a coffee shop, try to observe the other people at the coffee shop.
Watch what they’re doing (discreetly, though, so you won’t end up annoying them). Watch their gestures and facial expressions, and try to guess what mood they’re in from their gestures and facial expressions.
You’d be surprised at how much information you can get from such observations.
Step 5: Learn to be more sensitive.
The world we live in is becoming more and more diverse each day.
Every single day, we encounter people with beliefs and practices different from ours, whose nationality, language and skin color is not the same as ours.
It is very important that we learn to be more sensitive and accepting, or at the very least tolerant of this diversity around us.
How do you learn to become more sensitive and accepting of people who are different from you?
The simple answer is to show empathy and to treat them with care, the way you want to be treated yourself. We are all human beings, after all, regardless of race, skin color, language, gender or religion.
Don’t be judgmental of beliefs and practices you know nothing about. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn more about the culture and beliefs of the people around you (2).
Step 6: Get out of your comfort zone.
You need to be more socially aware in order to become comfortable in your interactions with other people.
The thing is, though, you have to get out and interact with other people in order to become more socially aware. It’s a cycle, and you’ve got to get out of your comfort zone so you can get into that cycle.
This is understandably difficult if you suffer from social awkwardness and anxiety. Nonetheless, you’ve got to try.
When someone says hi and smiles at you, make it a point to smile back. When someone invites you to a party, try to show up and mingle.
Get out and have fun.
Thank you for reading this article about how to develop social awareness skills and I really hope that you take action my advice.
I wish you good luck and I hope its contents have been a good help to you.