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5 Social Skills for Workplace Success
By Alison Doyle, Career Expert


What are social skills? Social skills are those we use to interact with other people. Social skills include both verbal skills (the way you speak to other people) and nonverbal skills (your body language, gestures, and eye contact).


Why Employers Value Social Skills


Social skills are important soft skills — these are personal qualities related to interacting with others. Almost every job requires social skills.


If you work on a team, you need to be able to get along with others. If you work with clients, you need to be able to listen to their questions and concerns. If you are a manager, you need to be able to motivate employees.


Even if your job does not involve interacting with other people very much, you still need the social skills to interact with your employer and colleagues.


Because social skills are so important, almost every employer looks for job candidates with these skills. It is therefore important that you have strong social skills, and that you show these in your resume, cover letter, and interview.


Read below for a list of the top five social skills that employers seek in candidates for employment.


Top 5 Social Skills


1. Empathy


Empathy is a very important skill. To interact well with others, you need to be able to understand how they are feeling.


Empathy is especially important when dealing with clients who come to you with questions or problems. You need to express genuine concern for their issues and help solve them.


2. Cooperation


Cooperation is especially important when you work on a team. You need to be able to work with others to reach a common goal.


However, even if you do not work on a team, cooperation is still important. You need to be able to work alongside colleagues to help achieve the goals of your organization.


3. Verbal Communication


Verbal communication is an extremely important social skill in every job. You need to express yourself using clear language that others can understand. You need to be able to speak in person, on the phone, and via email with others.


4. Listening


Another important communication skill that helps you interact well with others is listening. You need to be able to listen carefully to what your employer tells you to do, to what your colleagues say in a meeting, and to what your employees ask of you. You need to listen to clients’ concerns, and express that you have listened carefully. People respond well to others when they feel they are being heard.


5. Nonverbal Communication


While verbal communication is an important skill, so is nonverbal communication. Through your body language, eye contact, and facial expressions, you can express that you are an empathetic person who is listening carefully to others.


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