Success in the workplace is not just determined by who works the hardest or does the “best job”. Technical skills and knowledge are useful, but being able to build relationships with people is critical to succeeding in the workplace. Social skills are what enable people to talk to and connect with others. People that are able to form these connections increase their success in their job.

Students learning in a shop class.

Why Social Skills Matter

No matter what job your students will be doing when they graduate, they will most likely have to work with other people. Whether they work with a large team of coworkers, or work directly with customers, employees rarely work alone. Being able to interact maturely with others is invaluable in the modern work environment. One of the most common complaints of businesses when hiring is that job candidates often lack these “soft skills”. Social skills allow people to communicate in a positive, assertive manner. They also give other people a positive perception of the individual. People are more willing to help those they think are friendly and feel comfortable around.

Male teacher in a classroom

Social Skill Development

Developing social skills early is your students is key. While a lot of social skills are developed in the home, there are many things you can do within your program that foster the development of social skills. The social skills people use in the workplace are similar to the social skills they use with their family and friends. However, there are differences that must be taken into account when talking with coworkers, managers, or customers. Over the next few weeks, we will be posting about the following topics related to social skills. We will also be discussing how you can implement these topics and apply them in the classroom.

  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Controlling Your Emotions
  • Socializing at Work
  • Networking
  • Responding to Conflict
  • Helping Customers