Social Skills in the Workplace
The move from college to employment will be a major transition and
much of the change will be in the social area. The comfortable social
skills suitable to a college environment may have to be modified to fit
the workplace. Individuals will have to determine what is appropriate
and then adjust their behaviors accordingly. The first step will be to
reassess individual strengths and weaknesses and match these against skills
necessary for success in the workplace. Asking for guidance and assistance
from knowledgeable individuals can become crucial to success.
Consider the following when attempting to make a positive first impression
during an interview:
Personal grooming may need to be improved especially considering
the college culture the student is leaving which is generally much more
casual than a business environment.
Informal nuances are apart of any interview and individuals may need
practice to recognize subtle signs. For example, cues given
by the speaker during a conversation may tell interviewees when to continue
discussing a point or when to change the topic.
Maintaining a conversation will be necessary during interview.
Even though this may be in an informal setting such as over dinner, it
is an important part of the interview.
Properly relating pertinent personal information and deciding the
timing of discussing help you may need. The amount of knowledge employers
have about disabilities will vary greatly.
Interviewees should expect to clearly state individual strengths
and minimizing weaknesses. Goals and objectives will need to
be realistically articulated. Practicing with experienced individuals
who are knowledgeable about your personality will be helpful.
As employment continues and work relationships deepen, it may be
necessary to refocus attention on additional social skills areas.
For example, it becomes increasingly important to gain the respect of co-workers
following through with promises and statements
accepting responsibility for your actions and not seeking to place blame
apologizing when necessary but as little as possible. Turning apologies
into compliments, Youve been so helpful to me as I do this difficult
communicating often and clearly with those giving assignments or those
with whom you are working.
finding areas in which you excel and offering assistance to those who need
attending to proper telephone etiquette by leaving short, direct
messages, returning telephone calls upon request, having an appropriate
message on your telephone, and deciding when to save communications for