It’s a post-Covid-19 dilemma, our social skills are out of shape. Don’t worry, at least we are all in it together. As many of us start returning to the office, we need to be aware that our own and other’s social skills are probably lacking. And the day-to-day chit-chat that used to feel energizing may now feel draining. Use these simple tips to start whipping out interpersonal skills back to pre-pandemic days.
Anytime we talk about managing people, it’s best to start with a self-check. Understand where you are at as an individual. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are your personality traits? What has changed for you over the last year? This self-check evaluation will work twofold. First, you can identify your own weaknesses and identify what support you need to better manage your team. Secondly, managing from a place of self-awareness gives you compassion and empathy. You can extend grace and patience to your team who is certainly suffering socially too.
Adjusting after a year of isolation is going to take time and energy. Our isolated, sedentary lives became our normal and now we are trying to get back to our old selves. Set expectations for yourself and your team. Talk it out and don’t be afraid to call a spade a spade. Tell your team that it’s okay to feel socially exhausted and reassure them that they are not alone. Consider easing everyone back to it either by doing half days onsite or have blocks of quiet time where internal communication is not permitted.
Brush Up On the Fundamentals of Communication
Brush up on the fundamentals of communication so it’s top of mind.
- Stay calm and breathe. New social situations can actually send our bodies into an anxious state and we may not even be aware of it. It’s hard to connect with people in this state, so if you feel yourself getting hot or starting to perspire take some deep, relaxing breaths.
- Actively listen to others. That means to put your phone down, take your eyes away from the screen and your fingers off the keyboard. Practice being fully present and attentive.
- Ask questions. One way to keep a conversation going is to ask questions. Open-ended questions are ideal. Closed-ended questions can be answered with a simple yes or no. The alternative encourages people to open up with more meaningful responses.
- Practice eye contact and nodding so that the speaker knows you are engaged.
Remember that bit about us all being in this together? It’s true. Extend kindness to others and yourself. Give people the benefit of the doubt and don’t openly criticize anyone. Doing so creates a toxic work environment where productivity and teamwork cannot thrive.
Are you interested in a self-awareness evaluation? If so, contact the experts at HRinDemand. We use Predictive Index’s state-of-the-art software to help businesses effectively hire, manage and outgrow their competition.
We are offering a self-awareness evaluation – normally $1,000 for 25% off. The evaluation will give you valuable insight into your personality, strengths and weaknesses. Leverage it for productivity and team management.
Melissa Marsh, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, is a human resources consultant and founder of HRinDemand, a human resources company in Reno, NV, offering expert guidance and easy-to-use tools to help small businesses with employment regulations, compliance, employee relations, and company growth.