After the SQ survey: Improving social skills

Suggested approaches:

1. Hold a group discussion on helpful traits identified from side B of the SQ survey form (covered in this web site's popularity tests: male or female, and in the Vallejo traits correlations.) The comments of teacher Lynn Epp suggest ideas for such a discussion.

2. Emphasize that with effort, each individual's social skills can be improved, unlike IQ ability. Both are important for success, so a C+ student with improved social skills could well end up being the manager or earning more than his A- classmate. Show students the scattergraph on Research Findings on Career Success.

3. Have students write an essay on what they learned from the SQ process. The comments of the girl who got a 75 SQ reveal a new awareness of her own shortcomings and some positive steps she plans.

4. Focus on the important "happiness" traits (including upbeat attitude and smiles). A new book "How We Choose to be Happy" by Foster and Hicks emphasizes that individuals have the power to create their own happiness, no matter what their circumstances. The authors quote Abraham Lincoln: " Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."

5. Have students read about other success traits. Chapter 3 of "Napoleon Hill's Keys to Success" discusses 25 traits to "assemble an attractive personality." Many of these traits (like smiling, courtesy, and fondness for people) show a positive correlation to Social Quotient scores.

Caution: there are few proven methods for improving social skills. Most approaches lack statistical evidence on how effective they are. One exception is an individualized program at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, described by Goleman in "Working with Emotional Intelligence."

The Social Quotient system offers a simple, yet rigorous way to measure the effectiveness of various social skills programs. A researcher would do pre and post SQ surveys, including the markings of a control group that didn't participate in the skills program. All subjects should know each other to about the same degree (like two halves of a regular classroom). In an effective program, the SQ scores of the 1/2 of subjects receiving the skills program would rise, while the control group's scores would decline (since SQ scores are normed to 100.0).

Go to: Ways to improve your people skills in the workplace

Go to: Teaching Social Skills to young people

Go to: Training Tips on Social Skills

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