Self-assessment Part 2 – Communication Skills

How are your communication skills? Could they be improved upon?

People with social anxiety may feel like they lack in social skills, because they simply haven’t had as much practice as other people who interact a lot. Fortunately, people with social anxiety have social skills that are on par with everyone else. They just wrongly assume that their communication skills aren’t as good as everyone else.

In fact, socially anxious and shy people are usually very observant and intuitive, so they are able to read people and situations to a greater degree than most. Once they get over their social phobias, they make great friends, colleagues, and leaders because they understand people and human nature on a deep level.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to try and improve your communication skills. Even if you are on par with everyone else, trying to improve yourself is a good habit to adopt and may give you a nice little confidence boost. With this in mind, are there any communication skills or people skills that you would like to improve upon?

Consider the following areas when deciding on what you need to improve:

Eye contact, tone of voice, and body language – Do you have a difficult time making eye contact? Does your body language convey a message of, “don’t talk to me”? Do you stand with your arms crossed or far away from people? Do you talk quietly, give short responses, or let your words trail off and get faint at the end of your sentences?

I personally displayed a lot of these traits. I had a very difficult time making and holding eye contact. I found that if I forced myself to hold eye contact as I passed someone, they would look away and I will feel like, “yes, I can do this”. It was very uncomfortable at first, but the question is – are you willing to go through some short term moments of being uncomfortable in order to overcome your shyness and social anxiety?

Assertiveness – Is it hard for you to say no or ask someone for what you want? Are you able to tell someone to change their behavior when they are being unfair?

If that sounds like you, you will have to start standing up for what you believe in. Don’t worry, I will teach you some effective techniques and skills to help you become more assertive. This will be covered later in developing your plan and exposure exercises.

Meeting new people – Are you at a loss of words when you meet someone new? Do you easily run out of things to talk about? Do you rehearse what you plan to say when interacting with someone new? Do you have a hard time asking people out on a date?

Conversation skills – Do you not know what to say to friends and colleagues? Do you quickly run out of things to say? Do you when and how to end conversations? Do you know what is considered appropriate based on the type of conversation you’re having? Do you talk about yourself too much?

Do you have difficulty making small talk or keeping a conversation going? Our goal isn’t to be better prepared by rehearsing, it’s to get to the point where we are able to be spontaneous while conversing. When you over prepare and over rehearse, you come across as awkward, inauthentic, and rigid. If you need some help in this area, don’t worry, we will go over this later! Now is just the time to decide if you want to include it in your treatment plan.

Presentation skills – Public speaking is challenging for most people. This is an area where some training and development can help you immensely. When you are speaking, you not only have to be calm and confident, but you also need to keep the audience engaged and interested. I highly recommend that you do what you can to improve your speaking skills – practice, learning techniques, and more practice!

Next: Self-assessment part 3 – behavioral assessment

2 thoughts on “Self-assessment Part 2 – Communication Skills”

  1. Pingback: Conducting a self-assessment – Wisdom For Life

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