If you have the urge to improve your social skills, it can be tempting to reach straightaway for the self-help books, but did you know that practical application is everything when it comes to working on your people skills? And did you also know that having fun whilst boosting your social skills is an even better way of working on your social skill-set without boredom setting in?
Here are three fun and readily available activities for helping to improve your people skills whilst you enjoy yourself at the same time.
Escape Room Games
Escape room games, where groups of individuals are ‘trapped’ inside a room and have to solve puzzles within a certain amount of time before being let out, have become increasingly popular over the last few years, so much so that they inspired the one-off comeback of the 1990s cult show The Crystal Maze.
The success or failure of negotiating the puzzles and tasks at hand relies upon working closely with all the other members of your team. After all, you only win if all of you win. If you want to work on building up a rapport with other people, or want to test out your skills as a leader or perhaps your ability to work as part of a team, a session in an escape room could be just the ticket.
Home Poker Games
Poker is the ultimate game for those who think they are a master at reading other people. For this reason, taking part in a session of poker at home with your friends, or even friends of friends who you don’t know that well, can be a fast track to improving social skills related to understanding and empathising with others. In fact, Annette Obrestad famously once won a ranking poker tournament playing ‘no look poker’, only once looking at her cards during the session and instead relying solely on her ability to read other players to succeed.
As 888poker explain in their guide to dominating home poker games, one of the key principles of success is one which will go hand in hand with your quest to improve your ability to interact with others: putting down your smartphone! 888’s research suggests that our constant use of smartphones has chipped away at our attention spans, so take their advice, put phones and other distractions to one side, and get familiar with the subtle cues that individuals use to give away their thoughts and actions. As an added bonus, 888 also suggest that having a beer or two isn’t a bad idea at all when it comes to poker!
The public perception of video games has changed a great deal over the past few years. Nowadays, research has shown that children who play video games are not only likely to do better at school but also to have greatly improved social skills.
There are more and more team games available online now, such as Call of Duty, that rely upon team modes and working together. To make this a success, users must communicate with complete strangers, often having to read things into the tone of voice used by others. The sense of camaraderie that can result from a win in team mode is second to none.
Whatever you feel most comfortable doing to improve your social skills, it always pays to think outside the box, so step away from those self-help books and start getting creative!