Life is a Social experience
Human beings are social animals from the time we’re born till we die. We seek human contact, especially contact which makes us feel good about ourselves and helps to build our self-confidence and self-esteem. Being social means that we enjoy connecting and being with other people in small and large groups and with colleagues in whatever type of work we’re engaged in. Social skills are engaged in all areas of life! Examples of effective social skills are: being personable, nice, kind, empathetic, encouraging, respectful and being a good listener.
Today, social media has taken over face to face social human interaction and causing students to spend more time being social with each other via screens and keyboards rather than in-person social interaction. This is presenting a problem for them when they get into the real world.
Emotions express how we feel
We’re all emotional beings with feelings and our emotions play an important role in decision making. Here are examples of emotions: being happy, joyful, confident, sad, angry, fearful, lonely, depressed, anxious, stressed and hopeless. Some people wear their emotions on their sleeves while others keep them hidden, not sharing them with others. Students today struggle with feeling and expressing their emotions due to excessive time spent with screen and keyboard social media technology.
SEL in Schools
Schools today focus on Social Emotional Learning which is a good thing. The question that needs to be asked is: are schools teaching, demonstrating and modeling specific Social and Emotional skills students need to learn, practice and will apply in the real world. Skills which unlock and develop their social and emotional capabilities.
Students must learn that a skill is A great ability of proficiency, expertise, knowledge, understanding or judgement that comes from training and practice.
They need to learn what skills help them develop their social and emotional thinking and behavior. Skills like First Impression, Interpersonal, Communication, Presentation and Selling are critically important in developing Social and Emotional maturity.
In order to learn any skill, all it takes training and practice, whether it’s a skill for sports, music, art, coding, technology, etc.! Students who are taught to train themselves to practice Social Emotional skills at young age have more confidence in their ability to execute them in the real world and derive meaningful benefits as they constantly interacting with people In the real world.
No one can make you learn a skill
Students must realize that no one can make them learn a skill. They simply have to make a conscious decision and choice to train themselves to practice any skill until they become good at it. Some students find it easier to learn certain skills while others may struggle learning them. However, consistent practice of Social and emotional skills yields a positive ROI (Return On Individuals™) over time!
Teaching Social Emotional Skills
Teaching Social Emotional skills is really easy! All it takes is for educators to get together and decide which Social and Emotional Skills they want students to learn and then they agree to model these skills every day. Since 85% of our knowledge comes from our sight, when students see how these skills look, sound and act, it reminds them to practice what they see, hear and feel what others are doing.
When educators model skills in school and combine that with student/teacher discussions in class about specific Social Emotional skills that are necessary in the real world, students understand the need to practice them every day.
Getting students to learn and remember key Social Emotional skills requires that they understand WHY (What Helps You™) they’re learning these skills and how the skills will give them a competitive edge in the real world.
The test of a student’s ability to apply Social and Emotional skills in life is determined by how well they earn support from people they meet and work with as they navigate their career path. *These skills also help to develop a student’s self-confidence and self-esteem.
Published by Bob Wolf, College & Career Skills Readiness Trainer