Gabor Mate in his book The Myth of Normal makes a case for reciprocity as being a basic need of humans. It helps people feel seen, acknowledged, heard and alive. You know that urge you have when you are eye to eye with an infant to mimic the same funny faces they make? That begins the healthy feelings that come from being reciprocated.
So if you want to improve your social skills, acknowledge others. When someone contacts you, emails you, texts or sends a letter, respond. It doesn’t have to be a novel or a Hallmark card, but to acknowledge that you heard the person, you appreciate them, you are grateful for them, whatever is the authentic sentiment, share it back with that person. Even a smile in the hall as you pass by a co-worker is reciprocation!
Merry Christmas to you and YOUR family as well, thank you. I am so sorry to hear your dog died, I know how painful that can be. I’ll keep your mother in my thoughts for her quick recovery. Thank you for your kind words, I appreciate the support.
My friend Bala reads every one of my articles and makes a thoughtful reply. He has mature social skills. He doesn’t get any monetary value from those comments, that is just how he is. But as Dale Carenegie said, “People will forget what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”
As leaders, we are being asked to mature our emotional intelligence as well as more tangible skill sets, social skills are often left behind as something that doesn’t matter as much as getting that purchase order under contract. Yet, isn’t it the way we interact with others that creates the business relationships we need to be able to secure the contracts?
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Thank you for your support. Thank you for taking the higher road. Thank you for acknowledging someone today, for reciprocating their reaching out to you.