Develop your socio-emotional skills! Find out how to use and measure the 22 core competencies. Boost your growth!
In reality, socio-emotional skills are fundamental to your life and you may not even know it.
In our content, we’ll show you what they are and how you can use them.
We recommend that you don’t skip any of our content. After all, they all complement each other and will guarantee in-depth knowledge of the subject.
What we’ll see in this article
What are socio-emotional skills?
First of all, we need to explain what socio-emotional competencies are and how they are essential for individuals in all areas of their lives.
Of course, we’re going to focus more on the professional side here, but you can also check out the use of these socio-emotional skills in your personal life.
How are emotional skills born?
Socio-emotional competencies are a set of skills that are the result of emotional intelligence worked on since childhood. In other words, it’s the individual’s ability to see value in themselves and in others.
In this way, they can adjust their communication based on this, know and deal with their own emotions and are responsible for their actions at all times.
Two different examples
For example, imagine a person who is shouting and angry about something a second person has done. Your socio-emotional skills are in conflict.
Since she doesn’t have a clear self-concept, she can’t deal with her own emotions and sometimes doesn’t even see them. The result of a confused development of their emotional intelligence, which may have come from childhood to adulthood.
However, imagine a second example, this time of a person who possesses socio-emotional skills and uses them more skillfully.
This person is unlikely to shout and, if they do, they will acknowledge their mistake afterwards and make a commitment never to repeat their behavior. However, both people are going through something negative in their lives.
The big issue is that a person with skillful socio-emotional competencies realizes that they are going through something negative and takes responsibility for their actions.
In this way, she tries to solve the problem in a political way in order to negotiate a solution with the second person who is causing the feeling.
However, if the problem they’re experiencing causes a very strong feeling of anger, they understand that it’s no one else’s fault. Even if it’s someone else’s, but there’s no solution to the problem, she tries to calm down.
It sounds extremely simple, but when we look around in our own lives, we can see people with confused socio-emotional competencies.
Now imagine if the first person in our example is actually a superior shouting at an employee. That person could be fired and have their career tarnished to some extent, couldn’t they?
What are the main socio-emotional skills?
In this topic, we’ll talk about the main socio-emotional competencies. But let’s explain it in the form of categories.
We need to understand that there are dozens or hundreds of socio-emotional skills. After all, we can see great advances in this area and practically every day we have a new concept.
In this way, explaining the core competencies would only be showing a snapshot of a much bigger picture that is constantly in motion.
The famous psychologist Oliver John, who is also a professor of psychology at the University of Berkeley, has divided socio-emotional skills into five major groups.
It’s important to say that John’s division isn’t the only one, but it is one of the main ones. Let’s just use it as an example. The major groups are:
What are socio-emotional skills?
Let’s talk about socio-emotional competencies according to their categories, remembering that there are no better or worse competencies, but rather the way in which you deal with them.
Emotional resilience is one of the primary groups when we talk about socio-emotional competencies. After all, this is where it all begins, and it’s even the first detail that catches our eye in childhood.
When we realize that the world is not the way we want it to be, we have two options: reject or accept.
In other words, in the case of childhood, it’s about crying or finding an alternative to tears.
However, some people don’t work on this emotional resilience. In this way, the adult responsible for the child doesn’t even allow them to make one of the two choices.
Naturally, they can grow up thinking that the other person will always intervene. In this way, your adult life is about putting the responsibility for your happiness on other people.
Capacity to love
The ability to love is something that really comes as standard in childhood, but we only achieve emotional competence in this area when we grow up.
You have to understand that when we’re children, we don’t have any baggage and therefore we have a very superficial view of people and the world.
However, when we grow up, we realize that we make mistakes, and so do the other people around us. In this way, we can understand ourselves more deeply and love despite our mistakes.
Realize that when we watch a film for children, the characters are either good or bad. However, when we watch an adult film, we realize that the characters don’t fit directly into one of these two categories.
This is because we need to see duality as children, but in adulthood we can’t see this duality in ourselves.
Naturally, we learn that other people are also like this and we are able to forgive some of them. We can also really learn to love.
Extroversion is the ability that arises from social interaction, such as taking the social initiative to help a colleague.
It’s important to understand that extroversion and introversion should be seen as a scale. In other words, you can be more introverted or extroverted, but never just one of these worldviews.
So, regardless of how you fit on this scale, there are many skills from the extroversion group that you need to know.
The self-awareness group are the skills focused on responsibility, goal focus and personal organization.
We can see a greater difficulty in everyone when we talk about responsibility skills. In other words, being responsible for your happiness, your actions and, above all, your emotions.
In this way, understand that no one is responsible for these three items apart from you.
Desire for the new
The last category proposed by John is the desire for the new. This category in particular is all about skills that reflect self-improvement.
In other words, it is the individual’s quest to learn, to think creatively and to be filled with artistic knowledge.
Thus, the desire for the new is largely responsible for having a new concept every day. Obviously, this isn’t a bad thing – after all, the more tools we have, the more we can deal with problems, right?
How important are socio-emotional skills?
We have already mentioned in the two topics above that it is simply essential for your life to have socio-emotional competencies with a greater degree of skill and awareness. However, we’re only going to focus on this topic in the workplace and especially in the corporate environment.
The fact is that any company’s 21st century Human Resources is looking for professionals beyond their training and experience.
In other words, imagine that a particular vacancy demands innovation from the professional. In this way, HR looks for candidates who have socio-emotional competencies related to the desire for the new, as we said.
In addition, the interview questions will assess your ability to deal with your emotions and, consequently, the emotions of the group. The fact is that all our actions have some emotion behind them.
Professionals who can’t deal with their emotions and those of their colleagues will naturally be discarded by the market and the group itself.
To conclude on the importance of these skills, we need to say that companies are investing a lot in the development of their professionals, but they already expect a certain maturity about their emotions.
How to work on socio-emotional skills in the company?
The most direct answer is in the previous topic: Training. After all, training is increasingly proving to be superior to any technique in the workplace.
Since the training focuses on the socio-emotional competencies that the group needs to develop.
Thus, if the company realizes that creativity is not being developed, it is necessary to train the group of people to receive this training.
Note that training always involves more than one person. In this way, the company is able to offer sustainable content for several people at the same time.
How to develop socio-emotional skills?
Now that we’ve covered the main practices for developing your socio-emotional skills in companies.
Let’s talk about how you can develop each of them on your own. After all, this is even more important than the training itself.
Obviously, if you develop your skills continuously. With this in mind, you’ll achieve better results than just one weekend or one day at the company.
So we’ve put together a short list of actions you can take in your life to develop your socio-emotional skills. They are:
- Create a mood diary
- Check vicious cycles of behavior
- Consume daily content on psychology
- Make an appointment with a professional
Socio-emotional skills as a life project
Socio-emotional competences as a life project are those linked to self-awareness, as we talked about in previous topics.
Some of the skills we can find in this group are focus, responsibility, determination and many others.
Developing your socio-emotional skills as a life project is very interesting. After all, without these skills we can have many problems in both our personal and professional lives.
What’s more, very few adults were able to see a psychologist or get help from professionals when they were younger, even if they needed it. They have various issues within themselves that need to be looked at, and often these are unresolved issues that define the destiny of a life.
Therefore, we always recommend that you go to a professional and work on your internal issues. Even if you don’t believe that you have unresolved issues from childhood or adolescence, it’s very important.
Think of going to the psychologist as an annual check-up for the average person. We all need to check the health of our bodies, just as we need to check the health of our minds.
22 socio-emotional skills: what they are and how to use them
In this last topic, we’ll look at the 22 socio-emotional competencies based on the five groups we talked about earlier. We’ll also show you how you can use them at work and in your personal life.
- Curiosity to learn
- Creative imagination
- Artistic interest
- Questioning thoughts
- Recognizing limits
- Share liability
- Stress tolerance
- Tolerance of frustration
- Social initiative
- Emotional responsibility
Curiosity to learn
The competence of curiosity to learn is to assess what you don’t know and see what is most relevant to learning.
That way, you can check with colleagues what skills they have and ask them how they do it. For example, imagine that a coworker uses software that could help you a lot in solving tasks.
By asking your colleague the right questions, you’ll get closer to them and you’ll also learn something you want to know at work.
Creative imagination is a very interesting skill, especially if your work involves innovation in some way.
A great way to use and develop this skill is to get into the habit of writing down your ideas. With this in mind, you will send an alert to your brain indicating that this is important, since you are writing it down.
Check your notes and develop a goal based on your ideas. The most important thing is to keep your mind working.
Artistic interest is an incredible socio-emotional skill, not just because it puts you in close contact with a group of people who seem to have more creativity than the rest.
This skill also helps you express yourself better and understand your feelings better. For example, when you’re sad you can write a poem, just as when you’re happy you can sing a song.
Our minds are bombarded with automatic thoughts all the time. In this way, questioning them is an act of courage and a way of making our thoughts healthier.
For example, imagine that someone hasn’t replied to your good morning. An automatic thought would be that that person doesn’t like you
However, by questioning the thought you would understand the possibility of the person having worries at home, like a sick mother for example, and not listening to you.
A great tool for questioning thoughts is to use Socratic questioning on a daily basis.
Recognizing limits is essential because when you set your own limits, you begin to understand other people’s limits.
So if you have low self-esteem and are not aware of your limits, you will naturally have no limits for other people. He’ll think he can break your feelings and so on.
Your limit is whatever makes you comfortable or agreeable. For example, if someone shouts at you, it crosses a line and makes you uncomfortable.
If this happens, you warn the person that this cannot be tolerated, and you speak out in a firm and respectful manner. It is therefore extremely important to check your limits and defend them whenever necessary.
The competence of the organization is to consider its resources and organize them in the best possible way, thus defining its priorities.
For example, your time. By organizing your schedule, you don’t have to spend two hours checking your email, do you?
Organization is essential for your work and personal life. So take note of your main priorities and discard anything that isn’t fundamental and essential from your list.
However, you can check out an organization method that best suits your lifestyle.
Respect seems like a basic skill, but we’re talking about a process and not exactly a skill. The process is defined by a simple equation: You respect others as much as you respect yourself.
In this way, the relationship you must have with respect is from the inside out. So always consider your needs first and then the other person’s.
This internal and then external process essentially helps people with self-esteem problems. After all, you can’t maintain the respect of others at the expense of your own, and you shouldn’t disrespect others just by respecting yourself.
Respect must always be from the inside out and equally proportional between you and everyone around you.
Confidence is a skill that can only be used through experience. In other words, you can only trust someone and be reliable if most of your experiences with them have been positive.
So be careful with your promises and always base your relationships, whether personal or professional, on trust.
Responsibility for actions is a competence that is based precisely on responsibility for your mistakes. In other words, when you make a mistake, don’t blame anyone but yourself.
The responsibility of action is to take full responsibility for your decision. In the same way, assume the consequences of your mistake. In addition, recognizing mistakes and apologizing when the situation requires it is essential in the framework of a good character.
Determination is the ability to stand firm in the face of adversity. The only way to guarantee the use of this skill and develop it at the same time is not to run away during a problem.
The more problems you face, theoretically the bigger and more problems you will be able to face in the future.
Obviously we’re not talking about looking for problems for your own growth, that really doesn’t work and will only bring more problems, believe me. However, if they appear, face them.
Self-knowledge is the ability to realize that you are changing all the time. Think for a few seconds about what your hobbies were when you were a child, a teenager and now at this stage in your life. Everyone is different in some way, aren’t they?
Self-knowledge is the ability to recognize yourself as often as necessary and adjust the course of your life accordingly.
Ask yourself simple questions, such as your five favorite songs and why you like them so much.
This task will help you get to know your own preferences and why you do what you do.
Focus is the ability to pay 100% attention to what you are doing. Therefore, in order to develop your focus and still use it, you need to use techniques to increase your attention.
For example, you can use the pomodoro method that we explained in another article.
Self-concept is understanding your value as a professional and as a person, so you only submit to situations that your self-concept deems acceptable.
In other words, if in your self-concept you should receive a promotion because you have made an effort to improve as a professional, you need to consider the best career path to follow.
It’s a very strong example, but self-concept is important for understanding your value. That way, you’ll be able to recognize the value of other people.
Stress tolerance is essential to becoming stronger. However, it is important to differentiate between this competence and burnout.
To tolerate stress is to go through a hardship in order to become stronger or to gain something. For example, finishing your Capstone in order to finish your degree and enter the job market.
The only way to develop this skill is to tolerate stress to an acceptable level before mental fatigue sets in. Know your limits, but the more you test yourself, the further you can go.
Once you have a well-established self-concept, you will begin to develop your self-confidence. With this, you’ll be able to have more assertive attitudes that are in line with you as a confident person.
Knowing your limits, knowing your capacity and studying the subjects you set yourself will greatly increase your confidence.
Tolerance of frustration
Frustration tolerance is a skill where you always recognize that your efforts may not generate results. In this way, you shield yourself emotionally so that you don’t go through a crisis.
Of course you can get upset, but frustration will never stop you completely like it does in a crisis.
The only way to develop this skill is to see frustration as a positive aspect. In other words, having a functional attitude towards this negative movement in your life.
Social initiative is, in a nutshell, the skill that the most sociable people use to create contact with other people. In this way, she makes the first social interaction based on a superficial reading of the person.
It may sound simple, but it’s the ability to say what needs to be said and lose the fear of social exposure altogether. In fact, this is the only way to develop your social initiative.
Assertiveness is the ability to show your thoughts, feelings and ideas in the social sphere. Assertiveness is developed through continuous self-improvement and in this way you will have the baggage to position yourself.
Enthusiasm is the emotional competence to engage your group and keep them motivated and in high spirits during a given process or challenge. Enthusiasm must be measured, but the only way to develop it is through practice.
Persistence is the ability to stand firm emotionally even in the face of various challenges. We’re talking about a skill that is more internal than external.
You can develop it by studying mindset techniques or even through experience.
Emotional responsibility is the ability to understand that only you can guarantee your own happiness and well-being. Therefore, you never place this responsibility on anyone other than yourself.
To develop this skill, you need to have a clear self-concept and resolve internal issues in a mature way.
Empathy is the ability to put yourself in the other person’s shoes in a profound way. In other words, understanding that people don’t fall into a dichotomy of good or bad.
Adult and developed people make mistakes, and empathizing with forgivable mistakes is empathy at its most profound.
To develop empathy, you need to understand that you too are one of these people, i.e. check your self-concept.