Eight Ways to Improve Your Social Skills


It’s a fact of life: Accountants aren’t always known for their social skills in group gatherings, and it may be causing you to be a less effective networker than you might be. If you feel totally at home in large groups and with everyone you meet, you can skip this article.

Get More Comfortable With Others in Business Settings

But if you don’t, these tips will help to sharpen your social acumen:1. Respond promptly to invitations you receive to attend business or social events. It’s bad form to neglect to respond to invitations–or to accept but then fail to attend the function. This sends a message that the event is unimportant to you. It also makes it difficult for whoever is planning the event, particularly when it’s a formal dinner with assigned seating.2. Don’t bring uninvited guests. An invitation that bears your name alone means you and no one else. If you feel uncomfortable attending by yourself, it may be best to decline.When a guest is welcome, however, the invitation will generally indicate that in some way. And then, of course, it’s perfectly acceptable for you to bring a guest (just don’t forget to inform the hosts of your intention when you send back your RSVP).3. Watch your timing. For a function with specific starting and ending times, such as a reception, it’s best to arrive no less than 10 minutes after the function starts and leave no less than 15 minutes before it ends.4. Mingle. Avoid clustering together with small groups of friends–instead, make the rounds. Introduce yourself to people you don’t know and initiate friendly conversations.5. Listen more, speak less, and show respect.6. Be sensitive to language and cultural differences. Remain mindful of potential language barriers when socializing with foreign visitors or colleagues. Speak slowly and distinctly. Don’t rush visitors by supplying words for them. Be aware of your body language. Avoid standing too closely to people or touching them if there’s a chance you might make them uncomfortable.7. Don’t try to form instant friendships. Don’t be too familiar too soon with new acquaintances.8. Leave your diet at home. At formal dinners you don’t have the luxury of choice of menu. If there is some food you don’t like or can’t eat, eat something–even if it’s just bread or salad. You can always find a polite excuse for not eating a particular item.

Additional Day-to-Day Accounting Tips

Many of the skills that you need to run your Accounting and Bookkeeping service are less than obvious to many of us. We have created additional articles to help you to run your business more effectively and profitably.Learn More Day-to-Day Accounting Tips

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