Published: July 15, 2019
As developers, I'm sure that you might be propelled into social settings that require your social skills from time to time.
From water cooler sessions with your co-worker, meetups, being in meetings with your superiors, attending conferences, pitching to your clients.
Which requires to you think on your feet and use your social skills to get something done or to thrive as an individual.
There was once a kid who was spoilt and shy towards strangers. Because of this shyness, his mum felt that he might turn into a shy or anti-social adult.
Thus his mum thought of a "brilliant" idea to help this boy's shyness. One day while travelling from home.
She kicks his child out of the car in the middle of nowhere and tells her child to find a way back home with nothing on him.
Fortunately, he was able to navigate back home by learning to chat with strangers and being an uncomfortable situation.
This lesson provided him with the confidence that leads him to take on crazy adventures.
From building his own business empire, riding hot air balloon around the world to building his own private space travel company.
Let me know in the comments if you know who is he. He is one of my favourite entrepreneurs that I really wish I get to drink with him.
This is the essence to learn to be human, we need to be able to step out of our comfort zone to be in social situations or do things that scare the hell out of you.
Despite written a dozen articles, I still had the same fear and the trouble of writing because I learnt to read and write in English at the age of 7.
Sure given a choice I would much prefer to hide in a shell and have days go by without ever interacting with people.
That might be one of the reasons why you choose to be a developer.
Regardless if you plan to be an independent contributor or raise to become a manager.
We have to learn social skills to help us grow as a developer.
Learning social skills is a skill like any new technology we had to learn to pick up to stay relevant as a developer.
There's always a way to help you to become better with social skills to help you grow professionally and a better human.
Volunteering helps us to not focus on ourselves instead, forces you to focus on the people you are helping by adding value through your time, money or effort in your own acts of services to help people.
There are tons and scores of classes, courses, books or research on public speaking, emotional intelligence, social psychology, ethics, persuasion.
So take your time and pick out something you like to help you be more "human" in the process.
Here's my selection of books that really hit home on the subject over the years.
Ways for you to practice your social skills can be going for meetups or just tech conferences.
I remember there's a resurgence of board game groups in recent years. Maybe just buying an awesome broad game and inviting friends over for board game nights could help you a lot as well.
Do not be afraid to fail, you get better as you practice your social skills with people and hopefully get to make awesome new friends along the way.
On this subject of building your professional network and social skills, I listen to a podcast called the The Jordan Harbinger Show.
Do hop down to 6 Minute Networking if you are really interested in networking and building a personal relationship.