Social skills are what children need to succeed. That’s because social skills contain all the necessary elements that children require in order to regulate their behavior, have emotional well-being, achieve in school, and use later on to do well in the workplace. In a sense, social skills can be thought of as an ‘all-purpose’ learning tool. This idea is catching on in schools, in the form of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) programs.
People often confuse having good social skills as meaning a person is gregarious or has lots of friends. This is not the case at all. It simply means having the ability to see the perspective of other people and to be able to conform one’s own behavior in order to get along with other people. In fact, you can be shy or introverted and have good social skills. On the other hand, you can be gregarious and have relatively poor socials skills.
SEL teaches the kind of ‘character building’ and stick-to-it-iveness’, parents and teachers wish more children had. Growing numbers of colleges and employers complain too many high schoolers are lacking in these skills, and thus will be less likely to perform as well in adult life.