The Importance of a Social Life and Social Skills in Achieving Business SuccessBy Mikaela Bevelander on Monday, February 15, 2021
Social skills correlate more closely with success than booksmarts. What does this mean for field service business owners?
I’m a teenage girl. Ask me or any of my classmates we learned last semester and most of us would say, “I don’t know” or “I can’t remember.” Of course, our grades tell a different story. A “good” student has to master the art of “cramming information and regurgitating it on exams.” In the article What Straight-A Students Get Wrong, Dr. Adam Grant shares his observation that a perfect G.P.A. does not determine one’s career excellence and life success. Rather, one’s social intelligence does. What can we take away from this? When looking at the equation for a successful life, a busy social life takes the cake over traditional smarts.
An exam cannot test the qualities of creativity, courage, kindness, leadership, and social skills. Dr. Grant states “15 percent of recruiters actively selected against students with high G.P.A.s (perhaps questioning their priorities and life skills).” Through Grant’s blunt and straightforward analysis, one can see that social interaction will determine either our success or our downfall. Young adolescents should not continue to strain over a flawless academic life when colleges actively select against perfection. Alternatively, we should focus more on creating “lifelong friendships” or making time to “join new clubs” to better elevate our social skills. This has proven more beneficial than a 4.0 G.P.A.
In the business world, social interaction can come in many different forms: marketing/advertising, sales, helping a customer in distress, and even conversations with coworkers. Mastering these scenarios can make the difference in running a successful business.
This may seem counterintuitive at first. In my school career, I am constantly paranoid and stressed over a certain test or my G.P.A. Over and over again, authority figures have hammered into my mind that these things will determine my future and my overall success. I constantly check my grade website, waiting to see if I “succeeded” or “failed” like many of my peers. I frequently speak to my classmates about grades and compare our recent faults or successes.
Of course, as we’ve seen so far, this anxiety may be misplaced. Various other factors better determine a candidate’s fit for a job or higher education. Even though school takes up a good thirteen years (minimum) of our lives, we cannot dwell on it as the be-all, end-all measurement of our capabilities and future success.
Social interaction is at the center of our everyday lives, from speaking to our family to simple tasks like shopping at the grocery store. Dr. Grant states, “…the correlation between grades and job performance is modest in the first year out of college.” With G.P.A. having little bearing on career performance, the only true path to one’s raw and unfiltered qualities comes through social interaction. Having the capability and mental strength to carry on a conversation, construct an exciting social life, or maintain a range of interesting extracurriculars should remain a top priority for teenagers. Face to face interaction is the best way to perceive one’s thoughts, personality, and overall attitude, but if one lacks simple social skills, they will have a difficult time succeeding in their career and in life. For example, in the business world, speaking to customers or impressing someone at a job interview can often determine success.
Although some of my classmates and I may not recall what we learned in science class last year, our memories made with each other will endure. A busy, engaging social life unequivocally translates to career excellence. Armed with this information, we can start to reframe our efforts when it comes to business. Sure, we still need certain technical knowledge and we still need to perform good work. However, our interactions with customers, coworkers, friends, etc. can inspire confidence, pride, and delight, ultimately paving the way for success. If you want to grow your business, ask yourself how you can grow your social circle and maximize your daily social interactions.