You may use the guide however you see fit.  Read the entire thing in one sitting.  Skip around to the sections that interest you most.  Print it out and use the paper to make a paper-mache dirigible.  The world is truly your oyster.

But if you want to get the most out of the guide, I have some advice for you.

  • The guide is best read in order, top to bottom. The later sections reference concepts from earlier sections, and cover more advanced topics.  It is particularly important to read in order within sections, since the articles in each section build directly on one another. You are welcome to skip around all you like, but if you find a certain section doesn't make sense your best bet is to go back and read the sections you missed.
  • You need to practice what you learn. The only way to learn how to apply the principles in the guide to the real world is, well, to get out and apply them to the real world.  So take some time every day to practice.  Watch TV with the sound low and study the body language of the actors until you can recognize comfort and discomfort.  Strike up a conversation with your coworker and practice maintaining conversational flow.  Spend a bit of time at the end of the day to think through your social skills goals. Pick a social skill you want to master, and put in some time every day practicing it. You'll find yourself richly rewarded.
  • The guide is best read slowly but consistently.  It's certainly possible to fly through the entire guide in one sitting, but there's a lot of content to take in. Give yourself the chance to really absorb everything you can.  I recommend coming to the site each day, reading a page or two, and then making sure to practice what you read during the day.
  • Don't go it alone! Ask friends, family and mentors to help you with your social skills journey. Your support network can be a great source of advice and encouragement.
  • You should have specific goals in mind as you work through the guide. Improving your social skills just to improve your social skills is good, but it's hard to stay motivated if you don't have clear goals. Having clear goals allows you to track your progress towards that goal and stay motivated.
  • Supplement the guide with other sources. Improve Your Social Skills has a lot of great content, but there are other social skills resources that can build on what you learn in Improve Your Social Skills. Even today, I keep an eye out for great social skills books so that I can continue to learn and grow my skills.  I've compiled a list of some of the best books on social skills that I've found, which is a great place to start.

Finally, unlike a published book, Improve Your Social Skills is constantly growing and improving.  That means that even if you finish reading the guide, you should check back periodically to read the new content.  And if you have a social skills topic you would like the guide to cover, you can let me know. The next lesson I write might be on a topic you suggest!

However you decide to use the guide, remember that practice and persistence are the two biggest keys to your success. Come back to the guide regularly, and be diligent to practice the things you learn. If you do, you will be well on your way to social success.

Your Foundations Progress