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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy mizwizzy's Avatar
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    Unhappy The Social Skills of a Web Developer - or lack thereof!

    The Social Skills of a Web Developer - or lack thereof!

    I've been thinking about this topic lately and comparing myself to other Web Designers/Developers out there. I find personally that I'm pretty approachable, an all rounder and pretty "ok" at what I do. It made me think of the characteristics, traits and social attitude web developers need to have to get by in this business.

    The old myth or viewpoint of a computer nerd has changed somewhat to when I first started with web design and development. Usually one thought that you (a) had zero social skills and (b) you wore black thick framed glasses, black clothes and hibernated in your bedroom all year round! (if you're still keeping this look up, it's time to change buddy!)

    I guess my question here is more focussed on the social aspect of this line of work rather than the technical side of things. Do you find it difficult to interact with clients? Perhaps all your work is sourced exclusively via the web for this very reason? Maybe you're great at networking and can offer up some tips on how to solve the previous question?

    For me, I'm OK at socialising - within reason. If I have to meet with clients, attend functions, conferences etc I will of course but it is still a struggle for me nonetheless I think the initial stages of this i.e. actually going there and meeting with clients or attending functions is the biggest step for me, once I'm there I'm glad I made the effort - but it's just that little kickstart I constantly struggle with

    When does it get easy? Is being socialable something that comes natural? You either have it or you don't? Is this something you can learn? I know a couple of people who are fantastic web designers but their social skills are non existant - zero confidence in themselves *not their ability* but they hide away because of fear essentially because of this whole social element! Do you have any advice on how they can combat this issue and get over this barrier? Maybe you've once been like this yourself and finally mastered your fear?

    Welcome your thoughts guys

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    I'm an INTJ, so socialising isn't my thing. My usual behaviour is similar to that of a grizzly bear in a foul mood. And a toothache.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy mizwizzy's Avatar
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    ok, well that's a bit scary! Do you find that your behaviour limits you with your work Tommy? Considering your above statement I'm assuming that you can put on a "happy socialising face" when required?

    I think I've a split personality, I tend to be an Introvert with Extravert type tendancies Maybe it just depends on my form for that day, how confident I feel or perhaps just who I'm talking to! Even as a teacher, I can get up there and deliver a class to 30 if not more but it's like the flick of a switch, suddenly I'm bubbly, socialiable and no one would know that minutes before I would struggle to just get up there in the first place! When I'm up there and doing my thing, I'm loving it and having a laugh - it's all very weird

    With my web design - Meeting with clients is ok but sometimes I can't seem to push myself to actually get out there and socialise more to obtain more business - I just wish there was something I could learn or do to get over this barrier that stands in my way, I'm not a lazy person at all

    Any advice for my reclusive web design friends? I think ultimately it's a personal confidence issue for them, this is not going to change overnight I suspect

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    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    Quote Originally Posted by mizwizzy View Post
    Do you find that your behaviour limits you with your work Tommy?
    Not me, but perhaps my co-workers?

    Quote Originally Posted by mizwizzy View Post
    Considering your above statement I'm assuming that you can put on a "happy socialising face" when required?
    Nope. I don't do cute. But I've trained my colleagues to walk on their tiptoes around me and not to contradict me unless they have very good arguments.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

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    I didn't know the term INTJ, but what I read in the article fits me perfectly, especially

    Perhaps the most fundamental problem, however, is that INTJs really want people to make sense. :-)

    I really don't like it when people say stuff that doesn't make sense to me (or seems unimportant to me for that matter), or if their thoughts appear to be all over the place; that easily confuses and agitates me.

    For me this is not always a problem, it really depends on the person or persons I'm talking too. If the other person(s) in the conversation is able to keep a linear line of thought and doesn't say too many useless things I'll be able to get along with them. If they do however say useless things (which is subjective, I realise) most of the time I don't know how to respond and simply say nothing or "nice" or something. This invites some strange looks every now and then.

    I guess I'm just one of those people who doesn't talk much but says a lot, instead of talking a lot and not saying much.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy AndrewCooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizwizzy View Post
    I've been thinking about this topic lately and comparing myself to other Web Designers/Developers out there. I find personally that I'm pretty approachable, an all rounder and pretty "ok" at what I do. It made me think of the characteristics, traits and social attitude web developers need to have to get by in this business.
    I sometimes do that comparison thing too. I'll watch videos of Web Designers / Developers / Techies giving conferences and key notes and so on and I'll think to myself how I might be in that situation.

    I'm a pretty confident person when it comes to talking to anyone about technology and Web Design stuff, I love talking about it...When I meet someone who wants to talk about it. When I'm discussing things with clients we'll have a laugh, a giggle, and also be very serious and understanding of each other. The problem I have though is kicking a conversation off. I don't have the confidence to say hi to someone or talk to anyone I like, I don't have that confidence. But once someone has started talking to me, I'll natter on!

    Quote Originally Posted by mizwizzy View Post
    The old myth or viewpoint of a computer nerd has changed somewhat to when I first started with web design and development. Usually one thought that you (a) had zero social skills and (b) you wore black thick framed glasses, black clothes and hibernated in your bedroom all year round! (if you're still keeping this look up, it's time to change buddy!)
    There are a lot more 'cooler' looking and 'fashionable' computer geeks in the world now so I think the viewpoint of computer geeks has changed to something positive altogether really. Also, I don't think many people have a choice these days with what's on sale in stores - Computer geeks of today can't wear clothes that computer geeks of yesteryear wore.

    Quote Originally Posted by mizwizzy View Post
    Do you find it difficult to interact with clients? Perhaps all your work is sourced exclusively via the web for this very reason?
    I don't find it difficult to interact with anyone aslong as they have kicked off the conversation I do find it difficult to talk to girls though, I'm totally shy and all "Oh bloody hell...What should I say now?!" around girls.

    Quote Originally Posted by mizwizzy View Post
    When does it get easy? Is being socialable something that comes natural? You either have it or you don't? Is this something you can learn? I know a couple of people who are fantastic web designers but their social skills are non existant - zero confidence in themselves *not their ability* but they hide away because of fear essentially because of this whole social element! Do you have any advice on how they can combat this issue and get over this barrier? Maybe you've once been like this yourself and finally mastered your fear?
    I guess it could be something that comes natural to some people. I don't know for sure whether I was a confident / socialable person or not before I went to secondary school, but after I was in secondary school I was confident enough to do solo performances at school at perform the Royal Albert Hall (after many many vocal lessons, might I add).

    Quote Originally Posted by AutisticCuckoo View Post
    I'm an INTJ, so socialising isn't my thing. My usual behaviour is similar to that of a grizzly bear in a foul mood. And a toothache.
    That is a very interesting read! I'd like to think I'm like that, but hey, who knows. I don't.

    Quote Originally Posted by AutisticCuckoo View Post
    Nope. I don't do cute. But I've trained my colleagues to walk on their tiptoes around me and not to contradict me unless they have very good arguments.
    Haha, anyone who knows you shouldn't need training for that! I would strongly advice anyone who was about to meet you that they don't mention XHTML...At all.

    Andrew Cooper

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    I guess it depends on the work environment. Previous job, I was VERY socialized because other co-worker nearby had similar interest in web development... my new one.. let's just say I'm the only one doing programming. It gets bit lonely time to time.

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    I have no problem interacting with my clients. What I am less good at is selling myself. But fortunately I know some people that are very good in selling, so they take care of that
    Once sold, I can handle client interaction very well myself.

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    SitePoint Addict NetNerd85's Avatar
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    I'm a INFJ apparently.

    I use to be shy, not any more. It took a lot of personal developing. It still takes a push to get off the ground sometimes but it gets easier to convince yourself all is well and all will be well. PD is an on going thing after all, Susan Jeffers Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway is good.

    One thing I suggest people learn is a form of martial arts, like Wing Chun, it's the most effective in street combat. Of course you have to work up the courage to phone then go, but you can get private lessons. You will have no fear once you know you can snap someone in half, no matter how skinny or short you are.

    Read the works of James Allen, Anthony Robbins, Paul Hanna or Cheryl Richardson for an extra boost of confidence. There are audio programs from most of those authors.

    Being social is over rated though.

    Quote Originally Posted by sg707 View Post
    I guess it depends on the work environment. Previous job, I was VERY socialized because other co-worker nearby had similar interest in web development... my new one.. let's just say I'm the only one doing programming. It gets bit lonely time to time.
    Know how you feel, some work environments are dead.
    a new day, a new beginning
    never follow the crowd, the crowd is poor!

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    Well now...socializing with clients and socializing overall are two different things. I usually tend to keep close enough but also in a certain distance the clients. The needed distance that they can't act like if they were my close friends but neither to fear to ask me something.

    If one has issues socializing in real life (not with clients) now that's something serious, while if it is socializing with the clients it is something you can learn and get used to with time. BUT you have to let your self go a bit (yeah, I don't mean acting like a jerk in front of your clients) but you need to let your self go. If you are still afraid, let the client start the discussion so you will get an idea what are the clients interests, follow him but don't overtake the entire discussion (heck I love people that talk a lot...but I want to say something too..once in awhile...).

    On that note, I haven't got drunk for a month already...now I see why my head is getting all fuzzy and I get tired too fast (ding ding, socializing is a great relaxing method, refreshing your brain).

  11. #11
    ✯✯✯ silver trophybronze trophy php_daemon's Avatar
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    I consider myself to be anti-social and by that I meant I don't like social activities so I avoid them as possible. And I absolutely hate small talk.

    I haven't ever actually met clients in person so I can't say how I can handle that. I'd like to think that if I'm well prepared, I would do good enough. It just seems like so much work, it's so much easier to communicate via email. You can spend all the time you need to understand what they're saying, to formulate a reponse and to keep track of everything without any extra effort.

    That's why I like forums too - the communication is so much more productive. Being an introverted person, I actually have to think before I say something and it can be difficult in real time especially with the extroverts who are just blah blah blah

    Regarding conferences, I think I could speak if I wanted to. Back in uni, I had my share of presentations. Granted the audience was small, but preparation is key. You just go up there and do your thing.
    Saul

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewCooper View Post
    I'm a pretty confident person when it comes to talking to anyone about technology and Web Design stuff, I love talking about it...When I meet someone who wants to talk about it. When I'm discussing things with clients we'll have a laugh, a giggle, and also be very serious and understanding of each other. The problem I have though is kicking a conversation off. I don't have the confidence to say hi to someone or talk to anyone I like, I don't have that confidence. But once someone has started talking to me, I'll natter on!
    "Your eyes are an inspiration for my next web design" - just teasing but it is interesting how some times funny/unrelated things can be a nice start off (yeah I bet its better testing them with people you don't know instead of with clients or in a conference) :P

  13. #13
    ✯✯✯ silver trophybronze trophy php_daemon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizwizzy View Post
    When does it get easy? Is being socialable something that comes natural? You either have it or you don't? Is this something you can learn?
    I think it is natural to some people, those who are extroverted in particular. But I also think you can learn it if you want. But the thing is, you have to actually want it.
    Saul

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    ✯✯✯ silver trophybronze trophy php_daemon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
    socializing is a great relaxing method, refreshing your brain
    Not to me, no. To me socializing is draining and requires lots of effort.

    Again, it's the introvert vs. extrovert thing. You can learn to socialize if it doesn't come natural to you if you want, but it doesn't mean you have to like it.
    Saul

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    Quote Originally Posted by php_daemon View Post
    Not to me, no. To me socializing is draining and requires lots of effort.

    Again, it's the introvert vs. extrovert thing. You can learn to socialize if it doesn't come natural to you if you want, but it doesn't mean you have to like it.
    True that Saul, it doesn't mean you have to like :> (but again..a good laugh, couple beers with friends is something I could not refuse.)

    But still I don't think that it is something you have it or you don't. If you just stop staying in front of the computer and go out you will see that WE ALL HAVE IT.

    Since 4 years already that I am doing web development full time my social life has gone to zero. But thats not because I never had it. Once i finished my studies, quit my part-time job and got into this venture, since THAT day my social life is sinking down (told you, been a month I haven't gone out having fun). While previously I would get up and go out even at midnight if a friend called me (mhmm yeah, have a nice pub right under my apartment).

    So back to the discussion, it is US that refrain our self from socializing. You can't say I don't want to socialize with Demi Moore (ok perhaps you can..she is getting old kinda, name another one please!!!) :P

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    SitePoint Wizard Wolf_22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizwizzy View Post
    The Social Skills of a Web Developer - or lack thereof!

    I've been thinking about this topic lately and comparing myself to other Web Designers/Developers out there. I find personally that I'm pretty approachable, an all rounder and pretty "ok" at what I do. It made me think of the characteristics, traits and social attitude web developers need to have to get by in this business.

    The old myth or viewpoint of a computer nerd has changed somewhat to when I first started with web design and development. Usually one thought that you (a) had zero social skills and (b) you wore black thick framed glasses, black clothes and hibernated in your bedroom all year round! (if you're still keeping this look up, it's time to change buddy!)

    Welcome your thoughts guys
    This topic of social ineptitude stems from situations where someone simply knows more about something than someone else does. I would think, too, that it also comes from those moments where one has other ideas about things that someone else may believe to be somewhat unsettling or alien in nature. I think it's the same in all fields really. It's kinda funny!

    The thing that bothers me is this: when you take the time to explain complex things using simple words or meanings in order to help another, you should expect an attentive audience but what you usually receive is someone with glazed-over eyes who have the attention span of an ant and who care little for their own effort in the situation. I've done it, you've done it, we've all done it and everyone on earth will continue to do it--but that's humans being for ya!

    It's always been my experience, too, that it's safer to be a genius about something rather than a fraudulent politician. If someone gives you hell or becomes troublesome just because you speak in acronyms and semantics, then in most cases, you're probably better off without them in your life. They may bark a lot but I only raise my ears when someone bites...

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    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Black Max's Avatar
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    I don't know from acronyms, but I think I'm schizophrenic. I am quite good at socializing, very much at ease with large numbers of people, and something of a raconteur, but I tend to prefer my own company and that of my wife's to hanging with larger groups.

    I can understand people being socially inept, but what I don't understand is the perverse pride some take in being such an inept, socially dysfunctional person. My stepson is like this: he's gone from not knowing how to do more than stare at someone like a gape-jawed sea bass when they speak to him, to employing this incredibly cheesy "Howdy!" persona like some grinning car salesman. (He has about three phrases he can use, then it's back to staring. And yes, he's a big computer geek. Ask him about overclocking or WoW and he's off to the races.)

    Quote Originally Posted by AutisticCuckoo View Post
    I'm an INTJ, so socialising isn't my thing. My usual behaviour is similar to that of a grizzly bear in a foul mood. And a toothache.
    Then why does Mrs. Max think you're the ginchiest?

  18. #18
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Max View Post
    I can understand people being socially inept, but what I don't understand is the perverse pride some take in being such an inept, socially dysfunctional person.
    Because it's more fulfilling (in the short term at least) to be happy with yourself, and proud of who you are, than to spend the whole time wishing you could be someone or something else. If you are the sort of person who prefers the company of computers to the company of other people, why should you apologise for that? It's part of who you are, and you'll get much further in life if you're happy with your own life, rather than feeling bad about not being what you're not.

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    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy conradical's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutisticCuckoo View Post
    I'm an INTJ, so socialising isn't my thing. My usual behaviour is similar to that of a grizzly bear in a foul mood. And a toothache.
    When Grizzly bears see Tommy, they play dead.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewCooper View Post
    I would strongly advice anyone who was about to meet you that they don't mention XHTML...At all.
    Oh, no worries Ö unless they insist on serving it as text/html and putting those ridiculous spaces before NESTC delimiters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Black Max View Post
    I am quite good at socializing, very much at ease with large numbers of people, and something of a raconteur, but I tend to prefer my own company and that of my wife's to hanging with larger groups.
    I prefer your wife's company, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Black Max View Post
    Then why does Mrs. Max think you're the ginchiest?
    What can I say Ö she's a very perceptive and intelligent lady!

    Quote Originally Posted by conradical View Post
    When Grizzly bears see Tommy, they play dead.
    ROTFLMAO
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

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    Free me php klassicd's Avatar
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    Don't complain about work! I know so many developers that get frustrated when clients ask for changes that don't make "sense". Focus on your clients needs and be enthusiastic about helping them solve their problems.

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy mizwizzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScallioXTX View Post
    I didn't know the term INTJ, but what I read in the article fits me perfectly, especially Perhaps the most fundamental problem, however, is that INTJs really want people to make sense. I really don't like it when people say stuff that doesn't make sense to me (or seems unimportant to me for that matter), or if their thoughts appear to be all over the place; that easily confuses and agitates me.

    For me this is not always a problem, it really depends on the person or persons I'm talking too. If the other person(s) in the conversation is able to keep a linear line of thought and doesn't say too many useless things I'll be able to get along with them. If they do however say useless things (which is subjective, I realise) most of the time I don't know how to respond and simply say nothing or "nice" or something. This invites some strange looks every now and then.

    I guess I'm just one of those people who doesn't talk much but says a lot, instead of talking a lot and not saying much.
    I'm the same in this regard - If the topic is interesting or mind provoking I will be attentive, otherwise I'll just give one worded answers also - sometimes I will talk about something completely off the wall either just to turn it around into something that isn't mind numbingly boring! In other cases if someone is talking to me about something that I dont particularly find engaging then I'll also give the one word answers, like Oh..and yeah or more over "i....seee" ... but I too get looks as if to say...well I thought you might have said something more and that in turn throws them off a bit therefore conversation will cease!! ... I guess I need to refine this!

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewCooper View Post
    I sometimes do that comparison thing too. I'll watch videos of Web Designers / Developers / Techies giving conferences and key notes and so on and I'll think to myself how I might be in that situation.

    I'm a pretty confident person when it comes to talking to anyone about technology and Web Design stuff, I love talking about it...When I meet someone who wants to talk about it. When I'm discussing things with clients we'll have a laugh, a giggle, and also be very serious and understanding of each other. The problem I have though is kicking a conversation off. I don't have the confidence to say hi to someone or talk to anyone I like, I don't have that confidence. But once someone has started talking to me, I'll natter on!

    There are a lot more 'cooler' looking and 'fashionable' computer geeks in the world now so I think the viewpoint of computer geeks has changed to something positive altogether really. Also, I don't think many people have a choice these days with what's on sale in stores - Computer geeks of today can't wear clothes that computer geeks of yesteryear wore.

    I don't find it difficult to interact with anyone aslong as they have kicked off the conversation I do find it difficult to talk to girls though, I'm totally shy and all "Oh bloody hell...What should I say now?!" around girls.

    I guess it could be something that comes natural to some people. I don't know for sure whether I was a confident / socialable person or not before I went to secondary school, but after I was in secondary school I was confident enough to do solo performances at school at perform the Royal Albert Hall (after many many vocal lessons, might I add).

    Andrew Cooper
    I guess I'm like that too, I'm a queitly confident person - you'd don't have to be a loud mouth in order to get your point across or be one of those "wow hey look at me aren't I so confident in myself type people"

    I don't have a problem starting the conversation off or indeed finishing it but I do sometimes struggle to keep the conversation going, I guess this ties in with what I was saying to Scallio - it depends on the subject being discussed and if I'm into it or not. But sometimes I find I tend to go blank sometimes within a conversation, I just completely forget what I was going to say and then I end up looking like a right idiot/twit - but anyway that doesnt happen very often ish.. But how to overcome this "kicking off the conversation issue" - I guess you just say hello and take it from there really, what's the worse that can happen? As for talking to girls, well thats another story - perhaps the guys here will give you advice on that one

    Quote Originally Posted by sg707 View Post
    I guess it depends on the work environment. Previous job, I was VERY socialized because other co-worker nearby had similar interest in web development... my new one.. let's just say I'm the only one doing programming. It gets bit lonely time to time.
    sorry to hear that sg707 - But I do agree with the environment and how it affects our interaction with co-workers etc... sometimes it can be very lonely and also a cruel slow torture when you have nothing worthwhile to discuss with your fellow co-workers except what's on tv or are you going out tonight talk I think exposure to this sort of environment in particular over a long period of time will stunt your social skills & mental growth!

    Quote Originally Posted by guido2004 View Post
    I have no problem interacting with my clients. What I am less good at is selling myself. But fortunately I know some people that are very good in selling, so they take care of that
    Once sold, I can handle client interaction very well myself.
    You see, this is my problem aswell - I tie this in with social skills also - the ability to promote myself and my business - sometimes I think well jeeze theres so many better web designers out there I've no chance and I tend to just be put off by that - don't get me wrong I still advertise etc but I don't push myself as much as I should because I'm no good at this selling business, perhaps you have the right approach, find someone who is a good sales person and it's problem solved then, but the only issue I would have with this is that I didn't solve this issue myself, I had to revert to someone else to fix it for me!

    Quote Originally Posted by NetNerd85 View Post
    I'm a INFJ apparently.

    I use to be shy, not any more. It took a lot of personal developing. It still takes a push to get off the ground sometimes but it gets easier to convince yourself all is well and all will be well. PD is an on going thing after all, Susan Jeffers Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway is good.

    One thing I suggest people learn is a form of martial arts, like Wing Chun, it's the most effective in street combat. Of course you have to work up the courage to phone then go, but you can get private lessons. You will have no fear once you know you can snap someone in half, no matter how skinny or short you are.

    Read the works of James Allen, Anthony Robbins, Paul Hanna or Cheryl Richardson for an extra boost of confidence. There are audio programs from most of those authors.

    Being social is over rated though.

    Know how you feel, some work environments are dead.
    I've read this book also, when I was 12 or so - It's the one line I always say to myself when something comes along that I find a bit scary or makes me nervous... I really did like that book

    I did do karate during my teens but I have to admit this never had a bearing on my social skills! I do agree with the confidence booster element it can have but it's not going to help me be more motivated or finding that drive to get started with something, maybe it's just something I'll always struggle with *shrugs* I'll check out those books, thanks for sharing..

    Quote Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
    Well now...socializing with clients and socializing overall are two different things. I usually tend to keep close enough but also in a certain distance the clients. The needed distance that they can't act like if they were my close friends but neither to fear to ask me something.

    If one has issues socializing in real life (not with clients) now that's something serious, while if it is socializing with the clients it is something you can learn and get used to with time. BUT you have to let your self go a bit (yeah, I don't mean acting like a jerk in front of your clients) but you need to let your self go. If you are still afraid, let the client start the discussion so you will get an idea what are the clients interests, follow him but don't overtake the entire discussion (heck I love people that talk a lot...but I want to say something too..once in awhile...).

    On that note, I haven't got drunk for a month already...now I see why my head is getting all fuzzy and I get tired too fast (ding ding, socializing is a great relaxing method, refreshing your brain).
    That's a very interesting point - I also keep clients at arms length, I'm friendly but not overly friendly as in oh hey great lets go for some drinks or something along those lines - to me that's a nightmare scenario

    I agree with letting the client talk as much as they wish, but sometimes you find there are people who just love the sound of their own voice - you bearly get a chance to get a word in but I find that if I ask more questions about what they are interested in or their business or themselves then it tends to give me a chance to talk because everyone loves talking about themselves, well almost everyone and in this approach they are waiting for me then to ask the next question "all about them" - sort of a sly turn around but sometimes this approach is all that works for me at times!

    Quote Originally Posted by php_daemon View Post
    I consider myself to be anti-social and by that I meant I don't like social activities so I avoid them as possible. And I absolutely hate small talk.

    I haven't ever actually met clients in person so I can't say how I can handle that. I'd like to think that if I'm well prepared, I would do good enough. It just seems like so much work, it's so much easier to communicate via email. You can spend all the time you need to understand what they're saying, to formulate a reponse and to keep track of everything without any extra effort.

    That's why I like forums too - the communication is so much more productive. Being an introverted person, I actually have to think before I say something and it can be difficult in real time especially with the extroverts who are just blah blah blah

    Regarding conferences, I think I could speak if I wanted to. Back in uni, I had my share of presentations. Granted the audience was small, but preparation is key. You just go up there and do your thing.
    See, that's the thing I would love to just deal with clients over email or the phone, this would be the ideal for me but does that mean I'm anti-social or have no social skills? Does it mean I'm not a people person? I dont believe it does but to others I would definitely believe so lol

    Quote Originally Posted by php_daemon View Post
    I think it is natural to some people, those who are extroverted in particular. But I also think you can learn it if you want. But the thing is, you have to actually want it.
    I agree, it's like most things in life if you want it bad enough you'll get it - I'd like to be more socialable but I just don't think I'm the type that can pull it off, I think I would seem a bit awkward if I were overly confident

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf_22 View Post
    This topic of social ineptitude stems from situations where someone simply knows more about something than someone else does. I would think, too, that it also comes from those moments where one has other ideas about things that someone else may believe to be somewhat unsettling or alien in nature. I think it's the same in all fields really. It's kinda funny!

    The thing that bothers me is this: when you take the time to explain complex things using simple words or meanings in order to help another, you should expect an attentive audience but what you usually receive is someone with glazed-over eyes who have the attention span of an ant and who care little for their own effort in the situation. I've done it, you've done it, we've all done it and everyone on earth will continue to do it--but that's humans being for ya!

    It's always been my experience, too, that it's safer to be a genius about something rather than a fraudulent politician. If someone gives you hell or becomes troublesome just because you speak in acronyms and semantics, then in most cases, you're probably better off without them in your life. They may bark a lot but I only raise my ears when someone bites...
    Yes, I know what you mean - sometimes when I'm chatting about something technical or computer-based to someone who isn't into the same subject usually you get this blank look and all of a sudden you get these one worded answers and I'm thinking...wait..I do these one worded answers when I'm not interested - usually I just say ok ur not bothered I'll shut up, it shocks them but what's the point in continuing, I'm only wasting my breath! I think in those instances my social skills are out the window because I can be quite blunt when people are just rude - I think the shock element for them is that I just call them out on their "clever use" of their one worded answers just to show they are replying to me!

    Quote Originally Posted by Black Max View Post
    I don't know from acronyms, but I think I'm schizophrenic. I am quite good at socializing, very much at ease with large numbers of people, and something of a raconteur, but I tend to prefer my own company and that of my wife's to hanging with larger groups.

    I can understand people being socially inept, but what I don't understand is the perverse pride some take in being such an inept, socially dysfunctional person. My stepson is like this: he's gone from not knowing how to do more than stare at someone like a gape-jawed sea bass when they speak to him, to employing this incredibly cheesy "Howdy!" persona like some grinning car salesman. (He has about three phrases he can use, then it's back to staring. And yes, he's a big computer geek. Ask him about overclocking or WoW and he's off to the races.)
    That's funny - I guess he has a bit of fine tuning to do on his social skills also - but I think the problem is that he is just too smart and trying to find someone he can chat to is a struggle - I think for most of us who are into any form of technical subjects this will always be a barrier.

    Quote Originally Posted by MyInterest View Post
    Its an interesting and useful discussion in my opinion. I myself been involved in Web development and coding but i found that development becomes easier if you have humor and creativity with you.

    Now question comes of "social involvement" ! If you are involved wit different behaviors of different people then you start to learn new methodology of handling the things. And development itself is, handling the different behaviors in technical manner.

    If you start to enjoy social involvement then eventually it will increase your creativity and efforts.

    I myself used to feel that social involvement needs very high efforts for the person who never been involved in this activity. But as soon as i got some experience then i am loving it and my work too.

    Thanks to read
    I agree with the humour element and also a good healthy dose of imagination - these are key to a good conversation, for me anyways - I always tend to lean more on the side of humour because there's nothing worse than talking about something boring or some technical long winded subject, it's a conversation stopper to me - I found growing up that the use of sarcasm helped me loads making friends and getting along but of course you need to know when to cap that otherwise it can be insulting! I call upon that now and again in small doses just to show I can have a laugh and it's not all serious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mizwizzy View Post
    The Social Skills of a Web Developer - or lack thereof!

    Do you find it difficult to interact with clients? Perhaps all your work is sourced exclusively via the web for this very reason? Maybe you're great at networking and can offer up some tips on how to solve the previous question?

    I was an extremely shy person a few years back.
    I could speak for hours about subject matter to anybody but when it came to informal chitchat, I was a bundle of nerves.

    I would freak out at the thought of an informal dinner.

    Today people consider me a cool person to hang out with.

    I did small easy things to make this radical shift in my personality:

    • Start by talking to people you are comfortable with. I donít mean your friends. I mean the personality types you are comfortable with.. developers like you, your peers, your juniors..
    • Most people love to talk about themselves, you just have to get them started. Start by asking simple open ended questions which cant be answered in one liners.. like: What drew you to this line of work OR Hey I am really interested in ____ which you do.. could you offer me some tips?
    • And when they answer, listen to them. Do not get distracted by thinking what you are going to ask next.. It really shows when you do that..When you have to answer their question, donít give one liners either
    • Learn by observation.. See how others start and carry a conversation and incorporate some ideas which you picked.
    • Have a good attitude and be positive about your self. Build your self-esteem. Dress well, hit a gym if you need to and love yourself.
    • Hang out with social people. Certain traits of them will rub off on you without even you noticing it.
    • Know that not every conversation is perfect. Donít be afraid to correct yourself. Itís no big deal to make a mistake. In fact you can turn it around and make it work for you by correcting yourself instantly.

    Good Luck!

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy mizwizzy's Avatar
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    That's a fine list Sugirda, thanks for sharing with us!

    I do believe you can learn alot from pure observation, this is something that has helped me alot over time It's funny, because informal meetings/social gatherings are something that has never appealed to me either, even though I can do the "serious socialising events" - it's the small things I struggle with which makes me think it's a more personal issue, not a confidence one but perhaps something else I'm missing and I can't seem to figure it out...yet atleast!

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    Quote Originally Posted by AutisticCuckoo View Post
    I'm an INTJ, so socialising isn't my thing. My usual behaviour is similar to that of a grizzly bear in a foul mood. And a toothache.
    INTJ is a new term I learnt today thanks to you


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