Social worker skills

When you are a social worker, you will have a very demanding profession. You will have many responsibilities and be required to wear many hats to complete all your daily tasks. It may seem that social workers have limitless knowledge in anything and everything but that’s really not the case. Instead there are certain valued skills that every social worker will want and need to have. If you are interested in having a career as a social worker, here are the most valued skills you should have.
• Compassion and empathy. With empathy, it can be a lot easier to understand the viewpoint of others. While you may have not lived the experience personally, you can vicariously experience it and that will be extremely helpful to not only you but your client as well. Those who have trouble empathizing with others or cannot see a viewpoint other should not consider this as a career path.
• Professionalism. While you want to do all that’s in your power to make sure the people you are working with get everything you need, you still need to set boundaries and be professional. By being professional, you can make sure you complete whatever goals you need to in a certain amount of time. Spending too much time with one person or another can lead you to fall behind on your work, which can stress you and the people you work with. Being professional also means knowing when to set boundaries.
• Social perceptiveness. It’s essential to be aware and perceptive of your social surroundings. You must be able to read body languages, behavioral patterns, or social cues of a person. There will be many people you will meet that will not be able to express their thoughts or opinions and it will be up to you to figure out or understand what is bothering them.
• Listening. Active listening is crucial to establish trust and relationships with the people you work with. If they feel you are truly listening to their thoughts and concerns, you have a better chance of seeing results while working with them. Being an active listener also allows you to ask the proper questions to get your client to open up.
• Self-awareness. In order to grow as a social worker, you will need to be self-aware of the points you are weak in and work to change them. You must be able to listen to constructive feedback given by your employers and from clients and also look at yourself and evaluate your own performance. Never stop improving or making changes to be better. There will be times where you will receive negative feedback due to circumstances beyond your control but you must be able to separate it and take any valid criticisms into consideration.
• Persuasion and motivation of others. The ability to influence, coax, and persuade others during crucial moments is an extremely valuable skill to have as a social worker. Your skills or persuasion may be used to explain to a client why a certain service is needed or even get them to open up to you so you can help them better.
Sources:
1. http://msw.usc.edu/mswusc-blog/10-skills-every-social-worker-needs/

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