Practicing Relationship Skills

Relationship Skills are defined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) as the ability to establish and maintain healthy and supportive relationships and effectively navigate settings with diverse individuals and groups.

Relationship skills include communicating clearly, listening actively, cooperating, working collaboratively to problem solve and negotiate conflict constructively, providing leadership, and seeking or offering help when needed. 

Relationship skills as defined by CASEL can be shown through:

  • Effective communication
  • Developing positive relationships
  • Demonstration of cultural competency
  • Practicing teamwork and collaborative problem-solving
  • Resisting negative social pressure
  • Showing leadership in groups
  • Standing up for the rights of others

In other words, Relationship Skills are what help us navigate this world that is filled with other people. Learning these skills at a young age can be life-changing. Not only does having good relationship skills help personally and professionally, but the ability to hone and perfect these skills over the course of a life is priceless.

Some tools from The Gottman Institute that can help us work on our relationship skills are: 

  • Instead of verbally attacking personality or character, try talking about your feelings using “I” statements
  • Instead of attacking your sense of self with an intent to insult, try reminding yourself of their positive qualities and find gratitude for positive actions
  • Instead of victimizing yourself to ward off a perceived attack and reverse the blame take responsibility, accept their perspective, and offer an apology for any wrongdoing
  • Instead of withdrawing to avoid conflict and convey disapproval, distance, and separation, try taking a break and spending that time doing something soothing and distracting.

When students learn good relationship skills, they learn skills that will stick with them for the rest of their lives while also becoming more engaged with their communities. Having good relationship skills can only improve a classroom’s atmosphere, and it can provide a more welcoming environment where students feel comfortable sharing and communicating with their peers.

The Rock Digi program has multiple lessons that teach students about relationship skills. Below are some lesson preview videos for lessons that teach about relationship skills.