Group tasks of any type involve students in situations that require complex interactions and social skills. If students do not learn the teamwork skills required to function as part of a group, then they cannot complete task work.
Johnson and Johnson (1999) list six important outcomes of being socially skilled. The first desirable outcome is personal development and identity because most people’s identity is "created out of relationships with others. As a result of interacting with others, we have a better understanding of ourselves." Individuals who have few interpersonal skills have distorted relationships with others and tend to develop inaccurate and incomplete views of themselves. (Johnson & Johnson, 1999, p.83).
Social skills also tend to enhance “employability, productivity and career success,” major skills required in the real world of work. The most important skills, especially for higher paying jobs, are getting others to cooperate, leading others, coping with complex situations, and helping solve people’s work-related problems.
Quality of life is another positive outcome of social skills because everybody needs good, close, intimate relationships in life.
Physical health is promoted also through positive and supportive relationships. Research has shown that high- quality relationships are linked to longer lives and to quicker recovery from illness and injury.
Research has also shown that psychological health is strongly influenced by positive and supportive relationships with others. An incapacity to establish and sustain positive relationships with others very often leads to anxiety, depression, frustration, alienation, and loneliness. It has been proven that the ability to build positive relationships with others reduces psychological distress, while increasing autonomy, self-identity, and self-esteem.
The sixth important benefit that results from having social skills is the ability to cope with stress. Supportive relationships have been shown to decrease the number and severity of stressful events and to reduce anxiety. Such relationships help individuals cope with stress by providing caring, information, resources, and feedback.
Johnson, D., Johnson, R. (1999). Learning together and alone: cooperative, competitive, and individualistic learning.Boston: Allyn and Bacon.