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When it comes to success in your job, knowing how to build and maintain positive relationships with people is as important as any technical skills you have. This article discusses the importance of social skills and gives you five ways to develop your social awareness at work.
An organization is about the products it creates or the services it provides, but an organization is also about people: customers, consumers and employees. Without these an organization simply doesn’t exist. As an employee in an organization, building positive relationships with people is as important a skill as knowing how to forecast market trends, draft a proposal or weld widgets.
Social Awareness is an emotional intelligence competency that illuminates ideal social behaviors which are beneficial to the organization, the teams in which we work, down to the individuals with whom we interact. When you are socially aware, you are able to:
§ Identify key political relationships in your organization
§ Observe the unspoken rules at work in action and understand the values governing your organization
§ Relate to co-workers and customers regardless of differences
§ Empathize with others and see their point of view even if it’s different from yours
Over the last decade, a lot of research has been conducted showing that individuals who develop these skills are more successful and more satisfied with their work. Having these social skills are a critical prelude to building and maintaining meaningful relationships in teams and interpersonally. Few people experience increasing success at work when they remain walled up in their offices or cubicles and keep their heads down, eyes focused solely on the work. If you want to succeed in your organization, here are five social skills that will keep you on the right track.
Be aware of others’ negative moods and don’t let yourself go there. Emotions are contagious—both positive and negative ones. When a direct report is having a meltdown, consider taking him aside and letting him vent or regain control. You’ll get greater productivity from all your employees throughout the day than you would if you leave him to stew and lose focus. Negative emotions are especially potent when it’s a supervisor who is in a foul mood. Control your own reactions, striving to maintain an even, calm tone of voice no matter how loudly the irate person becomes. If your boss is ranting about impossible deadlines, for example, offer reassurance and confidence if you’re certain you can get the work done. Your calm demeanor may be enough to calm others and keep a potentially explosive and mood-souring situation from occurring.
Become part of the grapevine. The office grapevine is an informal communications route that circulates organization-related information that’s important but not necessarily vital for every employee to know, so management doesn’t formalize dissemination of the information. Grapevine information can include when a new position emerges, who is on the short-list for promotion, when a partner or major stakeholder is pulling out, or whether senior leaders are considering implementing a new IT system. It’s quite an honor to be known as a person who knows what’s going on in the organization—someone that others trust to have accurate information. Do not confuse the grapevine with gossip. Gossip doesn’t serve the organization; in fact, it’s often judgmental, personal and mean-spirited.
Engage co-workers in conversation. You spend eight hours a day with your co-workers. It’s natural to have genuine curiosity about the people you work alongside. Ask questions about a co-worker’s interests, family, former jobs, future goals—whatever strikes you as interesting. Share insights into the kind of person you are. When you build a trusting rapport with others, you’ll find commonalities and a basis for deepening respect. Another perk to building relationships is that people who trust you are more likely to keep you informed when they hear important office news.
Network at all levels of the organization. You never know when you’ll need assistance from any department in your organization. Get to know the employees in the Printing department as well as HR or Marketing. Too often, ambitious people make the mistake of only networking up, ignoring peers and administrative staff. That’s a mistake. When you’re embroiled in a grueling deadline, it’s not the senior team who will be at your side crunching numbers or reworking that million dollar proposal. If you’ve been dismissive of peers and staff, you may just find yourself completely alone with that deadline and mountain of work to complete.
Say what you mean, but edit what you say. People may value honesty, but they respect tact. Speak your truth in a thoughtful and professional way. Even if it is Bob’s fault that a deadline was missed, does it serve you or the organization to name him in a public meeting? You can opt to meet with Bob, or Bob and his supervisor, later. The important thing is to air the error and get it resolved as quickly as possible. If you don’t like a policy or process, get clear on what your objections are. Is it something that will impact the organization negatively? Have others expressed similar concerns? Before you speak out, make sure of your facts; and remain open to hearing the opposition’s reasons for enacting that policy. There just might be some factor you haven’t considered.
Emotional Intelligence (EI, EQ) is the measurable difference that transforms a good leader, manager or team member… into a great one. Our site offers training and information on EI.
Emotional Intelligence coaching will give you the ability to understand both yours and others motivations, emotions and concerns in the workplace and will unlock the potential for maximising business performance.
Whether you are looking to take your own career to new heights or use your new skills to develop high performance teams, an understanding and ability to apply emotional intelligence principals can radically reshape your personal effectiveness in the workplace.
Research has proved that a more person-centred approach leads to the ability to retain a motivated team who achieves peak productivity and performance.
Who is emotional intelligence coaching for?
Emotional intelligence coaching can be for the benefit of an individual, giving you self-insight into your unique way of operating in the world. It enables you to reach higher levels of self-mastery by developing new ways in which you can live a more fulfilling life and perform at your highest potential both in your personal and professional life.
Emotional intelligence coaching can be more broadly used for anyone where knowledge of the behavioural patterns of their employees/clients and the ability to predict behaviour would be an advantage. e.g. executive or personal coaches, leadership and team facilitators, executive management, human resource practitioners, etc. In this case the individual is undertaking coaching not only to benefit themselves but their team around them.emotional intelligence coaching
Different approaches have been adopted to coach people to understand emotional intelligence and different tools and assessment criteria used as a result.
Find out more about the emotional intelligence coaching model used by us and how it can turn your business around.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Download our free report now and discover how you can unlock the power of emotional intelligence to inspire others and make a difference in your business. http://www.emotionalintelligence.tv/emotional-intelligence-report
Social Intelligence, as a concept, was propounded by psychologist Edward Thorndike in 1920. In his own words, Social Intelligence is “the ability to understand and manage men and women, boys and…
Social Intelligence, as a concept, was propounded by psychologist Edward Thorndike in 1920. In his own words, Social Intelligence is “the ability to understand and manage men and women, boys and girls, and to act wisely in human relations”. So, by the very definition, the concept relates to both the cognitive aspects (the ability to understand people) and practical aspects (ability to deal with and respond towards them).
In years to come, Moss and Hunt defined it on similar lines as “the ability to get along with others” and P. E. Vernon in 1930s carried it forward by describing it as “Social intelligence is reflected in the general ability to get along with people in general, social technique or ease in society, knowledge of social matters and susceptibility to stimuli from other members of a group, as well as insight into the temporary moods or underlying personality traits of strangers”.
What followed was a lull in terms of specific research on the concept, until Gardner in 1980s proposed a novel model of multiple-intelligences with interpersonal and intrapersonal as two of them. They, together, are seen in terms of social intelligence. In his words, “social intelligence allows people to take advantage of the resources of others. We are finding that much of people’s effective intelligence is, in a sense, outside the brain. This means, you can use intelligence for other people, if you know how to reach it and how to use it. Therefore, the best strategy is to mobilize other people around you.”
So, according to him, interpersonal intelligence covers the ability to read other people’s moods, motives and other mental states; and intrapersonal includes the ability to access and assess one’s own feelings and to draw on them to guide behavior. He also believed it to be the basis of EI with a greater focus on cognition and understanding than feeling.
Researchers Ford and Tisak found both convergent and divergent validity for social intelligence. They also found that social intelligence was a better predictor of a behavioral measure of social effectiveness than was academic intelligence. In fact, overall in that decade, researchers agreed that social intelligence is distinct from general intelligence and may serve as a better predictor of behavior.
In early 1990s, Researcher Zaccaro and his associate saw social intelligence in terms of two aspects:
(a) Social understanding and
(b) Situational-appropriate behavior.
According to them, socially-intelligent individuals are aware of the social situation, including the problems and needs of others (social perceptiveness). They are also able to behave appropriately for different social situations (behavioral flexibility).
Around that time, researchers Kosmitzki and John described a socially intelligent person as the one who:
Understands people’s thoughts, feelings and intentions well;
Is good at dealing with people;
Has extensive knowledge of the rules and norms in human relations;
Is good at taking the perspective of other people;
Adapts well in social situations;
Is warm and caring; and
Is open to new experiences, ideas and values.
In late 90s, Salovey and Mayer in their work considered emotional intelligence as a part of social intelligence. According to them, it includes the ability to monitor feelings and emotions of themselves and others. It is the ability to distinguish between signals and use this information to manage thoughts and actions of others. Social intelligence is the ability to use emotional intelligence in social situations. It incorporates interaction with others and readiness to estimate the social situation around.
But the problem in calling Social Intelligence as‘intelligence’ was to test it on the criteria of ‘intelligence’ given by researchers Boyatzis and Sala. According to them, to be classified as an ‘intelligence’, a concept should be:
1) Behaviorally observable
2) Related to biological and in particular neural-endocrine functioning. That is, each cluster should be differentiated as to the type of neural circuitry and endocrine system involved
3) Related to life and job outcomes
4) Sufficiently different from other personality constructs so that the concept adds value to understanding the human personality and behavior
5) The measures of the concept, as a psychological construct, should satisfy the basic criteria for a sound measure, that is show convergent and discriminant validity.
The person who solved this problem was Daniel Goleman. He has surely been the person who has contributed most towards the research on biological and in particular neural-endocrine functioning in context of the social intelligence. In his seminal book, he discussed the ‘social intelligence’ in terms of neurology, thus fulfilling the second criterion of Boyatzis and Sala for social intelligence to qualify as an intelligence. His contribution to establishing social intelligence as a domain is huge.
In the years to come, researchers like Karl Albrecht reworked the model of multiple intelligences and propagated that human beings have six basic dimension of intelligence. Social Intelligence featured as one of them and is defined as “Interacting successfully with others in various contexts”, with a close term Emotional Intelligence defined as “Self-insight and the ability to regulate or manage one’s reactions to experience”. Researcher Seal and his associates believed that the term was defined as the behavioral manifestations of the interpersonal awareness of others’ emotions, needs, thoughts, and perceptions as well as navigate the larger social environment and working with others.
In another important twist, in their succeeding works, Goleman (2006) and Boyatzis and Goleman (2006) reclassified their array of competencies and clusters into two distinct aspects. The interpersonal clusters (social awareness and relationship management) were relabeled social intelligence (SI) competencies; and the intrapersonal clusters (self-awareness and self-management) were relabeled emotional intelligence (EI) competencies.
The new term, emotional and social intelligence (ESI) helps to differentiate the behavioral manifestations of the intrapersonal awareness and management of emotions within the self (EI) from the behavioral manifestations of the interpersonal awareness of others’ emotions, needs, thoughts, and perceptions as well as navigate the larger social environment and working with others(SI).
This integrated concept of ESI offers more than a convenient framework for describing human dispositions—it offers a theoretical structure for the organization of personality and linking it to
a theory of action and job performance. This helped it get positioned as a competency as well. As, according to Boyatzis, a competency is an “underlying characteristic of the person that leads to or causes effective or superior performance” therefore, an ESI competency got defined as an ability to recognize, understand, and use emotional information about oneself (EI) or others (SI) that leads to or causes effective or superior performance.
The correlation of social and emotional intelligence approach is clearly reflected by Bar-On, who uses the concept of emotional and social intelligence. This model includes set of interrelated emotional and social competencies that determine how effectively we understand and express ourselves, how we understand and get along with other people and how we handle daily activities.
In practice, they can complement each other as they complement to the abstract intelligence. Human being is a solid personality whose career is hardly separable from personal or family life. Emotional intelligence is essential for human life, because it helps to perceive, understand and manage emotions. It represents a personal, natural wisdom that allows him to live life joyfully, to overcome and solve everyday problems and achieve success.
Social intelligence is the ability to relate to people, perceive social situations and properly interpret them and react accordingly. It is the ability to create harmonious interpersonal relationships and the ability to solve conflicts. One component cannot exist without the other.
This definition can be elaborated to “how people handle themselves and their relationships”, according to Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee. So, ESI is a set of competencies, or abilities, organized along two distinct aspect (emotional and social) in how a person: (a) is aware of himself/herself; (b) manages him/herself; (c) is aware of others; and (d) manages his/her relationships with others.
Building upon and integrating the competency research, Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee presented a model of ESI with 18 competencies arrayed in four clusters and two aspects.
Researcher Shaun identified socially intelligent people as:
They have confidence in social circumstances.
They have and demonstrate a genuine interest in their fellow beings.
They are capable of adapting, understanding and responding effectively.
They express their emotions and feelings clearly and appropriately with assertiveness.
They have an awareness of the internal and external locus of control.
Karl Albrecht, around 2009, elaborated the five major dimensions of social intelligence as situational radar, presence/bearing, authenticity, clarity and empathy (can be seen as an acronym SPACE).
Situational Radar (Awareness): the ability to read situations, understand the social context and choose behavioral strategies that are most likely to be successful
Presence: the external sense of one’s self that others perceive: confidence, bearing self-respect, and self-worth.
Authenticity: the opposite of being phony. Authenticity is a way of behaving which engenders a perception that one is honest with one’s self as well as others.
Clarity: the ability to express one’s self clearly, use language effectively, explain concepts clearly, and persuade with ideas.
Empathy: the ability to create a sense of connectedness with others; to get them on your wavelength and invite them to move with and toward you.
In that decade, the consistent aspects of social intelligence among all researches were: the knowledge of the social situations, accurate interpretation of the social situation and the skills to behave appropriately in that social situation. Hopkins and Bilimoria opined that to be considered socially intelligent one has to be good at human relationships. Crowne defined it as the ability to interact effectively with others in any social situation. Emmerling and Boyatzis describe social intelligence competency as the ability to be aware of, understand and act on emotional information about others that leads to effective performance.
Thus, what was proposed by Thorndike during the first half of the 1900s was initially perceived similarly as a single concept by fellow researchers. However, later others began to see social intelligence as a set of two personal intelligences, divided into interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligences that include knowledge about oneself and others.
Many scholars proposed a number of different ways to be socially intelligent. It has been thought of as the ability to accomplish interpersonal tasks and to act wisely in relationships. It has been seen as a capability that allows one to produce adequate behavior for the purpose of achieving a desired goal. It is thought that SI involves being intelligent in relationships.
Some researchers even believed that the social facets of intelligence may be as important as the cognitive aspects. However, most of them agreed that the Social Intelligence includes knowledge of the social situations and the skill to perceive and interpret the situations accurately, for leading one to successfully behave in the situation. In other words, it has always been seen as an ability to interact effectively with others.
In an important research, Süß, Weis, & Seidel focused on more of a potential-based concept of SI, rather than behavior-based approaches and the broader concept of social competence (i.e., including both cognitive and non-cognitive abilities and skills).
In the potential-based approach, SI encompasses only the cognitive abilities as necessary prerequisites for social competent behavior. Consequently, social competent behavior is part of the external criterion, not the construct. Social competent behavior, on the other hand, depends on cognitive (i.e., SI) and non-cognitive prerequisites (e.g., intentions, motivation, personality traits, values, norms, etc.).
Thus, SI has been specified as a multidimensional cognitive ability construct that relies on an integrative model derived from a literature review. This model integrates both theoretical and operational definitions of SI. In its current version, the model distinguishes between the following cognitive ability domains and has been in part supported by data in a multitrait-multimethod (MTMM) study by Weis and Süß in 2007. So SI is about five qualities:
Social understanding (SU) also social inference, social interpretation, or social judgment) represents the ability to understand social stimuli against the background of the given social situation. It also includes diversely labeled requirements such as the recognition of the mental states behind words, the comprehension of observed behaviors in the social context in which they occur, and the decoding of social cues.
Social memory (SM) represents the ability to store and recall objectively given social information that can vary in complexity. The concept of SM was originally introduced by Moss and also appeared in works of Sternberg, Conway, Ketron, and Bernstein as memory for names and faces.
Social perception (SP) represents the ability to perceive socially relevant information quickly in more or less complex situations. SP is distinguished from SU by only relying on objectively present information in order to exclude interpretative requirements.
Social flexibility (SF) is the ability to produce as many and as diverse solutions or explanations as possible for a social situation or a social problem. The concept was originally introduced in Guilford’s (1967) structure of human intellect model in the domain of divergent production of behavioral contents.
Social knowledge (SK) includes knowledge of social matters, the individuals’ fund of knowledge about the social world, or knowledge of the rules of etiquette. Unlike the remaining dimensions, SK highly depends on the social values of the environment and is not considered as a pure cognitive dimension.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sandeep Atre, PhD is the Founder-Director of Socialigence. He is also one of the Founder-Directors of CH EdgeMakers – a leading ‘Coaching and Training’ group of Central India. In his career of close to one and a half decade, he has trained thousands of students, and professionals of more than fifty corporate & institutional clients.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand your own emotions and those of people around you. Emotional intelligence is sometimes referred to as emotional quotient or emotional literacy. Individuals with emotion intelligence are able to relate to others with compassion and empathy, have well-developed social skills and use this emotional awareness to direct their actions and behaviour.
“The concept of emotional intelligence developed by Daniel Goleman, means you have a self-awareness that enables you to recognize feelings and helps you manage your emotions.” So we can define as the capacity to reason about emotions and of emotions to enhance thinking. Emotional intelligence refers to an ability to recognize the meanings of emotion and their relationships. Emotional intelligence is involved in the capacity to perceive emotion, assimilate emotion-related feelings, understand the information of those emotions and manage them.
By the late 1980’s, psychologists, evolutionary biologists, psychiatrists, computer scientists, and others, had identified a number of human capacities involved in identifying and understanding emotions. Emotional intelligence could be one of the big ideas of the 1990s.
Emotional intelligence can be compared and contrasted with a number of other parts of personality. These other parts are distinct from emotional intelligence both conceptually and empirically. Moreover, although a person may be high in emotional intelligence, they may be high or low in many of these other characteristic.
Empathy: including a feeling for others, sympathetic reactions to their feelings, and imaginative involvement in how the other person might be feeling.
Emotional self-efficacy: a person’s belief that he or she possesses empathy and assertiveness as well as elements of social intelligence, personal intelligence, and ability emotional intelligence.
Socio-emotional effectiveness: an individual’s capacity to navigate the social world in an effective manner, accomplishing his or her goals as needed.
Socio-emotionally effective behaviour: the observable acts of the individual the lead to emotional and social effectiveness of interactions with others.
We need to practice emotional intelligence on our daily life, if we want to get the best results possible and achieve our maximum goals either personal or financial. Emotional intelligence can be used in a wide variety of areas. You can be using emotional intelligence to motivate. You can use emotional intelligence for personal relationships, for business relationship and for motivation also. Emotional intelligence is very effective for leaders. A leader can be for anything or anyone that needs guidance, strategy, motivation and productivity. An defective leader will be good at those areas and thus achieve maximum results. Our emotions are perceived by the people around us, even when we are not talking with the person or are non verbal our emotions are match by that person.
Azam Mansha is a writer of interesting and informative article and sharing with the relevant readers
Social skills involve various skills and dexterity that is put to use in communicating with people of different social strata, race, and belief and of course, varying character. These skills include and gather together both verbal communications, and non-verbal communication such as gestures, eye contact and body languages. Humans are believed to be a socially built to relate and in fact we do this every day because we need to do it. In all facets of life which includes workplace, society and in the family. In the workplace, you get an edge if you are socially skillful because employers look for this traits as people with social skills easily relate with others well and such can be a part of a winning working team needed in any organization. Interacting and communicating with clients and customers require a good amount of social skills to answer their questions and explain different policies of your organization. Managers with social skills are also very successful as they motivate workers and employees better and give confidence boost for better productivity. Social skills are needed from workers and employers always want to get workers with the skill. To be develop your social skill for successful exploit in your workplace and career, you need to learn and do these things as explain below.
You need to develop this aspect of social skill well to be bold and confidence when you have got to talk and express yourself to someone or a group of people. Verbal skills involves you to know about public speaking and one on one talk so you can be able to express yourself in clear and audible terms and language that gives full understanding. Speaking in phone, via email and communicating via chats is included too.
Non Verbal Skills
These involves other various ways and methods of communicating well without actually speaking a word. You must know when you should wear a smile, attractive look so that people may find it easy to ask you for anything or converse with you. Show the right gesture and signs without being disrespectful.
You need to feel and know what people feel to be able to communicate well. If anyone is passing through pain at heart, you need to be empathetic to understand this and respond accordingly with care and love in your speech. If you fail to do this, people will see you as a wicked and cruel person because you do not respect their feelings in your disposition.
Listening without Interrupting
Listening is an importance social skill because it goes beyond just using your ears. Listening entails concentration and total commitment to hear the other person. You must be able to set your eyes on the person and be attentive. You do not listen when you operate your phone or interrupt when the person has not fully made his points. Learn to be a good listener and you have one more social skill added to you.
Cooperation is required to work as a member of a team. Your ability to cooperate with the set rules of a team, shun character differences and endure annoying behavior of other people makes you a perfect fit in any team for success. Cooperation is a part of social skills.
In conclusion, all the explained social skills are very important and can even win you jobs of your dream as it adds to your basic educational requirements. When you go for interviews, one or two of these social skills will show and you can even add them to your resume for better use.