Organizations are social entities. No matter how many systems and processes are made, you will always find a human standing at each end of every thread. That’s why Social Intelligence – first propounded by Edward Thorndike and later popularized by Daniel Goleman – has been, and shall continue to be a major skill deciding success at workplace. Let’s see how…
- Social intelligence helps you utilize your strengths: A major limiting factor in a professional’s life is the lack of self-awareness – what is going on inside you, and how it affects people around*. Most sleepwalk through a day or stay in autopilot mode. However, if you keep a track of your changing emotional states and your underlying motivations then it is easier to offset reactions and choose responses that are rooted in your strengths rather than weaknesses.Yes! It all starts with intrapersonal intelligence.
- Social Intelligence helps you get the best out of people:People are ‘open systems’ that get influenced by the inputs they get from their immediate environments and surrounding people. A socially intelligent person is able to first profile people in terms of backgrounds,constraints, idiosyncrasies, aspirationsand emotional states by observing their verbal and nonverbal behavior; and then he or she integrates this understanding into the apt ways for motivating them.
- Social intelligence helps you navigate through organizational politics: It is a reality that whenever there is a group of people working together, it will have its own share of political undertones i.e. people trying to maximize their benefits and minimize their costs while wanting to have a competitive advantage in terms of resources and patronage. To perform effectively in such a milieu, one needs social intelligence for deciphering complex social-environments and adapting diplomatically.
- Social intelligence helps you leverage diversity: In the era of global and multicultural workforces, there are many intercultural forces at work. One needs patience to appreciate the uniqueness of variouscultures andcelebrate the differences by makingthis diversity a potential differentiator. This can be done by applying social intelligencein allocating tasks to people and customizing treatment towards them, while still championing the core values.
- Social intelligence helps you understand customers: At the end of the day, all management activities should always be customer-centric. When building organizations becomes a self-serving activity without respecting its raison d’être – the customer – then companies begin to get corroded. And social intelligence is one skill that makes sure that sales essentially remains a consulting activity**, where managers and executives aim to understand customers by observing and interpreting their behaviors methodically and scientifically.
* Researchers Schneider & Bowen found that the Cardiac Care Units where the nurses’ general mood was ‘depressed’ had a death rate among patients four times higher than on comparable units.
**In a study of 32 stores in a US retail chain, researchers George & Bettenhausen found that outlets with positive salespeople showed the best sales results. And more importantly, it was found that it was the store manager who created the emotional climate that drove salespeople’s moods
Dr. Sandeep Atre (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Founder-Director, Socialigence (www.socialigence.net)
Also the author of books “Understanding Emotions Logically” and “Observing Nonverbal Behavior”