Building Rapport – Social Intelligence

U.S president Bill Clinton, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and former South African president Nelson Mandela: We know them as leaders who understood and mastered the art of changing minds.

How did they influence with such power and impact the minds of so many different types of people?

Clinton was said to have been an absolute genius in understanding the minds of others and in reading personalities. A large contributor to his success is known to have been his effective story-telling. Most importantly, his stories had resonance with his audience, in other words, Clinton made an emotional connection. Tom Peters agrees that good leaders, such as Mandela connect – they concentrate on others and “really are real.” Every single one of us can master this art. We are talking about Social Intelligence.

This amazing quality makes the most electable politicians, the most skilled negotiators and the most successful sales people. It hasn’t become the new hot topic of the 21st century for no good reason – it is recognised today as the essential expertise. Why? Because it empowers you to shape the outcome of any and every interaction you may be in. Our emotional system is the only system in our bodies that is constantly adapting to others and their internal states. Social Intelligence is about how leaders connect to their followers, and how they thereby inspire their team to adopt their message. A leader’s mood is in fact transferred to his or her followers:

“Of all the factors in a company’s control, tuned-out, dissonant leaders are one of the main reasons that talented people leave – and take the company’s knowledge with them” – Daniel Goleman

The above quote emphasises the importance for leaders to activate the correct neurons in their followers’ brains. Negativity physically fires up the wrong neurons in a person’s brain. The chemical connection between a leader’s and his or her followers’ minds is known as Mood Contagion or Neurobiology. The neural attunement between minds is scientifically referred to as limbic resonance. Daniel Goleman refers to the ‘Limbic Tango.’ It simply means harmony between two people’s emotional states. This harmony is an essential component of empathy, and empathy is necessary for emotionally intelligent leadership. Resonant leadership is absolutely crucial because resonance leads to optimal brain function and production. Resonance is all about driving the collective emotions of a team to a positive realm, to add economic value:

Kgosientso Ramokgopa, CEO of Johannesburg Fresh Produce Market considers the following his best management decision: “Appointing people with the right energy…and then creating an atmosphere where they can freely express themselves and realise their talent.”

Sometimes we connect more naturally with people because they share our goals and our style. Synchrony between people is therefore also linked to personality. Social Intelligence skills can be learnt and mastered. Synchrony between people creates trust, which leads to openness, which results in win-win situations.

At My Pocket Coach, we explore with our clients the art of Social Intelligence. We offer valuable tools and techniques with which you can learn to respond to others with impact and rapport:

  • Discover the components of Social Intelligence in depth – those of social awareness and social facility
  • Study the behavioral elements and the communicative expressors linked to each of these elements
  • Apply specific exercises to become more mindful of others’ and your own emotions
  • Undergo role-playing to test your Social Intelligence skills
  • Learn about positive and negative conversational attitudes
  • Master topic skills, conversation rules, construction and deconstruction of arguments, language techniques and non-verbal excellence
  • Understand the difference between resonant and dissonant leadership
  • Find out how good of a listener you are
  • Undergo specific listening exercises

Remember: Your social brain navigates you through EVERY encounter of your life. Become empowered to influence your every encounter, whether it is in the boardroom or in the classroom. For more information on our Social Intelligence training contact My Pocket Coach on call us on (011) 781-1444