Social Intelligence

Tips and Guidelines to Enhance Your Social Intelligence and Relational Power

Background on Social Intelligence

A socially intelligent person is aware of the motives and feelings of other people. They know what to do to fit into different social situations and they know what to do to put others at ease. This module explores the essential elements of social intelligence needed for building genuine connections with others.

Importance of Social Intelligence in the Workspace

Our relationships are one of our most powerful influencing tools. Relational power refers to the degree of influence one has over another in a relationship. People with strong social intelligence tend to be the most effective leaders, most skilled negotiators and most successful sales people. Why? Because they have the ability to connect with others. If people like you, trust you and feel comfortable around you, you have a far better chance of getting people to listen to you and buy into your ideas.

Guidelines (for building more genuine, fulfilling and successful relationships)

    1. Listen with the intention to understand, not to reply

      Real listening requires understanding. Avoid formulating your response in your mind while the other person is still speaking. Your non-verbal signals will not lie. If you have ‘checked-out’, it shows through your body language.

    2. Understanding is a prerequisite to influencing

      You need to understand where the other person is coming from in order to influence them. Different people are motivated by different things. Understand what their reason or motive is and speak to this when wanting to get buy in.

    3. Pay attention to what isn’t said

      Look for clues that provide insight into how the person is feeling. These clues could be in their facial expression or body language. If what they are saying and how they are displaying this is inconsistent, you may need to reflect, clarify and adjust your responses accordingly.

    4. Show empathy

      This is perhaps the most important factor in connecting with others. People want to feel understood. They want to know that you get where they are coming from and that you can relate.

    5. Communicate

      People are not mind readers, your empathy and concerns are lost if it is not felt. Use your words and your actions to show how you feel.

    Through increased awareness and application of these principles you will be able to engage more effectively with others and improve your relational power.