Monday, January 16, 2012

Are your “Socially Intelligent”?

Social Intelligence… 

By Vinod Bidwaik
“It is difficult to handle that person. He is crazy.” One of the friends was sharing his experience about the interaction with another colleague. There are different types of personalities in this world and you have to interact with most of them in your life. There are people in the society who even not aware about their own behaviour in public. They don’t know what to talk and where to talk. They hurt, disturb another people and take blame.  Can we avoid these personalities? You can’t; you have to live with them. But there is a strategy to deal with them.        

You must have heard about Emotional Intelligence. Emotional Intelligence can work, but not always. To deal with such people, we need Social Intelligence. Karl Albrecht coined this term.

Social Intelligence: Social Intelligence as the ability to get along well with others and to get them to cooperate with you. It is basic understanding of people.

The question is how to develop the Social Intelligence. The best way is to understand the S.P.A.C.E. model. This is a simple model of assessing and developing Social Intelligence. This has five dimensions.

(S) Situational Awareness: This is the ability to read, understand the social context which influence the behaviour and accordingly choose the behaviour. It is your social radar which helps you to interpret the behavior of people in those situations in terms of their possible intentions emotional states, and pre deposition to interact.

If we want to be accepted and taken seriously, we all need to pay special attention to the sense of presence we communicate. Here you need to sense the expected behaviour of the person. But before that you have to understand, what are his social norms, his communication style and tone of language and culture of the person.

(P) Presence: It’s the way you affect individuals or groups of people through your physical appearance, your mood and demeanor, your body language, and how you occupy space in a room. Your personality should reflect the positive-ness and confidence.

If some senior person, imagine, President of the company come in the meeting room, his presence in reflected in the surrounding. But this is due to his official position. This is charisma due to his official position.  There are people who earned the personality, like Anna Hazare. His presence in due to his earned charisma. There are people, who project themselves as personality and carries artificial charisma.

You can check this side by becoming awareness with your style, by asking your family members and friends.

(A) Authenticity: This dimension reveals how honest and sincere you are with people and with yourself, in any given situation. It’s how you connect with others people so you become worthy of their trust.  It’s a reliance on or belief in yourself, so you can take real authorship and ownership of your space or place.  

It is possible, for example, to have well developed “people skills” and yet lack the emotional depth to be considered truly socially intelligent. Authenticity does not only require being yourself; you must genuinely connect with others, which demands a fair amount of empathy and compassion.

(C) Clarity: This measures your ability to express your thoughts, opinions, ideas, and intentions clearly. Using proper language is important here. Your language should be used skillfully. Simple test is asking the question, “Do you say what you mean and mean what you say?” Sometimes silence also works effectively.

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt”

There are certain situations were saying less, accomplishes more

(E) Empathy: Last but not least is empathy. This dimension invites you to look at how truly aware and considerate you are of others; and the feelings of others. In simple language understanding and assessing why people behave in specific manner. Putting yourself in their situation is the best way to understand them. Try to understand the emotions, feeling of other and decide your strategy to deal with them.   

Try to follow the above dimension of Social Intelligence. This will definitely make you effective in your career and life. Just enter into the S.P.A.C.E…. 

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