“Some people think only intellect counts: knowing how to solve problems, knowing how to get by. But the functions of intellect are insufficient without courage, love, friendship, compassion, and empathy.”
-Dean Koontz, American Author
Understanding your own emotions and the emotions of others can be incredibly useful in the workplace. From creating an environment of psychological safety where people trust their needs will be heard to building relationships with colleagues, clients, and CEOs, social intelligence can help you more effectively navigate your social world. People with this strength excel when building or mending relationships and making others feel comfortable.
Studies have found the character strength of social intelligence can also create a buffer against the negative effects of stress and trauma. In Michelle McQuaid’s book, Can You Put Your Strengths To Work, social intelligence is described as your ability to readily notice and understand the emotions and intentions of both yourself and others.
Need some inspiration? Check out these stories of social intelligence!
- Workers at General Assembly, an education company headquartered in New York, created a video link for “watercooler chat” over coffee that people can drop in and out during the day to mirror those informal conversations in the office kitchen.
- Workers at GitLab, a global IT company, invited their children who are home from school on different continents to hang out online together and learn about life in another place.
DID YOU KNOW…
“The Center for Creative Leadership found that 75% of careers are derailed for social/emotional intelligence reasons, including an inability to handle interpersonal problems, unsatisfactory team leadership, or inability to elicit trust?”
PUT IT IN PRACTICE
- Practice Active Listening. A major piece of social intelligence is good communication skills. Active Listening, a pattern of listening that keeps you engaged, makes the person feel heard and valued. No interruptions, watching nonverbal behavior, and paraphrasing what’s been said are all features of active listening. For more tips, click here.
- Invest in Relationships. Invest in one-on-one time with your colleagues. Outside of the context of immediate projects, you can better understand their personalities and what motivates them. Whenever you have the opportunity, make sure to share any glory/credit with those who deserve it.