I just read an interesting article about “social intelligence” on Tim Elmore’s blog, “Growing Leaders.” Here is a link to the article:
Social intelligence is defined as “the capacity to effectively negotiate complex social relationships and environments.” The term was first coined by noted American psychologist, Edward Thorndike, in 1920. Essentially, it is the ability to develop healthy relationships.
The article cites Daniel Goldman’s book “Social Intelligence.” Goldman states that social intelligence includes: empathy, attunement, social cognition, concern, self-presentation and influence.
Elmore claims that younger adults are too self-absorbed and do not acknowledge authority so they come across as arrogant and lacking a work ethic. He attributes this to lenient parenting and over reliance on technology at the expense of social interactions. Elmore states that younger adults would do well to acquire social intelligence at work because it will help them make better first impressions and improve working relationships.
One thing that spoke to me in this article is the idea that younger adults who use social intelligence to their advantage will differentiate themselves in the work place. To me, social intelligence indicates intellectual and emotional maturity. I feel comfortable in many situations, but sometimes in hindsight, I wish that I had communicated more effectively.
In my internship, I plan to observe the interactions of my co-workers to learn who appears to be more socially savvy. Then I will adapt some of their social skills to match my style. Hopefully, just being attuned to these subtleties will improve my relationships (generally and in the workplace)!