Emotional Intelligence and Social Awareness

How many of you work with a colleague who without you saying much approach you and ask you if you are OK?  They have watched you the past couple of days and have seen that you are not your usual upbeat self.  Or, your manager backs off from asking you to stay late at work to finish a big report because he or she knows you need time and space to sort out a problem in your personal life.  Or, the café owner who after a six month absence from going to his restaurant greets you like you are a long lost cousin remembers your name and favourite dish.

These individuals have one thing in common.

iStock Emotional Intelligence Emotional Intelligence and Social Awareness

They have well developed social awareness skills:  the ability to recognise, understand and appreciate the feelings of others, anticipate and meet customer needs, develop others and read a group’s emotional well-being.

How do you enhance your social awareness skills?

  • When in conversation with people, give them your full attention.   What are you observing about their body language and tone of voice?
  • Listen for emotion.  Ask yourself, “If I were in this person’s situation, how would I feel?”
  • Study body language to understand others better and pick up on unspoken social cues.
  • Greet people by name and with a smile.
  • In a team meeting or group situation, dial into the general mood of the group.
  • Gladly offer assistance to others.
  • If you are a manager, acknowledge and reward employee/s strengths and achievements.
  • Be a mentor and coach to staff to grow their skills.
  • Give and get regular and constructive feedback.
  • If you are in a customer service role, really listen to your customer/s and look for ways to increase customer satisfaction.
  • Build your network.
  • Listen to what is going on at a team and organizational level and get to know the people who influence decisions, policies and operational procedures.
  • Demonstrate your commitment to your organization by supporting their goals, mission and values.
  • Learn to cooperate with others in order to achieve your organization’s objectives.
  • In your next performance review get feedback on your level of social awareness.

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