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Having explored the Self Awareness and Self Management dimensions of Emotional Intelligence, we now turn our attentions to, arguably, the more difficult aspect of EI: Social Awareness and Social (Relationship) Management.
SOCIAL AWARENESS – The ability to ‘read’ other people’s emotions; to listen and empathise and to understand how someone’s emotions may impact their decisions and actions. It requires you to remove judgement and to not make assumptions. You do not have to like or agree with others, just be able to put yourself in their shoes and understand why they feel a certain way.
OK, there’s no denying that some people just find this easier than others but, contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a crystal ball to be able to determine how others are feeling. Social awareness is a skill that can be learnt and for leaders it’s critical if you want to establish an effective working relationship with your team. Information gathered by Gallup, over many years of research into employee engagement, helps to illustrate exactly why it’s so important to leadership effectiveness.
The Gallup Q12 is a list of statements found to be the most effective when measuring engagement, in other words; the answers given to these 12 statements are the best reflection of how engaged an employee is. Here are just 5 of those 12 statements:
Each of these requires a socially aware leader. Without it, the team will be disengaged and disengaged employees are more likely to leave, take more sick days and are less effective. For a team to be effective then, they need a leader who is socially aware – who praises them, shows they care about them as a person and values their opinions.
SOCIAL MANAGEMENT – This is the application of the social awareness you have gained in governing your behaviour; using your knowledge of others’ emotions to adjust your own behaviours to develop people and relationships and achieve more effective outcomes.
Daniel Goleman, regarded as one of the leading minds in Emotional Intelligence, has identified six skills, critical to Social (Relationship) Management:
These skills and qualities are what help to forge strong relationships, they heighten understanding and build mutual trust and respect and, in so doing, heighten Emotional Intelligence and therefore leadership effectiveness.
Read the final part in this blog series: Leading a Team: Inspire Action
Want to heighten Emotional Intelligence?
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