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Emotional Intelligence – Social Awareness & Relationship Management

Filed in Blog by Tracey Davison on 3500 - 0 Comments

Emotional Intelligence Relationship Management

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:

  • In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work
  • A supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person
  • There is someone at work who encourages my development
  • At work, my opinions seem to count
  • In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress

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:

  • Develop Others – The ability to listen, encourage, challenge and get the best out of others.
  • Inspirational Leadership – The ability to motivate others into action, to be able to share a vision in such a way that people want to go on the journey with you.  Inspirational leaders lead by example, they do what they say they will do and hold them selves and other to account.  Their people trust and respect them and are engaged in the pursuit of team goals.
  • Change Catalyst – The ability to make change happen by taking vision and goals and turning them into actions, to then maintain focus on those goals and to monitor, review and evaluate progress.
  • Influence – This requires confidence and assertiveness, you need to be able to adapt to your audience and employ the most appropriate method of communication.  It’s about the impact you have on others, how effective you are at getting your message across and achieving the outcome you’re looking for.
  • Conflict Management – The ability to negotiate and mediate, to help others to see different perspectives, to recognise that compromise is often more effective than having a winner and a loser.
  • Teamwork and Collaboration– Building a team culture and identity, ensuring the team are aligned in such a way as to maximise the skills and capabilities of each member, celebrating successes and learning collectively from failures.  Encouraging respect and understanding of each other.  Ensuring the team are clear on team and organisational goals and that they support one another in the achievement of these goals.

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?

Take a look at our Emotional Intelligence 1 Day Masterclass.

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