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Working with new colleagues means know how to ‘read people’ and adapt to different organizational styles. Here we expect team-building exercises, telling others what the job is about …

How not to hate people you work with?

Intelligence, or IQ, is largely what you are born with and genetics play a large part in it. Social intelligence (SI), on the other hand, is mostly learned. Besides Social intelligence it is important to mention that we also have Emotional Intelligence (EI) but in this part we will work mostly on Social Intelligence. SI can be described as a combination of abilities: the first is a basic understanding of people and the second is the skills needed for interacting successfully with them.

People with high social intelligence are often said to have “nourishing behaviours” which make others around them feel valued, loved, respected and appreciated. These people are very appealing to others. On the other hand, people low in social intelligence are often described as “toxic” – they cause others to feel angry, devalued, frustrated, inadequate or guilty. Sometimes, they are often so preoccupied with personal stresses that they fail to see the impact of their behaviour on others. Social intelligence is a person’s ability to interact well with others. It is a usually learned ability involving situational awareness, understanding of social dynamics, and a decent amount of self-awareness. There are four contributing aspects of social intelligence defined by researchers:

  1. Communication Skills

These involve the ability of a person to listen well, understand the words and emotional content of what they hear, speak well with others, express their thoughts and emotions clearly, and use tact when speaking with others.

  1. Social Roles and Rules

These involve knowing the different, usually unspoken, rules of various types of interactions and situations as well as how to play an appropriate role in a variety of interactions.

  1. Understanding the Motivation of Others

This involves reading the subtext of a conversation and understanding why a person is saying something or behaving in such a manner.

  1. Impression Management

This skill involves understanding the reaction of others to you and behaving in a way to make the impression you want.

While some of us are naturally blessed with superior social skills, others may need to work harder at them. The good news is that many believe social intelligence can be improved upon. Building strong social relationships is worth the effort because: strong relationships improve our immune system and help combat disease, loneliness as a very common phenomenon of today’s society and weak relationships are one of the major sources of stress, health problems and depression, our relationships affect every area of our lives–from colleagues to spouses to friends to kids. Therefore it is important to work on your social intelligence to improve not just ourselves, our skills, but also our social lives.

Social Intelligence is something you can be born with or you can simply learn.  Dr. David Goleman, internationally known psychologist who lectures frequently to professional groups, business audiences, and on college campuses, known as an author and science journalist.

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