Using Social Intelligence To Keep Employees Engaged

Author: Amy Sargent

You hear a lot about emotional intelligence these days, but what do you know about social intelligence? Social intelligence is the ability to be aware of how others are feeling, in the moment, and manage your behavior in a way that nourishes the relationship. Social intelligence is two-fold: 1-social awareness and 2-relationship management.

Social awareness comes in the form of empathy, situational insight, and having a heart to serve others, all qualities within ourselves we can develop with the help of assessments to establish self-awareness, good coaching, and old fashioned practice-makes-perfect. Learning to put yourself in other’s shoes, picking up on social cues, and doing kind things for others–like buying that box of doughnuts on National Doughnut Day–are skills you can push yourself to embrace and improve upon. Managing relationships can be a little tougher. Whenever people are involved, it’s suddenly no longer just about us (the part we have jurisdiction over).

As much as we’d like to, we just can’t control what others do. But what we can do is focus on our behavior that can help elicit a desirable response from others.

Learning others–who they are, what they are motivated by, where they’ve come from, where they want to go–is a skill that gives us insight into how to manage our relationships toward positive connections. It’s especially important in leadership as we aspire to steer and guide our teams. In order to motivate and inspire employees to reach company objectives and goals, we have to know what makes them ‘tick’. And it’s not a one-size-fits-all formula.

While doughnuts may do the trick for some, others want you to show an interest in their personal life, remembering their birthday and their kids’ names, while others are simply motivated by a raise. Each person comes with their own unique set of history, schema, personality, and skill sets, and discovering what those are with each team member can take a lot of effort — and time.

Posted by NDA Member, Gayle Christensen

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