At a high level, social intelligence is one's ability to understand and manage relationships. However, if we dive a bit deeper, we find that those who possess social intelligence communicate more effectively and have an easier time forming relationships with others. They possess a better understanding of the world around them, and they have more confidence as a result. Supervisors who possess social intelligence know and understand themselves and can exercise the appropriate emotional management with their teams. Here are five things managers should consider when working to improve social intelligence:
Supervisors need to have the ability to understand their thoughts and feelings. This self-awareness allows them to truly understand who they are and how they respond to various situations and other people. On the other hand, social awareness means recognizing social cues and body language when communicating with someone else.
So how exactly can supervisors work to improve their awareness level? Start by learning how to grow and develop sensory skills. Next, commit to observing your surroundings each day. Make sure to utilize the senses of smell, sight, and sound. This practice helps supervisors become more mindful of their environment and start to form a habit of being more aware of their surroundings. Supervisors who are in the habit of being aware of themselves and the environment around them have taken a significant first step toward improving their overall social intelligence. Here are things managers should consider when working to improve social intelligence skills:
A crucial step in improving social intelligence is managing your emotions. Supervisors who control their behaviors and reactions are good self-managers. It is important to take a step back and reflect on how well you listen and typically respond to negative or frustrating news. Assessing self-management is the first step to improving it. Supervisors should consider their behaviors and actions when communicating with team members. Supervisors should recognize self-management, remain composed, and react calmly to unexpected situations.
Peter Drucker once said, "The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said." This quote reminds us just how important social awareness skills are. Supervisors must be able to read social cues and body language when communicating with their teams. If you can identify these cues, you will be able to communicate more effectively by responding appropriately and asking the right questions to advance the conversation productively. As a supervisor, you must be direct when it comes to communicating with your teams. Ask for clarification if you are unclear about something. Acknowledging and adjusting your communication techniques to changing situations is fundamental in improving social intelligence.
A more common synonym for this might be empathy. "Perspective-taking" is perceiving a situation or understanding a different point of view. To improve your social intelligence, you must also be able to put your feet in another person's shoes. Try to understand where they are coming from. Why do they have that opinion? The more you practice this, the easier it will become. We all come from different backgrounds, and trying to consider why someone else might have a different perspective is vital to social intelligence.
Active listening is not only essential for improving social intelligence but also for improving your personal growth. Becoming an active listener will help connect you with your team members, avoid conflict, and enhance learning through communication. A few tips on becoming a more active listener are listed below:
- Maintain Eye Contact
- Don't Interrupt
- Stay Focused
- Ask Questions
Active listening will help your employees establish trust and credibility with supervisors. The more employees trust their supervisors, the more willing they are to communicate.
Improving social intelligence has a variety of benefits. While this skill is vital in the workplace, practicing it in your personal life is also good. A supervisor with strong social intelligence can create a team of productive and motivated employees.