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People with high social intelligence have the power to build strong relationships and work well with others. Improve your social skills and become more socially intelligent with these tips.
The social world can seem like a maze sometimes, where wrong moves lead to dead ends or trapdoors, but the right turn edges you closer to your goal. How does one navigate all this?
Ask yourself these questions:
Social intelligence (SI) involves how we make sense of the people around us. SI requires a basic understanding of people and a set of skills for successful social interaction with others. It also describes a person’s interpersonal abilities.
A socially intelligent person (someone with high SI) displays strong social competencies and nourishing behaviours that make other people feel valued, trusted, and respected. High SI people are often amiable and affable, and they generally interact well with others. They are also able to get others to cooperate with them.
An individual with low SI often displays unsociable behaviour, making other people feel frustrated, inadequate, and devalued. Often, a low SI person is not intentionally unsociable. Their behaviour is often due to a lack of social awareness and understanding of how their behaviour affects other people.
Recent brain research suggests that we are wired to connect to others. Our relationships shape our experiences and also influence our brains. People can “catch” emotions from one another via facial expressions, moods, and other subtle ways. The more strongly we are emotionally connected to the person we are interacting with, the stronger the impact on the brain.
Because of this interconnectedness, individuals with high SI have the power to build relationships and create positive feelings in the people they work and play with.
Find out more about Mental Wellbeing!
Some people naturally have better social and communication skills than others. However, because social intelligence involves a basic understanding of human nature, plus a skill-set for how to successfully manage emotions and interact with people, you can improve your social intelligence with learning and practice. Some actions may be easier to adopt, while others may take more time and effort.
One of the most important SI skills is learning to connect well with people and relationship management. This includes making other people feel comfortable around you and feel like they are being listened to and understood.
Avoid miscommunication and misunderstandings by learning to express yourself clearly. If you’re not sure, ask.
Ensuring that we take time to think before acting or speaking prevents us from acting impulsively, which may leave us with regrets later.
Most people appreciate an honest opinion expressed in a non-judgmental, non-critical way.
People are more likely to open up when they feel they will not be judged.
When you move to a new social environment (a new country, city or workplace), learn the rules and social norms for behaviour. It is helpful to become adaptable and to be open to new ideas and experiences.
Download "Develop your Social Intelligence tip sheet" [PDF] (993KB)
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This article was last reviewed on
Monday, September 14, 2020
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