In order to be successful in life and business, one needs to not only have Intellectual Intelligence (IQ) but Social Intelligence (SQ) as well. According to an article by, Psychology Today, people develop Social Intelligence through experiences with others (either good or bad). The compilation of those experiences cause us to learn what worked or what did not (success or failure) in those social settings. It is more commonly referred to as “tact,” “common sense,” or “street smarts.”

How social intelligence can make you successful by lotus business resources

In his book, Mastery, Robert Greene defines social intelligence as “the ability to see people in the most realistic light possible”.

In other words, social intelligence is all about reading other people and figuring out the reasons why they behave the way they do. Think of it as your ability to think from another person’s perspective.

How Can You Develop Social Intelligence?

  1. Pay attention to the social world around you.
  2. Work on becoming a better speaker or conversationalist. This will help you develop basic communication skills.
  3. Try to become a more effective listener. This is called “active listening” where you reflect back what you believe the speaker said in order to ensure clear understanding.
  4. Most importantly, study social situations and your own behavior. Learn from your social successes and failures

As you develop your social intelligence, you will find that you naturally become more persuasive and appealing to people of all personality types.

Instead of forcing your opinions on someone who’s view of the world doesn’t match yours, you can then alter your approach to appeal to their nature. It doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your own beliefs and embrace theirs; it just means that you deliberately choose to suppress your opinion because you know it is a battle you won’t win.

social intelligence and how it can make you successful - ranting graphic by lotus business resources

For example, if someone is ranting and raving about a political or cultural issue, and you don’t agree, simply let them sound off and hold your opinion to yourself. You can let them blow off some steam and choose to reply with, “I can see why that would be frustrating.”

Again, you don’t have to agree with them and compromise your own beliefs, but you also are not required to share your opinion.

Something very powerful happens when you choose this approach. You get to study and examine how this person thinks, what makes them tick, and what makes them get emotional.

Knowing this information, allows you to customize your approach if and when you need to deal with them in the future. And could prevent a conflict.

When I was working in my corporate job, many years ago, the company had a required training course for all employees entitled, “Managing Interpersonal Relationships” (This training was similar to the current DISC Personality Tests) and is still available (used) on Amazon. I can honestly say that out of all the required courses I took during my 3 decades of employment, that one brought me the most ROI! Once you can understand a person’s personality type, you can then determine how best to work and/or communicate with them (based on YOUR personality type).


Your mission…should you choose to accept it is…

The next time you come across a difficult person, use your encounter as an opportunity to enhance your social intelligence! Determine what type of personality drives the person and work at ‘defusing’ any potential conflict and connect more harmoniously. Not only will this exercise increase your social intelligence but, it will make you a much more assertive person. It will also help you gain the power to build more substantial social and working relationships. This “power” will continue to grow the more you use it!

Here’s to developing our social intelligence every day and to making us more successful both in life and in business!

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