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Cultivating Social Intelligence for Powerful Social Skills

Cultivating Social Intelligence for Powerful Social Skills
In today's world, just being good at your work is not going to get you success, you need to cultivate your social intelligence for propelling growth faster. This SocialMettle post will provide you with information for developing your social intelligence in order to strengthen your social skills.
SocialMettle Staff
Last Updated: Dec 21, 2017
"There are four ways, and only four ways, in which we have contact with the world. We are evaluated and classified by these four contacts: what we do, how we look, what we say, and how we say it."
~ Dale Carnegie
At your workplace, you must have seen people who may not be half as good or qualified as you, yet they climb the career ladder faster than you. You may blame it on your fate and envy their luck; but this clear difference occurs because of one essential thing - Social Intelligence. This is because people with a high social intelligence influence others in the right way. They are very good at networking and their behavior is such that they create a positive image.

If you think people are blessed with social intelligence and one cannot do anything if he or she lacks it, then you are completely wrong. Everyone is socially intelligent to a certain extent, it is just that some people do not give importance to developing it. Social intelligence can be cultivated by practice, observation, and strategically positioning your social behavior.
Overview
Simply put, social intelligence is the ability or a set of essential people skills to get along with others and to make them cooperate with you. It means that people should be aware of the social situations and have knowledge about various interactions while dealing with others in order to reach their objectives. Social intelligence is critical in order to incorporate powerful social skills. It can be highly beneficial in realizing your desired goals. Socially intelligent people know about their perceptions and reaction patterns, and have complete control over them. They can tweak their behavior in such a way that they leave a favorable impact.
Developing Social Intelligence
Like Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and Emotional Quotient (EQ), we also have Social Intelligence Quotient (SQ) which plays an important role in a person's social development. If you are wondering how to cultivate social intelligence, here are a few tips that will help you.
Have Complete Awareness
Group of people communication
It is important that you have self-awareness, social awareness, and situational awareness in order to implement social intelligence. You must be completely aware of how an interaction will shape up for you, what kind of responses on your part will have a desired impact, what kind of body language should be presented, how should you project yourself in this interaction, etc.

You should also be able to predict how this social situation will help you, thus it will be easier for you to interact with others. On the other hand, you should also read the personality of the other person and talk with him in such a way that he will understand your point. Also, you should completely understand the context of the social situation and the way it influences the behavior of people before designing your interaction.
Think Before Speaking or Acting
Think before speak words board
Almost all of us know, how our impulsive actions have hurt us and others at some point in time. Even our thoughtless words may have injured other people's sentiments knowingly or unknowingly. Reacting to a situation without actually analyzing it, is a sign of low social intelligence.

Practice patience and don't be hasty, it will only show how socially mature you are. Even one derogatory sentence is enough to severe social ties with someone. People will be quick to form a negative opinion about you. Hence, it is advisable to think before you speak or act in order to give measured responses and avoid regrets.
Understand and Follow the Norms
Time to adapt concept
You may have to face different social environment owing to a job change, a new city, a new neighborhood, a new country, etc. In order to mix in the new social group perfectly, you must observe, understand, and incorporate the behavioral norms of the new environment.

The law of survival of the fittest applies to your social existence too. If you are too rigid and inflexible in changing your old ways and adapting to the new ones, you will not be accepted in any social circle. A socially intelligent person will be more open to new experiences and will easily blend in with the new social environment. He will ensure that he is easily accepted within the new group and his behavior or appearance does not stand out. Even if he does not like certain things about the new environment, he will either not voice his opinions or put it across politely when the right time comes.
Create a Bond
Asking question girl
The best way to create a bond is to actively participate in social networking. Take interest in other people and ask questions on topics that they enjoy speaking about. For example, you may ask someone, who practices yoga, about yoga classes.

Have a positive and casual conversation without hurting the sentiments of others. A socially intelligent person will be able to read people and assess their feelings. This will help in designing a communication which will influence the other person positively. He will also be an active listener and encourage people to speak their minds. This quality will make him trustworthy and endearing. Demonstrating empathy towards others through your attitude and actions will make you likable and people will connect with you easily.
Clarity in Communication
Effective communication word board
It is essential that, for cultivating your social intelligence, you must practice effective communication. In a social environment, where people come from different walks of life, education, interests, etc., it is possible that misunderstandings can become rampant if there is a miscommunication. Hence, it is important that you express yourself clearly, leaving no room for any kind of ambiguity.

Socially intelligent people know precisely where to say what and direct their communication in such a way that their goals are realized. They use lucid yet impressive language and vocabulary. They have full control on the volume, speed, voice modulation, and focus of the communication which allows them to hold the interest of the other person. Avoiding arguments and resolving conflicts is one of the most important traits of socially intelligent people. Presenting ideas, articulating views, providing accurate data, and estimating prospective actions often lead others to cooperate with you.
Avoid Being Judgmental
Manager pressure on employee
It is observed that people will mix easily with those who are not judgmental. Hence, it is essential that you accept the tastes of people in fashion, art, cuisines, music, way of life, etc. as they are and stop having preconceived notions about them.

The moment a person senses or comes to know that you are busy judging his personality, he prefers to distance himself from you. Hence, it is best to express your genuine opinion in a non-critical manner. People who are highly socially intelligent do not express Dale Carnegie's 3 Cs i.e. criticize, condemn, and complain. This helps them to form a good rapport with others and they become popular socially. Also, talking ill about others behind their backs is a major no-no. Someday, what you spoke will reach them and you will lose their friendship and trust. To be socially intelligent, you must accept people as they are, especially so, if you are new to a group.
Pursue Various Interests
Societies meeting
In order to become socially intelligent, you must have more social interaction which will provide you a platform for social networking. You can join forums, clubs, societies, social causes, etc. which will give you access to a variety of people. Your social interaction with people of different personalities will hone your social skills.

A socially intelligent person strategically interacts with people in order to impress them. He takes an active interest in traveling, dance, music, culture, cuisines, politics, books, sports, etc. and can speak easily on any subject. He also keeps abreast with current affairs and increases his knowledge on technological aspects. He is able to communicate on any subject. People appreciate such intelligence and good conversations.
Appearance and Dress
Party social event
Though not many believe that first impression is the last impression, it still holds true for a few. Hence, it is essential that you undertake power dressing as it will definitely influence the way other people perceive your image. Clean dressing and appearance will make you more approachable. However, a disheveled or unclean appearance will only act as a social repellent.

Socially intelligent people are aware of the way their dressing will influence their image and prefer to dress for the occasion. They do not wear clothes which will give wrong signals about their personality. For example, you should avoid wearing a revealing party outfit to a funeral as it will give out negative signals. Apart from this, it is important that you have the appropriate body language and facial expressions.
Be Genuinely Interested
You can help concept
Merely creating a facade of friendship and interest in others will not help you to sustain in a social environment. Hence, it is essential that the views expressed by you are genuine and authentic.

You must be able to offer help to others not only through words, but also through your actions. You should be able to identify the problems faced by others and provide solutions. Being attentive and responsive to other's feelings and refraining from being self-absorbed are traits of a socially intelligent person.
Customizing Your Interaction
Handshake men
In order to cultivate social intelligence, you must have the capacity to understand and predict the possible intentions and emotional states of the people you interact with. You must evaluate the interaction and form measured responses based on your observations.

The interactions will differ from person to person. For example, a person who has recently won an award will like to be congratulated and appreciated for the same. You must recognize this emotional need of the person and cater to it. On the other hand, talking about your new car to someone who has just lost his job will give rise to negative emotions and the person may think that you are trying to show off. Hence, it is important that you customize your interaction according to the circumstances and emotional states of people.
Cultivating social intelligence has several benefits. It helps to navigate through social environment with an ease and assists in negotiating the complex social relationships. It helps you to easily adapt to a new environment and doesn't make you feel out of place. Also, it helps you to incorporate essential socials skills in your interactions and more importantly to make new friends.