What is Social Intelligence (SI)?

Social Intelligence (SI) is the ability to get along well with others, and to get them to cooperate with you. Sometimes referred to simplistically as “people skills,” SI includes an awareness of situations and the social dynamics that govern them, and a knowledge of interaction styles and strategies that can help a person achieve his or her objectives in dealing with others. It also involves a certain amount of self-insight and a consciousness of one’s own perceptions and reaction patterns.

To read the full article go to: Karlabrecht   From the standpoint of interpersonal skills, Karl Albrecht classifies behavior toward others as falling somewhere on a spectrum between “toxic” effect and “nourishing” effect. Toxic behavior makes people feel devalued, angry, frustrated, guilty or otherwise inadequate. Nourishing behavior makes people feel valued, respected, affirmed, encouraged or competent. A continued pattern of toxic behavior indicates a low level of social intelligence – the inability to connect with people and influence them effectively. A continued pattern of nourishing behavior tends to make a person much more effective in dealing with others; nourishing behaviors are the indicators of high social intelligence.

1. Verbal Fluency and Conversational Skills.

2. Knowledge of Social Roles, Rules, and Scripts.

3. Effective Listening Skills.

4. Understanding What Makes Other People Tick.

5. Role Playing and Social Self-Efficacy.

6. Impression Management Skills.

Can SI be learned, or developed?

Yes. By first understanding SI, as a combination of skills expressed through learned behavior, and then assessing the impact of one’s behavior on others – the degree to which one is successful in dealing with others – one can experiment with new behaviors and new interaction strategies. I the simplest terms, this is the ability to “get along with people,” which – it is a assumed – people learn as they grow up, mature, and gain experience in dealing with others. Unfortunately, many people do not continue to learn and grow as they age, and many people never acquire the awareness and skills they need to succeed in social, business or professional situations. It is quite clear that adults who lack insight and competence in dealing with others can make significant improvements in their SI status as a result of understanding the basic concepts and assessing themselves against a comprehensive model of interpersonal effectiveness.

Is SI different from emotional intelligence (EI)?

Yes. The recent popularity of the emotional intelligence concept – one of Prof. Gardner’s key intelligences – paves the way for a practical approach to developing the other intelligences. While some practitioners have tried to stretch the EI theory to include “people skills,” in practical terms it makes more sense to think of EI and SI as two distinct dimensions of competence.