Social awareness (also called social intelligence) is having the empathy to be attentive to the emotional cues of others. It is the ability to assess social situations and environments, cultivating rapport with a diverse group of people.
People with a high level of social awareness can sense other’s feelings and understand other’s perspectives, taking an active interest in their concerns. This is part of how opportunities are cultivated through diversity.
Empathy is critical to this domain of emotional intelligence for this to be truly effective. It is a pilot to creating a greater good for the benefit of the many. Effective communication opens the door to listening to understand, challenging bias and intolerance.
This is also a strong word of caution. Pseudoempathy is a tool used to manipulate a crowd for individual gain. This is an attempt to play with the heart strings of others for personal and/or monetary gain. It is frequently seen in our political and corporate systems, and television/radio programming (called programming for a reason).
Many people have internal alarm systems that go off when something seems fishy, and many are led to second guess those internal alarm systems. People can be overly trusting of those that are in powerful positions.
It is in my humble opinion that those of us that are adept to emotional intelligence have a duty to call out those that are feeding into the masses for their own personal gain. In order to build a prosperous society, those that would use emotional intelligence for manipulative purposes must be called out.
Part of what I do is coaching in leadership and in life. In order for me to do the best I can, I want to be sure that what I offer is what the other needs. I get to understand what a customer needs by learning their perspective and understanding their concerns. Have I met individuals that I could have just taken their money from? Sure. Have I done so just to earn a buck? No.
I know that with my level of understanding on emotional intelligence I have a responsibility to uphold the highest degree of integrity. It is through that integrity that I set an example for peers, clients, and my own children. I am of service to others.
It is also through social awareness that we build understanding with people of diverse backgrounds. This bridges gaps in understanding through active listening. It provides an opportunity to challenge our own bias and break stereotypes.
Social awareness is a key to conflict management and negotiation. It provides the ability to read everyone involved and manage the emotional state of the room, spotting potential conflict.
Want to learn more about social awareness and how to build that skill? Schedule an appointment and let’s see what I can do for you.