Social Intelligence: The New Science of Success; Beyond IQ, Beyond EI, Applying Multiple Intelligence Theory to Human Interaction,
. Format: Hardcover, 280pp. ISBN: 0787979384. October 2005.
Jossey-Bass. When I developed the Draft Canadian Culture of Peace Program
Marketing Strategy (ref. http://www.cultureofpeace.ca/CCOPPmarketingstrategy.htm
) , I suggested we use the concept of Social Intelligence (i.e. raising Social
Intelligence/Social Development) as a path to Peace Education and a Culture of
Peace – that it is more readily acceptable/ understandable by the general
population. This book explains it much better than I, including the “How
To”, hence I strongly recommend it. Karl Albrecht defines social
intelligence (SI) as the ability to get along well with others while winning
their cooperation. SI is a combination of sensitivity to the needs and interests
of others, sometimes called your “ social radar, ” an attitude of generosity
and consideration, and a set of practical skills for interacting successfully
with people in any setting. "Social Intelligence provides a highly
accessible and comprehensive model for describing, assessing, and developing
social intelligence at a personal level. This book is filled with intriguing
concepts, enlightening examples, stories, cases, situational strategies, and a
self-assessment tool – all designed to help you learn to navigate social
situations more successfully. The
author takes you on a guided tour of the five dimensions of social intelligence (“S.P.A.C.E.”):
1. Situational Awareness – the ability to read situations and to interpret the
behaviors of people in those situations; 2.
Presence – Often called ‘bearing’, it’s a whole range of verbal and
nonverbal behaviors that define you in the minds of others;
3. Authenticity – the behaviors that cause others to judge you as
honest, open, and ‘real’; 4.
Clarity – the ability to explain your ideas and articulate your views;
5. Empathy – the ability to ‘connect’ with others.
You can get it (and read a descriptive summary) at Chapters book store
online at http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/item.asp?Item=978078797938&Catalog=Books&Ntt=social+intelligence&N=35&Lang=en&Section=books&zxac=1
for $21.43 (which is 33% off the list price right now). 5 star must
apparently blind to the larger context for the conversation …
supplied with ‘abstract intelligence’ – the “IQ” kind – but short on
ability to get along with people …
particular set of competencies … a coherent framework for describing it,
observing it and – most importantly – developing it if possible.
capacity for connecting with and influencing people … human development.
concept of social intelligence, or “SI”, as one of a set of key life
competencies is surely an idea whose time has arrived.
It crystallizes much of what we know about an important dimension of
time for us to bring professor
identify six primary intelligences (“ASPEAK”):
“Renaissance human”, the success model most of us admire, would have a
strong and well-integrated combination of all intelligences.
characterize SI as a combination of a basic understanding of people – a kind
of strategic social awareness – and a set of component skills for interacting
successfully with them. A simple
description of SI is: …
the ability to get along well with others and to get them to cooperate with you.
think of the extremes of SI – very low and very high – in metaphorical terms
as either “toxic” or “nourishing”, respectively.
Toxic behaviors, by this definition, are those that cause others to feel
devalued, inadequate, intimidated, angry, frustrated, or guilty.
Nourishing behaviors cause others to feel valued, capable, loved,
respected, and appreciated.
with high social intelligence … are magnetic to others.
well overdue to make SI a developmental priority in our early education, public
schooling, adult learning processes, and in business.
Children and teenagers need to learn to win the fellowship and respect
they crave. College students need to
learn to collaborate and influence others effectively.
Managers need to understand and connect with the people they’re
appointed to lead. High-tech
professionals … need to understand the social context and achieve their
objectives by working from empathy. All
adults, in their careers and personal lives, need to be able to present
themselves effectively and earn the respect of those they deal with.
Social intelligence can reduce conflict, create collaboration, replace
bigotry and polarization with understanding, and mobilize people toward common
intelligence may be, in the long run, one of the most important ingredients in
our survival as a species.
Different Kind of “SMART”
is one thing more powerful than all the armies of the world, and that is an idea
whose time has come.” Victor Hugo
special – people with whom we feel comfortable, respected, affirmed, and cared
positive, supportive way … knows more about people …
positive ones seem to ‘get it’ – they understand people and their
interactions reflect that understanding, more than simply consisting of some set
of ‘nice’ behaviors.
intelligence … consists of both insight and behavior.
We seek to understand human social effectiveness at a level beyond simple
formulas … beyond the so-called ‘people skills’ supposedly valued in the
workplace. We seek to understand how
highly effective people navigate social situations so skillfully, and how they
know – at least most of the time – how to engage others in ways appropriate
to the context.
… SI as
a more deeply layered, more comprehensive view of human affairs.
biggest obstacle to learning something new is the belief that you already know
it.” Zen philosophy
understanding of social intelligence as a broader concept … seeking
a more robust operational model … sought a more comprehensive view.
… such a
model can serve a person as a mental platform for understanding social
situations, or contexts in which interactions take place, and it can also enable
a person to design a response to a unique situation …
a depth and breadth of life knowledge, a deep knowledge of one’s culture –
and possibly other cultures – the accumulated wisdom that comes from
constantly observing and learning what works and what doesn’t in human
Gardner’s 1983 book “Frames of Mind” …
“MI” concept has reached the tipping point of acceptance in certain sectors,
particularly education and business, at least in the
EI, SI or
inspirational leadership (guiding and motivating with a compelling vision),
developing others (bolstering others’ abilities through feedback and
guidance), and change catalyst (initiating, managing, and leading in a new
look at EI (emotional intelligence) as a dimension of internal competence –
self-awareness and skillful deployment of one’s emotional responses.
Then we can clearly delineate our model of social intelligence in terms
of externally oriented competencies. In
other works, we need both of these intelligences for personal success.
to nourishing (toxic behaviors – nourishing behaviors)
biggest single cause of low social intelligence comes from simple lack of
insight. Toxic people often become
so preoccupied with their own personal struggles that they simply do not
understand the impact they have on others. They
need help in seeing themselves as others see them.
spots, lenses and filters
halitosis, flatulence, and dandruff
people are completely capable … of treating another person like a thing, a
piece of furniture, a non-being who exists only for the fulfillment of their own
… I have
no obligation to listen politely while they’re treating me like a thing.
(eg. … religious proselytizers … military recruiters …)
flatulence originates in ignorance, lack of situational awareness, or –
possibly worse – a lack of respect for the accepted norms for behavior.
dandruff, a pattern of behavior that selfishly imposes one’s interests on
includes the person who feels free to spray everybody in sight or hearing with
his or her political views or religious convictions.
from the same social pathology: lack of insight or lack of concern for one’s
impact on others. They all represent
various versions of self-centered, selfish, and self-serving behavior, lacking
in altruism or consideration for others.
outputs of our educational system …
does their educational experience alert them to the fact that they will one day
have to explain their ideas to others, persuade others of the value of their
opinions, and sell their ideas and themselves.
Like innocent sheep, they enter the political environments of large
organizations assuming that their great ideas will sell themselves, that only a
stupid person would fail to grasp the value of their contributions.
they rationalize their failures and frustrations by retreating into the dilbert
syndrome: “These people are too stupid, incompetent, or misguided to
understand or appreciate me.”
become a socially smarter species?
credit human beings with great acts of collaboration and common effort, as well
as condemn them for their colossal atrocities.
as a species need three things to improve our chances of surviving and living in
a reasonably peaceful state:
First, we need leaders who model high social
Second, we need an educational system that honors
the principles and behaviors associated with high social intelligence, and that
teaches our young people to understand the cultures and subcultures through
which they must navigate in this modern world, and that emphasizes the value of
collaboration over conflict.
Third, we need a media environment that serves the
higher values of the culture and not simply the commercial interests of
corporations whose executives feel entitled to sell anything they choose, to
anybody they can influence, by any means possible.
The skills of interaction –
“S” Stands for Situational Awareness
Situational Awareness, a.k.a. your situational “radar”.
Are you able to understand and empathize with people in different
situations? Can you sense their
feelings and possible intentions? How
well do you “read” situations based on a practical knowledge of human
nature? Situational Awareness
includes a knowledge of the cultural “holograms” – the unspoken background
patterns, paradigms, and social rules that govern various situations.
It means having an appreciation for the various points of view others
might hold, and a practical sense of the ways people react to stress, conflict,
good situational radar means having a respectful interest in other people.
If you are self-centred, preoccupied with your own feelings, needs, and
interests, and not open to the feelings, needs, and interests of others, it will
probably be more difficult for you to get them to accept you, share themselves
with you, like you, and cooperate with you.
Situational Dumbness and Numbness
can we as a society raise a new generation of people who can get along
effectively with one another?
Podiatry: Making the Worst of a Situation
antidote for bullet holes in your penny loafers is to respect and develop the
art of Situational Awareness. Know
when to speak and when to hold your tongue.
Be able to size up the situation you find yourself in, rather quickly,
and make the best response based on both your intuitive radar and real-time
social dumbness comes from missing all the clues, both what is said and what is
“non-verbalized” by others in the situation.
the Social Context
context creates meaning, and how the meaning supplied by the context shapes the
behavior of those who are engaged in it.
a few people are so self-preoccupied that they don’t accurately perceive
various important contexts, and consequently may not know how to behave
the study of differences in distance, contact, posture, and the like in
communication with people.
human-designed space has its apparent meaning …
something as simple as changing the seating arrangement can signal a less
polarized, antagonistic relationship.
space … social space … personal space … intimate space … subconscious
extent that they share the same behavioral codes, they typically get along
successfully. If one or more of the
people in a particular situation does not share – or chooses to violate –
certain of those codes, conflict can arise.
are the very structure of thought. Many
famous leaders have understood and capitalized on the psychology of language,
and have used this knowledge to arouse and mobilize people, for both good and
of rhetoric deals with the primal patterns of language, and how a skillful turn
of phrase conveys meaning beyond the mere symbolic level of words.
“theory of relativity” of knowledge … coined the term ‘general
semantics’ to describe his theory of how the structure of language shapes
human thought, and particularly how certain language habits contribute to
conflict, misunderstandings, and even psychological maladjustment.
live in a semantic environment … a variety of semantic environments …
structure and psychology of language made it impossible for any two people to
ever share exactly the same “reality”.
the theory of general semantics in its simplest terms:
No two brains contain exactly the same “meaning” for any word
expression, or concept; the meanings are embedded in the people, not in the
over the meanings of abstract terms like (“peace”), “democracy”,
“capitalism”, and “justice” are ultimately futile, because they have
differing personal meanings for different people.
Wars and ethnic conflicts often start as a result of, or in connection
with, reckless use of highly charged language.
symbol – a word, or collection of words – has no innate meaning.
Its meaning is embedded in the nervous system of the person saying it or
agreement ultimately comes down to sorting out the verbal maps being used by the
various parties and arriving at a few key verbal maps they can agree to.
you’re a skilled navigator of these linguistic frames, you know how to speak
one language to a small child, another language to a teenager, another language
to the construction foreman who repairs your roof, another language to the clerk
in the supermarket, and another language to your doctor.
signals are the “between the lines” cues that can indicate an unconscious
mental state, an emotion, or an apprehension the speaker would like to conceal.
One can observe the interplay between subconscious mental process and
social behavior, in the shift of language.
reading the semantic context, and picking up the linguistic cues that signal
deeper levels of meaning, can be a very useful skill.
exercise Situational Awareness and establish empathy with those involved by
matching the language they use – within reason.
In a sense, we may need to be multi-lingual within a single language.
Cultures and Subcultures
you know about an in-group, the easier it is to understand why its members react
the way they do in certain situations.
subculture is really just a part of our larger full culture.
But even though they belong to our meta-world, they see their miniature
worlds as more important.
aren’t all of these subcultures rather like street gangs?
There are many commonalities that make very different groups more similar
than one might first imagine.
tend to flourish and thrive when the barriers to entry are stringent.
these belief systems help to create an “us versus them” mentality
… to get
along, in any subculture, … is to go along.
Conduct: Violate the Rules at Your Peril
have the effect of making humans highly predictable to one another.
many cultures have suffered for centuries under oppressive, male-dominated
growing up in a world run by adults … means learning how to behave.
And learning how to behave means following the rules created by those in
the rules of the subculture is the fastest way to fall from favor; breaking the
“code” gets you put out of the tribe.
your situational radar well focused can help to reduce the conflict and stress,
whether you’re working on the shop floor or in the executive suite.
the Skills of Situational Awareness
“P” Stands for Presence
It’s the way you affect individuals or groups of people through your physical
appearance, your mood and demeanor, your body language, and how you occupy space
in a room. Are you approachable?
Do you convey a sense of confidence, professionalism, kindness, and
friendliness or do you communicate shyness, insecurity, animosity, or
indifference? We all need to pay
special attention to the sense of presence we communicate, especially if we want
to be accepted and taken seriously.
connect with people on an individual basis. … to connect with a large number
of people – a one-to-many state of empathy.
bearing, a physicality that gives and gets respect and attention.
It lives in the moment, involves listening with skill, and creates and
provides a quality of self-assurance and effectiveness that allows you to
connect with a person or a group. It
can be as simple as the expression one habitually carries around on one’s
first key element of a positive Presence … is an inviting demeanor.
“official” charisma, “artificial” charisma, and “earned” charisma.
charisma is that which is attached to a world leader etc…
charisma is that which is “created” for the media darlings of the moment.
charisma is the special province of a rare few, who know they have it, yet who
don’t often exploit it. … It is deeply rooted … in achievement, greatness,
and a sense of self that says, “I will do this, not for what it gets me, but
for what it allows me to give.” Mohandas
Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and the Dalai Lama … Paradoxically, their brand of
charisma arose from humilty.
about the sum total of their lives.
combination of grace under pressure, energy, passion for your purpose, and a
kind of a life essence that seems to attract energy and attention wherever you
larger-than-life blowhards will never get it, no matter how much they puff.
essence of real charisma – the earned kind – is what goes on inside.
the sense that great spiritual leaders … would go where they go and do what
they do regardless of whether others chose to follow them.
Paradoxically, maybe others follow them not because they lead, but
because they know who they are and where they’re going.
parties know and abide by the generally accepted rules, the interaction may
unfold amicably and successfully. When
one or more parties violates the social compact by behaving in unapproved ways,
serious conflicts can arise.
capacity to influence, shape, or define the rules of engagement puts a person in
a leadership position. At a minimum,
we need to be able to anticipate situational rules, or to detect them as they
arise or take shape.
… a hard
truth: some … choose the wrong words and then the wrong approach for the
situations they face.
officers in particular face a very difficult psychological challenge.
Many times in a single day, they must adjust their “presence pattern”
to rapidly changing situations.
psychological challenge and the stress associated with this sudden change of
Americans traveled more, we’d better understand our place on this complex
planet and fit in more comfortably. And
eventually, perhaps, we wouldn’t need to spend as much as the rest of the
world combined on our military to feel safe.”
Presence includes being respectful of the people around you and showing real
rather than manufactured interest in them.
in SI is more about “giving to people” versus “getting from people”.
You, Less of Me
in good people, make sure they understand what the (job) needs, and let them do
A Case of
tend to think of Presence from the external point of view – as others perceive
us – it also has an important inward dimension.
One’s own state of mind, or “emotional demeanor”, also influences
the presentation of self.
is partly about living in the moment, being available, not just physically, but
emotionally as well … for people who need you at that moment, to be aware of
their issues or needs. It’s also a
question of balance … not overreacting or losing perspective.
This requires being emotionally self-aware and centered.
live fully and completely in the moment.
10. Does a Zen-like approach invite you to think about
solutions and alternatives rather than staying stuck in the past, with the
concept of living in the present, being in the moment, and staying focused on
the world of possibilities will take some people a lot of time to adapt to.
“human beings suffer” and “the cause of suffering is desire”.
The way to put an end to suffering is to stop wanting everything, all the
we all could live in the moment and enjoy what we can out of what we have; then
we would really know what it is to be Present.
And being Present, both emotionally and behaviorally, enables us to reach
out to others and build the connections that can contribute not only to our
success, but also to theirs.
the Skills of Presence
“A” Stands for Authenticity
This dimension reveals how honest and sincere you are with people and with
yourself, in any given situation. … Are you true to yourself?
extent that you feel – consciously or unconsciously – that others will not
accept you, respect you, love you, or cooperate with you if you act according to
your own needs and priorities, you are likely to behave in ways that others
perceive as inauthentic.
real deal – a straight-up guy, an archetype of playing fair, doing the right
thing, and standing up for what he believes in … exemplifies something we all
person of character, one who stands behind his or her worked and who comes
through, whatever the obstacles or hardships involved.
… the SI
dimension of Authenticity supports a policy of inclusion – the ability and
willingness to account for the interests and feelings of all parties.
Beautiful Day in the SI Neighborhood
of Mr. Rogers was simple: he always talked to children at their level, and he
was neither sickly sweet nor condescending.
about the most nourishing people you know:
If you are
truly blessed, all of these adjectives may describe just one person …
Snap-on Smile: Can You Fake Sincerity?
demands a fair amount of empathy and compassion.
better to deal with low Authenticity by responding with high Authenticity.
It’s Really All About Me
and altruism stand at opposite poles of human motivation.
Games, Power Struggles, and Manipulation
essence of inauthentic behavior is a pattern of trying to meet one’s needs
covertly rather than honestly and cooperatively.
players are unable to meet their emotional needs by direct and honest
interaction with others, so they opt for the negative emotional experience of
revenge. Inveterate game players are
typically people who did not succeed in building a strong sense of self-worth
coming out of childhood …
only way to win in dealing with a career game-player is simply not to play.
Made Very Simple
I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN" by Robert Fulghum. http://www.peace.ca/kindergarten.htm
Skills of Authenticity
personal mission statement that explains to yourself why you think you’re on
the planet, what your priorities are, and what you want to do to make your life
meaningful. … Ask yourself: Am I living the mission I want to live?
“C” Stands for Clarity
measures your ability to express your thoughts, opinions, ideas, and intentions
clearly. Do you say what you mean
and mean what you say? Do you speak
to fast, too much, or not much at all? Does
your voice production – pitch, rate, volume, and inflection – inspire
confidence or lack of respect? Do
you use language skillfully? Can you
frame concepts and issues for others in an articulate, compelling way?
Do you listen attentively and skillfully, so you can understand others’
points of views?
metaphors can help you get your ideas across to other people.
surprisingly few of us seem to understand the power of language as a medium of
thought and expression.
It is a
relatively rare – and usually highly effective – person who has learned how
to use language as a strategic asset.
Disease: Sometimes Silence Works Best
saying less accomplishes more. …
know when to stop talking …
you can get into trouble no matter what you say.
You just have to sense the right response, based on your overall
understanding of both the context and the content of the encounter.
Language and Elevator Speeches
helicopter language to communicate ideas means choosing terms, figures of
speech, expressions, analogies, and, of course, metaphors that position the
listener’s thinking process at the level where you want it to be.
movement from “sky-high” – what we could call the abstract level – to
the ground-level – or what we could call the concrete level – is a skill
that hose with high SI Clarity have mastered.
Because they’re in charge of the helicopter – they’re the pilots,
so to speak – they can guide the flow of ideas in the listener’s mind by
moving to the right level at the right time.
Reader’s Digest version …
“pilots” signal their moves, telling you where they’re taking you.
test of the clarity … explain it in three sentences.
your point across … depends on packaging ideas skillfully and compactly.
Language and “Dirty” Language
meta-messages – messages about messages. The
speaker’s tone of voice, facial expression, and general demeanor can amplify
or weaken the affective content that is conveyed by the particular choice of
a subconscious feeling of anxiety in the listener … Some people – perhaps
most – tend to feel somewhat “pushed” or pressured by the aggressive and
dogmatic use of language.
subtle sense of a threat to
one’s personal autonomy tends to create a certain amount of resistance,
even resentment, in the listener, which may well work against the purposes of
One of the
foundation skills of Clarity is awareness of these deeper-lying psychological
phenomena of language, which involves the ability to monitor one’s own use of
language patterns and the language patterns of others, and to avoid certain
verbal pathologies that can cause misunderstanding, conflict, and even
psychological maladjustment, both individual and collective.
… a key
aspect … the speaker speaks for him- or herself, without presuming that what
he or she says is true for everybody. The
self-reference makes the sentence irrefutably true and not subject to argument
or combat …
alienate people rather than invite them to consider the speaker’s point of
like to make a moral commitment to eliminating verbal bludgeons from your
conversation, you can start by becoming more aware of them, particularly by
spotting them as others use them.
become keenly aware of the value and impact of a semantically flexible way of
expressing ideas, it’s possible to see how even the smallest and simplest of
words can influence communication and understanding.
Consider, for example, replacing “but” with “and” …
of Semantic Malfunctions
to Semantic Malfunctions
yourself to say the following three things freely, appropriately, and without
“I made a
“I changed my
Brain For A Walk
carefully chosen conversational strategy.
If we want
to influence other people with our ideas and get them to cooperate with us, it
helps to present information in a way that makes it easy for their brains to
process it. Think of it as getting
inside your listener’s mind and mentally “escorting” him or her to your
truth – your conclusion, your belief, your point of view, or acceptance of the
course of action you propose. Metaphorically
speaking, you’re taking the listener’s brain for a walk.
First you have to find out where it is – capture the full attention –
and then you have to plan out a trip from where it is to where you want it to
want to keep their full attention, you need to capture that unused processing
capacity … One way to do it is to pose a provocative question, which gets them
thinking about the importance of the topic while you’re presenting the key
One Shoe: … start with a provocative statement that captures attention, and
then capitalize on the dramatic effect. …
A foreshadowing method …
quick snapshot of what you will say, followed by more and more information. …
Plan: “Here’s what we’re going to do, in three steps (ways, parts, phases,
etc.).”… with people who have a high need for structure …
The Language of Sanity … learn to speak and write without using any form of
the verb “to be” … forces the person using it to shift his or her
conceptual process and to conceive of all reality as dynamic and evolving …
remarkable effect of quickly increasing the clarity and dynamism of the
trainee’s written products. … E-Prime can also serve as a tool for conflict
resolution … a process of reframing their views and accusations.
Chief Seattle, 1854
the Skills of Clarity
“E” Stands for Empathy
… invites you to look at how truly aware and considerate you are of others’
feelings. Are you able to tune in to
other people as unique individuals? Do
you show that you’re willing and able to accept them as they are, for what
they are? The usual connotation of
being empathetic means to identify with another person and appreciate or share
his or her feelings. However, in the
context of social intelligence, there is an additional level of depth – the
sense of connectedness – which inspires people to cooperate.
In this discussion, empathy is defined as a state of positive feelings
between two people, commonly referred to as a condition of rapport.
sense tells us that people are more likely to cooperate with, agree with,
support, and help you if they like you and share a sense of mutual respect and
affection with you. To achieve
empathy with another person means to get him or her to share a feeling of
connectedness with you, which leads the person to move with and toward you
rather than away and against you.
opposite state, of course, is antipathy, a feeling that causes a person to move
away and against you. Toxic behavior,
obviously, destroys empathy. Nourishing
behavior restores and builds empathy. …
“abrasive personality” …
If we want
to gain the personal and practical benefits that come with building empathy with
others and maintaining quality relationships, we have to do two things:
realistic to think that we can abuse people, insult them, make them feel
insignificant or unloved or unworthy, or praise them when we need something and
ignore them when we don’t, and then expect them to feel a sense of
connectedness with us. Empathy
requires a long-term investment, not an episodic application of “charm”.
empathy calls for a proactive commitment. You
need to “add value” as other people perceive you.
particularly toxic form of verbal behavior … is killing other people’s
6.1: Toxic vs. Nourishing Behaviors
antidote, or defense, against idea killing, which seems to be so prevalent, is
the practice of “idea selling”. This
technique involves using certain key statements to put the other person into a
mental state of greater receptiveness to your thoughts or ideas.
Eg. “I’d like to get your help on an idea I’m trying to work
opportunities to build empathy:
“three A’s” – Attentiveness, Appreciation, and Affirmation.
First we need to make a practice of getting outside of our own mental bubbles
and tuning in to other people as unique individuals. … alignment
Do you show other people that you’re willing and able to accept them as they
are, for what they are? … If you tell yourself that you can probably co-exist
peacefully with them even if you disagree on some things, you’ll probably
signal acceptance and appreciation naturally. … When they truly believe that
you respect them and their ideas, they are more likely to listen to yours.
… it’s possible to affirm that person, as a person, in the ways you interact
with him or her. … As human beings, we typically need, want – and often seek
– affirmation of ourselves on at least three levels: (1) lovability, (2)
capability, and (3) worthiness. … The principle is deceptively simple: if you
help people feel good about themselves, they’ll feel good toward you.
learned ability to connect to a group with stories, humor, and a humanistic
approach to their subject.
“outsource” my networking …
others as others prefer to be done unto.”
move outside the bounds of our selfish preoccupation with our own needs and
priorities, we can better understand how to get what we want by ensuring that
others get what they want.
one of the key principles of empathy, in the SI context: making an effective
connection with another person, based on where he is, what he needs, how he
views the situation, and how he set priorities.
of Empathic Professions
over-represented as suicide cases.
The irony of empathic professions is that the wrong
people can end up practicing them. Eg.
Mental health clinicians who have a bushel basket of their own problems, and who
should turn their laser beam acumen onto themselves first, before they start
One of the
clues that a person is having difficulty finding the energy to build and sustain
empathy is the “stone-face syndrome.”
are starting to lose their sense of humanity and their work is taking its toll
on their idealism and emotional connections with others.
best cases, professionals who find themselves stuck at these career crossroads
is the Best Medicine
treatment for this disorder is simpler than you might expect: laugh more and
smile more. Remind yourself, several
times a day, that life is either a tragegy or a comedy depending on how you
choose to view it.
Empathy by Design
– references the need to listen on many levels, provide support for the person
on the other side, and solve whatever problem exists to his or her satisfaction,
not necessarily yours.
Empathize, Ask, Paraphrase, and Summarize.
demonstrate active listening skills by nodding, leaning forward, making
appropriate eye contact, and really listening. … make a human connection with
the other person. The biggest
obstacle to this is the human need for multitasking.
– this happens when you can see the problem from the other person’s side,
and feel it too.
start with opened-ended questions, get more information, and allow the other
person to vent if he or she needs to. … allow them to burn some energy while
talking to you. It also creates some
control for you, by modeling what it is you want them to do, which is stay in
control and use the back-and-forth method of communication to hear and be heard.
– re-state the other person’s ideas, using his or her words as much as
practically possible. …
Paraphrasing gives you some time, demonstrates empathy on your part, and –
more importantly – tests to make sure you really understand their concerns,
and that they believe you understand.
– find the answer together, create solutions that are good for all parties,
and help the person discover what will solve the presenting problem.
If either or both of you have promised to take certain actions – or to
stop acting in certain ways – it’s advisable to itemize the terms of
“creative contact” strategy.
people who meet a stranger in a social setting will decide within approximately
four minutes whether they would like to continue to engage that person …
in close friendships or intimate relationships recapitulate the event of their
first meeting every single time they come into contact with each other after any
period of separation.
deserves some creative thought.
on the other person, and consider the basic principles of establishing rapport
and connectedness – the macro-skill of Empathy.
relationship maintenance … talk only about each other, or about their
relationship … In this four-minute episode, they have figuratively restarted
their relationship. They have
recapitulated the basis for their affection, mutual respect, and shared
experience. And they have created a
positive state of mind between them that will carry over into any later
discussion of life’s logistical problems.
And if they make this four-minute method an everyday habit – an
unbreakable rule and policy – they create a permanent emotional bias for both
of them, which can serve to relieve the stresses imposed by the mundane problems
the Skills of Empathy
Assessing and Developing SI
As research continues within the academic community
… those of us who labor in the vineyards of professional development and
organizational culture continue to need practical models and tools we can use on
an everyday basis. We must rely on
the science of common sense, hoping that our subjective attempts to define and
measure these important competencies can serve adequately under the
Your Interaction Skills
7.1 Examining Toxic People You Have Known
7.2 Examining Nourishing People You Have Known
… engage in a candid, non-defensive,
self-evaluation. You have the right
to delude yourself; if you do, you also have the responsibility to live with the
consequences of your self-deception.
moving from a self-assessment focus to self-development.
actually want to make any changes? Do
you see a need, or an opportunity for change?
Do you believe that shifting your habitual patterns further toward the
nourishing end of the spectrum would bring positive benefits for your life, your
relationships, or your career?
changing habitual behaviors requires, time, attention, and diligence, so before
you launch yourself on a total “social makeover”, you might want to select a
few key areas to start with … identify priorities
Personal feedback can serve a very valuable purpose – if you can get it, and
if you can take it.
Adjective Pairs exercise (Exhibit 7.4) gives you an opportunity to guess how
others see you.
Your Interaction Style: Drivers, Energizers, Diplomats, and Loners
Drawn Toward People?
energy refers to the impulse or tendency to engage, interact with, or influence
introversion versus extraversion …
How Do You
Get Things Done?
focus refers to whether you see yourself as more task focused or more people
focused when you try to achieve a goal or get something done.
people tend to place a much higher priority on interacting with others,
recruiting them to the common cause, getting them to collaborate, and keeping
them involved and motivated.
How Do You
Prefer to Interact?
pattern combines high social energy with a strong task focus.
Energizer pattern also displays high social energy, but tends to influence
people through personal relationships … inclusive, team-based approach …
Diplomat pattern displays somewhat less social energy, but nevertheless prefers
a people focus in getting things done … they may serve as “go-betweens” in
situations involving conflict or controversy … use the strength of their
relationships to help them do business.
pattern combines both low social energy and a primary task orientation.
note that your interaction style, as defined here, has no connotation of good or
bad, right or wrong … your interaction style represents your individual
preference … The style assessment contributes to self-insight; the skill
assessment invites self-development.
Scenarios and Scores for Social Scenarios
Strength-Weakness Irony: Any strength, when taken to an unreasonable extreme,
can become a weakness.
determination can become stubbornness; cooperativeness can become
wishy-washiness; cautious analysis can become paralysis; spontaneity and risk
taking can become recklessness … extremism …
important skill, it seems, involves deploying one’s strengths with a sense of
strategy and an understanding of the tradeoffs involved.
The macro-skill of situational awareness comes into play, and one must
ultimately acknowledge the potential consequences of any particular behavioral
Connect With People:
three skills you definitely want to keep – and possibly increase.
Then identify three things you want to stop doing, and three things you
want to start doing. (Exhibit 7.7)
In The World of Work – Some Reflections [ed.
including the World of Peace Work, Toxic School Environments, etc.]
is plenty of food for thought for those of us whose heads and hearts long for
more socially intelligent workplaces.
studying the absence of it – organizations and organizational cultures mired
in social incompetence.
and Legal Consequences of Social Incompetence
shot and killed …
toxic workplace environment. Draconian
work rules, oppressive supervisory practices, and intense pressures to meet
production requirements certainly seemed to have increased his stress level, and
possibly aggravated his disturbed emotional state.
Every organization has its own distinctive work
culture – the psychological environment within which people work and interact.
toxic manager in an organization represents a preventable cost, measurable in
employee morale and effectiveness, work productivity, and retention of valuable
fire all the supervisors who bully and oppress their employees … That’s what
we capitalize on – an alienated workforce of people who feel they’re not
being treated like human beings … I have no hesitation about telling you this,
because I know they won’t do it. The
blockheads that run the companies we go after just don’t get it.”
A union organizer.
need to ask the simple question: Do our managers know how to treat people as
every organization that is consciously evolving a multiple-intelligent culture,
there are dozens that are mired in conflict and craziness.
of Conflict and Craziness
… a wide
range of social pathologies that can defeat an enterprise from within.
recognize the same kind of organizational disorders recurring across all
industries, all types of organizations, and indeed all national cultures.
identified some seventeen
primary patterns, or syndromes, of organizational dysfunction (see http://karlalbrecht.com/articles/17syndromes.htm
; backup copy)
Testosterone, and Gender Politics
question whether the hierarchy is always the appropriate structure for getting
sociologists and anthropologists believe that any society, if it is ever to
achieve a degree of stability that might lead to economic development, must
first solve the problem of controlling and channelling male aggression.
… violence = the evidence of failed socialization
One of the
most important functions of a hierarchical power structure is to keep males form
attacking one another …
most dangerous animal on the planet is an unmated human male between the ages of
sixteen and twenty-four.”
… its greatest value lies in getting most or all of the aggressive young males
into a single, controllable group, under the power of military leaders who can
keep them in line. … + implied
in general tend to lean toward hierarchical structures … females tend toward
more multi-dimensional network-like arrangements …
tend to view personal relationships as more important … males, in contrast,
seem to view structure and function … as taking precedence over personal
different vocabularies, different figures of speech, and different metaphors …
also see changes in behavior – and language – when males and females
interact, based on the relative number of each involved in a particular
tend to act in a more “civilized” way, paying more attention to social
ability to observe and account for the dynamics of gender interaction will
remain an important skill of social intelligence, and will possibly become more
important over time.
Right At Work and Wrong At Home
“master sergeant syndrome” – the inability of a person accustomed to
authority to set aside the rank and rules and to relate to people on a direct,
is about helping people in organizations better understand each other at a
multitude of levels. It’s about
either teaching or reminding employees to treat each other with dignity and
respect. It’s about getting
departments, teams and groups to work toward common goals, by asking employees
to refocus on each others’ outputs and not on differing personalities.
diversity is a key aspect of social intelligence in the workplace. … relies on
people understanding and supporting each other.
root of the problem: the need to communicate, honestly and openly and yet
tactfully, in the workplace.
We owe it
to ourselves to set some communication ground rules that will make it easier for
us all to talk and work together. … It’s about meeting each other in the
Ceremony, and Celebration
leaders who succeed in building healthy, high-performing cultures capitalize on
the sense of community to advance the aims of the enterprise.
Politics: Getting Ahead With Your Value System Intact
who scorns organizational politics usually does not understand that he or she
continually participates in a political context, willingly or unwillingly,
consciously or unconsciously.
step on the road to becoming an “honest politician”, organizationally
speaking, is to give up on the fiction that you can avoid the political process
– it goes on all around you constantly, every day.
You might as well engage the opportunities for acquiring influence with
others, rather than passively accept the fate others decide for you.
step in your salvation is to rid yourself of the negative associations you may
have had with the very concept of politics.
If we define
politics simply as a set of interactions by which human beings seek to influence
one another, we open up a whole range of behavioral strategies for
getting ahead honestly and honorably. One
can get used to the idea of “positive politics” – the strategies for
getting ahead with your value system intact.
the most successful political strategies, over the long term, involve creating
real value, helping others, and contributing to the achievement of the
who engage in self-serving, destructive political behavior that works against
the interests of the enterprise, or behavior intended solely to disadvantage
others without creating value, tend to do less well in the long run than those
who compete through contribution and achievement.
of social intelligence issues for organizations is incomplete, and barely
scratches the surface …
of Positive Politics:
to raise the intelligence of our workplaces and other organizations.
In Charge: Thoughts on Developing Socially Intelligent Leaders
function in an authority role challenges a person’s emotional intelligence and
social intelligence at the same time.
fearful or insecure manager may suppress dissent … primarily out of a fear of
loss of control.
Jerry’s Double Dip: How to Run a Values Led Business and Make Money Too. http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/0684838559/ref=si_1_1/701-6271025-0105956
last remaining superpower on Earth needs to learn to measure its strength by how
many people it can feed and clothe, not how many people it can kill.”
Hubris: Its Costs and Consequences
men … deserve most of the credit for destroying the confidence of the American
public in corporate leadership and executive ethics.
best boss list:
who make the Good Boss list have high SI scores in the areas covered by the
S.P.A.C.E. Model …
employees rate you in this same way?
you’re a boss, or play a leadership role in any type of organization, think
about how you want to be perceived.
Where It Comes From, How To Get It
and influence have to be part of the equation.
has to know how to accumulate power and when to use it to get more of it.
the entitlement to influence others:
W = Wealth
power rests on formal authority.
confers power by dint of the entitlement to deploy resources in some way needed
in the form of special skills, unique knowledge, necessary know-how, or access
to critical information can confer a unique form of influence.
[ed. Information secrets]
power can accrue to a person who, by diligence or good fortune, enjoys access
and acceptance with people who possess any of the other kinds of power.
[ed. People power]
Worst Bastards On The Planet Get And Keep Power
to find ways to leverage the violence of others … power accumulators …
operate in approximately the same ways:
who seeks to achieve a position of influence, especially in a fluid or
unstructured political situation, could readily use these four stages as his or
her road map to that goal.
who consciously value and seek positions of power will tend to get them more
often than those who do not.
Algebra of Influence [ed. Servant
understanding the difference between formal authority and earned authority.
authority … you get it from other people, one at a time.
earn authority by behaving in ways that cause others to consider you worthy of
the right to influence them.
person with little or no formal authority might have earned a high level of
personal authority with others, and might enjoy a higher score or net authority
than the one with the formal position.
Leading When You’re Not In Charge
can emerge as the de facto leader in an unstructured situation, or can earn a
significant measure of informal authority, even in a group that has a formally
appointed leader, by providing any or all of five distinct forms of assistance
to the group, when – and only when – needed.
Can we –
and if so, how – educate and develop a generation of socially intelligent and
socially responsible leaders? How
can a business enterprise, a government, or other institution – indeed a whole
society – safeguard the seats of power from those who would exploit them for
personal gain? How do we encourage
those with the necessary combination of ability and ethics to give their
services as leaders?
process of raising expectations through discussion and dialog.
As the concept of social intelligence finds its way into the public
consciousness, and into the public discourse about our leaders and the
leadership they offer, we may increasingly hold our leaders in all sectors of
society to a higher standard.
and Conflict: Thoughts About Getting Along
should go to the Arabs with sticks in hand and beat them, and beat them, and
beat them – until they stop hating us.”
Tel Aviv cab driver
arrogance, lack of concern for human suffering, coldness, condescension, and an
air of infallibility can set the conditions.
Spiral of Conflict
conflict tends to create more conflict.
escalation of animosity tends to follow a very well-defined pattern …
relationships can grow and strengthen over time, moving upward in a positive
self-reinforcing spiral, just as continuing negative relationships move downward
in an ever more destructive spiral.
distrust … bias toward conflict …
During this descent into irreversible conflict, the
brain chemistry changes on both sides.
into a lose-lose proposition.
10.1 The Double Spiral of Conflict:
progression of a relationship must begin with some adequate degree of trust –
or empathy … engineer a state of affairs that invites others to communicate,
share their interests and intentions, and seek common ground.
… in the
continuity stage of cooperation, all parties understand the pragmatic value of
helping the others meet their needs and satisfy their interests.
prevention offers a much greater promise than cure.
arguing with people … I had really never won an argument with another person.
convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”
usually involved animosity, resentment, and desire for revenge.
seemed to become a self-reinforcing habit pattern.
I actually want from this situation?”
could attract others to my points of view, induce them to listen more
respectfully to my ideas, and maintain a positive empathy with them by passing
up the opportunity to attack their ideas.
questions rather than making declarative statements often worked better in
influencing them to change their minds.
greatest victor wins without the battle …”
Conversations (ref. http://www.peace.ca/crucialconversations.pdf
; see also Difficult Conversations http://www.peace.ca/difficultconversations.pdf
and Crucial Confrontations http://www.peace.ca/crucial_confrontations.htm
- all highly recommended
that the process has less to do with achieving your goals and more to do with
opening the lines of communication and keeping the conversation going … defuse
a potential conflict and perhaps find ways to eventually meet the interests of
avoid bad feelings causes more bad feelings than anything else.
benefit enormously in their lives by making effective use of ‘crucial
conversations’ basically clearing the air sooner rather than later.
comprehensive review of business articles, books, seminars, and conference
programs shows a lingering bias toward an adversarial concept of negotiating.
The fundamental irony of power-based negotiating
lies in the simple principle of negative reciprocity … both will succeed in
depriving the other side of value … a reductive process rather than an
with a dialog.
… a very
simple definition of a “deal”, namely an exchange of value that serves the
respective interests of all parties involved.
To negotiate, then, means to search cooperatively for a workable deal.
– SI and the Next Generation: Who’s Teaching Our Kids?
need to be looking around us to see what’s going on, and to decide –
individually and collectively – if that’s what we want to have going on.
Children Are Not Our Children
At present, the concept of social intelligence is
neither widely accepted nor authentically modeled in the current … popular
current social and cultural climate in
sense of social and cultural awareness; a sense of community; a sense of
connection to the extended community of humans around the world; and a sense of
altruism and service, we have a lot to overcome in the way they’re currently
being programmed for adulthood.
whoever controls the images – the media – controls the culture …” Allen
parental influence competes constantly with other sources of guidance …
If we hope
to provide children with positive influences and socially intelligent life
strategies, we need to begin early, to diligently counteract and contradict the
influence of the narcissistic messages that bombard them every day.
Ten Basic News Stories:
the Addiction to Television
studies prove conclusively that the experience of watching television for more
than three to five minutes induces a brain state that is virtually
indistinguishable from hypnosis …
programming is specifically designed for the trance state.
of Our Babies
who were firmly attached to consumerism, … showing more symptoms of
depression, anxiety, and similar problems.
gotta buy this if you wanna be cool, stylish, or not be seen as totally lame and
out of it.”
commercialized popular culture never stops …
Games: The New Sandlot
U.S. Armed Forces use some of the more sophisticated games to teach combat
soldiers to fight in ultra-modern simulators.
violent “brainwashing” …
exposure to violent media may affect the brains of children with aggressive
tendencies differently than the brains of non-aggressive children.
to discuss this issue is age-appropriate.
Parents, or Neither?
parenting skills have very little long-term impact on the development of their
subcultures … create their own rules, borders, and behaviors, and if you want
to stay in that group, you adapt to those mores and values.
best contribution to their healthy growth and development is to help them pick
this social environment to pass your intuitive test: Is this a safe place to
leave my child alone for any length of time?
Or Be Longing?
the box” or “outside the box” … for
boys … for girls …
parents must allow their children to fight their own social battles, by
supporting them …
appear at work here: teenage overly emotional responses to social standings …
and teenage intuition …
strategy is to be a good and patient listener, an empathic source of information
(only when it’s asked for), and finally, supportive of your child’s thought
processes, even if they diverge from your own.
With this approach, the key is to allow the child’s intuitive sense of
the issue to come to the surface, with a bit of prompting by the parent.
kids rarely gets better results than listening to them or talking with them.
S.P.A.C.E. Solution for Schools:
Prescription For Social Intelligence At Every Age
need for people to take chances in their lives, to break old habits, to see
things in new ways instead of always relying on what’s certain and comfortable
In the next twenty years, we’re going to get the
society we’re creating now. What
are you doing now, and what will you do in the near future, to make it a saner
and more socially intelligent place to live for all of us?
For more information, see Karl Albrecht’s web site at http://www.karlalbrecht.com