Social Intelligence in your Company as the Key to Success

The vast majority of problems that arise in organizations is rooted in an absence of social intelligence in the company, from a demotivated worker because his superior exercises an autocratic style of leadership to a failure in the assembly line caused by a lack of communication among professionals.

Until relatively recently, the idea prevailed that emotions should be left out of companies. However, studies and research have shown that the key to the success of an organization lies in a correct emotional management towards human capital, which requires the development of social intelligence in the company.

What is social intelligence?

John Dewey was the first to use the term social intelligence at the beginning of the last century in his book Moral Principles of Education, where he defines the concept as “the power to observe and understand social situations.”

Since then, there have been numerous researchers and scholars who have deepened in the field of social intelligence in the company. Thus, Karl Albrecht, in Social Intelligence: the new science of success, refers to this ability as “the ability to get along with others and get them to cooperate with each other”, while Leonardo Schvarstein indicates in the Social Intelligence of Organizations : Developing the Necessary Competences for the Effective Exercise of Social Responsibility that is “a set of competencies necessary for the fulfillment of the social responsibility of organizations”.

Meanwhile, in the work Emotions and Social Intelligence: Jane Braaten and Antonio Damasio, Kaaren Williamsen and Gustavus Adolphus College argue that “social intelligence involves the skills and abilities involved in the creation and maintenance of the community.”

Composition of social intelligence

Regarding these skills and abilities, Karl Albretch, inspired by Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, which encompasses the six main dimensions of intelligence: abstract (symbolic reasoning), social (dealing with people) , practice (seeks to achieve results), emotional (self-awareness and self-management), aesthetics (sense of form, design, music, art and literature), and kinesthetic (skills concerning sports, dance or music).

In the case of social intelligence, Albrecht breaks this capacity down into three components:

Social skills referred to a set of basic competencies for life and leadership, including:

  • Relationships: the links with people, interactions and contexts.
  • Presence: how he presents himself in different situations.
  • Authenticity: it consists in behaving honestly, with integrity and clear sense of oneself.
  • Clarity: the ability to persuade and get to transfer your own ideas to others.
  • Empathy: the ability to connect with people and get them to move with and towards oneself.
  • Personal appreciation: related to how others can see the other person and how it influences others.
  • The style of interaction: refers to the style of interaction or interaction with yourself and with others.

The importance of social intelligence in the company

As a result, social intelligence in the company has become a priority objective for leaders. Very well expressed Thorndike in 1920, when in his article The intelligence and its uses expressed that “the lack of social intelligence can turn the best of the mechanics of a factory into the worst of the supervisors.”

As Virginia Tardito points out in Social Intelligence in organizations, “while emotions are the motor of action and this can be positive or negative, and of different intensity, those emotions, and their corresponding behaviors, print to the organization a great diversity of characteristics, which can be favorable (accompanying or promoting growth) or adverse (slowing down or impeding growth) “.

Therefore, an organization with a high social intelligence, that is, with the capacity to maintain positive interpersonal relationships, becomes – in the words of Schvarstein – more capable of proposing basic principles and strategies, of implementing management agendas, which facilitate satisfaction of the basic social needs of its members ..

Specifically, according to Luis Felipe Triana and Luis G. Forero, in the essay “Social intelligence: an approach based on the management of the organization,” this is a useful tool for entrepreneurs and future administrators to become aware of the causes, responsibilities and Implications that are achieved by managing socially intelligent companies. The following aspects stand out:

  • Human talent: decrease in staff turnover, improvement of the organizational climate, greater cooperation, sense of belonging and pride in your company, sensitivity, leadership by values ​​and commitment.
  • External client: reinforcement of the corporate image, promotion of complex thinking, social inclusion, philanthropy, self-awareness and improvement of relations with stakeholders.
  • Finances: increase in economic benefits, promotion of sustainable development and consolidation of long-term results.

How to work social intelligence in the company?

Daniel Goleman, in his book Social Intelligence, describes the 8 elements that organizations should promote within their structures to promote social intelligence in the company:

  • Primordial empathy: the ability to detect the emotional expressions of others.
  • Tuning: the ability to pay attention to another person from active and complete listening.
  • Empathic accuracy: it is the ability to understand the reasons behind the feelings detected through primordial empathy and attunement.
  • Social cognition: consists of the knowledge of the rules that govern the operation of a group.
  • Synchrony: involves the ability to quickly interpret nonverbal signs, that information that speeds up the interaction by promoting questions and answers.
  • Personal presentation: it consists in transmitting the appropriate impression of oneself according to the circumstances.
  • Influence: it happens to cause a favorable impression on the other in such a way that awakens warmth and confidence.
  • Interest in others: it reflects the motivation in the communication, in the messages, in the receiver, in the result of the interaction.