Emotional Intelligence and Social Competence

The other half of your EQ is related to the 'social' competencies you show within your life or work role. This requires you to expand your awareness to include the emotions of those people around you. You will also need to develop your ability to read the emotional environment and power relationships you encounter in your role.

Emotional Intelligence and Social Competence

The ability to understand the emotions of others is part of your 'social awareness, to attain which you need to demonstrate the following competencies:

Empathy - the ability to understand someone else's feelings and re-experience them. People with this competence:
o Actively listen to what others say (both their words and non-verbal signals)
o Show they understand and appreciate others' views or issues
o Focus on attaining the goal or task without conflict
o Understand where emotional boundaries start and end

Organizational awareness - was defined by Goleman as 'the ability to read the current of emotions and political realities in groups.' People with this competence:
o Understand the rationale behind their organization and its structure
o Know how to get things done within the organization - formally and informally
o Understand both client and vendor organizations
o Act with the client's best interest in mind

Service orientation - builds on the empathy you have with others by helping you assist their personal development and satisfaction. People with this competence:
o Are able through careful questioning to identify issues that are affecting an individual's performance.
o Identify or adapt situations so that they provide an opportunity to improve their productivity and satisfaction.

Social Awareness Competencies

The other aspect of social competence is that of relationship management. This means you use your awareness of your own and others' emotions to build strong, effective and lasting relationships.

It is this part of your EQ that enables you to succeed in inspiring other people and helping them to reach their full potential. The competencies that Goleman identified for an individual to operate at a high level of relationship management are:

Influence - is the extent you are able to win over and persuade others. People with this competence:
o Build consensus through persuasion and clear presentation of case
o Offer support to and gain support of others
o Are trustworthy

Leadership - your team is willing to follow your lead and wants to work with you to meet goals. People with this competence:
o Lead by example
o Inspire others to achieve goals or a vision
o Truly delegate tasks and accountability

Developing others - the ability to observe and provide opportunities to fully develop individual team members. People with this competence:
o Recognize and reward accomplishments and strengths of individuals
o Regularly challenge and offer new opportunities to team
o Provide constructive feedback to aid development

Communication - this means being persuasive, well presented, and objective. People with this competence:
o Effortlessly adapt to the emotional context of the exchange
o Focus on attaining the objective by acknowledging others' views
o Easily demonstrate empathy and appreciation of others' views or issues

Relationship Management Competencies

Change catalyst - someone who seeks out and initiates new ideas and approaches as part of attaining their objectives. People with this competence:
o Do not hesitate to challenge the way things have always been done
o Recognize barriers to change and seek resolutions to remove them
o Acts as a champion for change

Conflict management - the ability to recognize, prevent or manage areas of conflict to a positive resolution. People with this competence:
o Meet potential or actual conflict from a point of knowledge and strength
o Have the ability to read underlying emotions within groups
o Are open-minded and willing to embrace different perspectives

Building bonds - is the ability to build a wide variety of mutually beneficial relationships. People with this competence:
o Are widely respected and liked
o Cultivate a broad personal network that incorporates colleagues, professionals, contacts, and friends
o Keep others informed appropriately

Teamwork and collaboration - natural aptitude in creating a cohesive team. People with this competence:
o Ensure the objective is defined and understood by all
o Behave in a way that others adopt as their own
o Demonstrate that they value all contributions.

Your ability to succeed in the competency of relationship management is directly correlated to your success in social awareness and your level of personal competency. This is because management is all about getting work done through other people, some of whom you have no direct authority over.

You may also be interested in:
Understanding Emotional Intelligence | Goleman's Model of EI | Emotional Quotient (EQ) and IQ | EQ and Management | EQ Timeline | Can EQ be Developed? | Personal Competence | EQ Framework.


Key Points

  • Social competence is made up of social awareness and relationship management.
  • Social awareness competencies include empathy, organizational awareness, and service orientation.
  • Relationship management competencies include influence, leadership, developing others, communication, change catalyst, conflict management, building bonds, and teamwork and collaboration.
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