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“The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”
Theodore Roosevelt
“The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”
Theodore Roosevelt

Social Intelligence is awareness of others and the ability to accurately read verbal, non-verbal, and contextual cues are important for building trust and for relationship building. Understanding that you have to be present to people to communicate effectively is critical to building rapport and trust. You need to pay attention. You need to interpret tonal, nonverbal, and contextual cues effectively. These aspects make up SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE.

Social Intelligence uses social radar to accurately assess and interpret situations, combined with knowledge of social expectations, and a willingness to adapt one’s social style to enable effective interactions, this helps us:

engage in face to face interactions

build trust with others

anticipate potential conflict

set the tone for successful interaction

Understanding that what cues mean can vary dramatically depending on the context and that there are nuances – is increasingly important when navigating difficult conversations, e.g., in negotiations and peace-keeping situations, knowledge of cues and context as well as history, current conditions, and what is at stake for the parties involved, can make or break successful interactions and perceived “win” for each individual and/or group.

More colloquially, Social Intelligence is “people smarts.” “You can easily spot someone with lots of Social Intelligence at a party or social gathering because he or she knows how to “work the room.” The highly socially intelligent person can carry on conversations with a wide variety of people and is tactful and appropriate in what is said. Combined, these represent what are called “social expressiveness skills.”

Why is Social Intelligence on the decline?

Dependency on technology

Fearfulness and mistrust

A decrease in social capital

Thinking skills – decrease in systems thinking

Increase in incivility

Values shift

Benefits of Social Intelligence:

Social intelligence enables us to live well in the social domain. The socially intelligent individual can pick up on certain social cues, is self-aware, and has appropriate cognitive and emotional capacities for interacting with others. She has social expertise. Social intelligence is also connected to life tasks such as parenting, romantic relationships, and work. We must develop social intelligence if we want to flourish and achieve many important life goals related to these tasks.

We take for granted the amount of Social Intelligence required for everyday social discourse at home and work. It takes a great deal of skill and awareness to avoid conflict at work, for example. Chances are, despite our best efforts, we find ourselves at odds with a co-worker because someone misunderstood or misinterpreted our actions. A lack of Social Intelligence can result in your doing exactly the wrong thing, causing you to say or do things that offend others, cause communication to break down, and results in conflicts.

Sensitivity to others, to potential issues, and awareness of how to respond appropriately with different people in different settings are critical to success in the workplace. After all, once you act in a way that allows you to prevent problems with your coworkers, you can focus more on your work—which promotes productivity and efficiency, and of course feelings of self-worth.

What are the Components of Social Intelligence?

which includes cultural awareness and understanding of written and unwritten rules.

(sometimes called Presence)
which includes an ability to accurately assess and read situations.

(sometimes conveyed as the adaptation of style and/or Civil attitude),
which enables one to adapt his or her behavior to what is appropriate and beneficial to the parties involved.


Following etiquette rules in the workplace exemplifies your civil attitude. The “rules” are contextual and situational—because there are so many possible factors and scenarios and because you can never know all the rules all the time, you need to:

Use your social radar to interpret situations.

Adopt an attitude of civility.

Choose to consistently exhibit high personal standards for behavior.

To maintain primary relationships, you need to be able to get along in the world and to communicate respect and consideration through how you look, act and speak. The world is a busy, stressful place, particularly the work world. Knowing how to leverage your Social Intelligence—that is, using your knowledge about how to make others comfortable, to represent yourself and your organization at a high standard, and to communicate effectively—is a relatively easy but very powerful, positive, and productive thing to do.

Hi! I’m Geeva

Geeva Samynathan is a strong believer that every individual is uniquely different. She believes every individual has a personal brand with skills, experience, and personality that you want others to see and experience. It tells a story about you, it reflects on your conduct, behavior, spoken and unspoken words, attitude, and self-image. A positive personal branding not only raises your confidence level but automatically makes you stand out in the crowd. Geeva is a Certified Social Competence Master Trainer with the International Civility Trainers’ Consortium (ICTC), Canada. She is a World Citizen Global Training Ambassador and Civility Envoy. Geeva has been appointed as the Industrial Research Partner with Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia. The research aims to explore students’ awareness and examine the presence of Social Intelligence.

We are an official reseller for Civility Experts Inc. Social Intelligence Certification Program.

For more information about our workshops, training, certification programs or schedule a meeting with Geeva,
email us at TALK2US@ECTAA.COM

Adapted with permission from Civility Experts Worldwide Inc