EQ & Social Awareness
We are continuing our journey through the concept of Emotional Intelligence (EQ), remembering that our EQ can be grown and developed within us!
Today I want to share some thoughts on the third component of EQ, Social-Awareness.
Our journey of growing our EQ begins with becoming more aware of our emotions and their impact on us (Self-Awareness), followed by learning how to personally manage those emotions (Self-Management). Next, we focus our attention on the emotions that others are having around us. This is Social Awareness.
Now, it might seem rather obvious that Social Awareness is all about paying attention to other people’s emotions, but this is actually harder than it might seem. Allow me to mention 2 critical components in this work.
First, is empathy. Again, this might seem like a no-brainer, but the essence of empathy isn’t just noticing another person’s emotion. True empathy is about imagining what it might be like to be in that person’s situation and authentically feel with them what they may be feeling. It is more than sympathy (feeling for another), and is about joining with them in their emotion.
Second, is assuming. One of the critical mistakes we often make in growing our Social Awareness is that we assume we know what the other person is feeling. We imagine what it might be like to be in their situation and we project our own emotions into the situation rather than asking them what they are truly feeling. By asking rather than assuming, it's easier to identify with them from their perspective.
If you’ve ever had any type of motivational interviewing training, this may sound familiar! Authentic Social Awareness happens when we take the time to really listen to others and do our best to join with them where they are, in their space and frame of reference, including, and often most importantly, their emotional space. This is where one of my favorite phrases comes in handy - “Tell me more.” It’s an invitation to listen and learn from another, so we can join with them in their space!
Next week I want to share another layer of Social Awareness related to organizational awareness and morale, but for this week let’s see if we can enter into common space with those who are around us!
“Tell me more!”