Friday, June 17, 2016
Social awareness is the third of four elements of emotional intelligence and consists of organizational awareness and understanding your environment. The latter requires a good dose of empathy in order to understand and relate to people. Below you find ways to strengthen your empathetic insights and skills:
1. Be here, now, with this situation and with this person and their needs and emotions. Gently push aside your judgments, your thoughts about the thousand other things you have to attend to, and any other distractions that keep you from being here now.
2. Use your own past experiences to understand the situation or person better, but be mindful not to interpret from your own frame of reference.
3. Move away from your own agenda and ask yourself: What are the interests, needs, and possible fears of this person? What might their agenda be and above all: Why?
4. Make sure you meet the people in your organization on their own grounds. Walk around, observe, and ask. Experience first hand what challenges, pressures, and risks they are dealing with and how they are succeeding or not.
5. Ask people how they like to be supported. Discuss what they expect of you and listen with the intent to understand and learn. Stay away from autobiographical listening, jumping to conclusions and the like.