Social Intelligence

“Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups.”

— Unknown

Social Intelligence is sensing, understanding and reacting effectively to others’ emotions and the interactions with and between people.

Do you find people’s behavior difficult to understand? Do you think of company politics as distasteful? Social intelligence helps to navigate company politics, especially when they become complex and rife with intrigue, as it can within families and other social groups. Multiple interactions driven by varied motivations among people within a group are also known as group dynamics. All groups experience social interplay — you see it at neighborhood gatherings, family holidays and staff meetings. Social intelligence is the ability to read the political, emotional and power currents among people.

Social Intelligence can be learned, and developed by following the tips like these from

If you or someone with whom you work exhibit these behaviors, seeking the advice and tips at provides a quick remedy:

  • Low self-confidence
  • Preoccupation with negative emotions
  • Self-consciousness (and anxiety in general)
  • Being self-absorbed, arrogant or disinterested in others
  • Lack of curiosity
  • Being more task-focused than people-focused
  • Little interest in what emotions may be in the background, driving -behavior
  • Concrete or literal mindset

Action learning tips and learning assignments on the job are a click away at

You might also consider (a sampling of suggestions from

  • Albrecht, Karl. Social Intelligence: The New Science of Success. San Francisco: Pfeiffer, 2005.
  • Flaxington, Beverly. Understanding Other People: The Five Secrets to Human Behavior (Volume 1). Medfield, MA: ATA Press, 2009.
  • Goleman, Daniel. Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships. New York: Bantam, 2007
  • McIntyre, Marie G. Secrets to Winning at Office Politics: How to Achieve Your Goals and Increase Your Influence at Work. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, First edition, 2005.
  • Pfeffer, Jeffrey. Managing With Power: Politics and Influence in Organizations. Boston: Harvard Business Press, First edition, 1993.
  • Vaknin, Shlomo. The Big Book of NLP Techniques. Prague: Inner Patch Publishers, 2001.

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