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Social Intelligence

Children are taught social skills on how to get along with others, be kind and play fairly. Nowhere in our psyches are we prepared to learn how to distance ourselves from each other (except if we feel we are experiencing inappropriate behavior). We are created to live together and exist within community. Growing up with my grandmother, I remember our household being made up of extended relatives from various generations. We never thought it strange for all of us to live together under the same roof. Home is where we all get our first lessons on how to understand ourselves and others.

Professionally many of us are familiar with what is known as Emotional Intelligence, which is the capacity to be aware of, control and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. Many believe that Emotional Intelligence is the key to professional and personal success. Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves wrote the bestselling book, “Emotional Intelligence 2.0,” in which they state that Emotional Intelligence, or “Emotional Quotient” (EQ), is a skill and a tool. The book was designed to provide a step-by-step program for increasing one’s emotional intelligence using four core EQ skills (self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management). Some believe EQ and Social Intelligence have similarities.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a science that has been on the rise for quite some time. Artificial Intelligence is the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. Trying to understand the science and study of AI can be difficult. AI is not based on humans, but rather human input. It is different than EQ mentioned above, and Social Intelligence discussed below because it is just as its name states, artificial. However, there may be some things we can learn from the study of AI to help us with developing better Social Intelligence skills.

As we continue to navigate through this pandemic, we are forced to practice social distancing and develop new skills to move forward. We must gain a better understanding of Social Intelligence. Social Intelligence is the capacity to know oneself and to know others. It is believed that Social Intelligence is a combination of self and social awareness. We must all learn how to navigate and manage social change. Some people even think of Social Intelligence as “common sense.” How many of us have heard the saying that common sense is not always so common?

In relation to the times in which we are currently living, it can be argued that some people are not using common sense. How do we begin to teach and share the importance of Social Intelligence now and practice it in our day-to-day lives and also make it a regular practice in the future? What steps and practices can we create to help provide a healthier and safer environment and keep the connections we have all been accustomed to? Humans are very adaptable, but we need to learn what we do not know.

Brigitte Nicole said, “sometimes in life, your situation will keep repeating itself until you learn the lesson.” What lessons are we all supposed to be learning now during this crisis? Something we should all think about is what cautions need to be put in place so that we do not just go through this period, but rather grow through this time. We would hate for this tragedy to repeat itself because we weren’t using common sense.

Visit and to learn more. Wendy is an international coach, consultant, trainer, author and speaker. She can also be found live on Instagram @Wendygladney on Wednesdays at 12 noon PST.

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