24 Character Strengths

There are many other multi training platforms – partners of LEENjoy in online education, and today you will meet one more.

It is presented in our complete list of multi platforms, but probably not many of you have heard about School of Positive Transformation and have learnt anything there.

In order to motivate you, we will share one very interesting information, published in this school website.

24 Character Strengths— SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE: Knowing What to Say and When

Social Intelligence is one of the 24 character strengths, it is under the virtue of Humanity, which describes strengths that manifest through considerate relationships with others. The other strengths in Humanity are kindness, love, and social intelligence. These Humanity strengths are interpersonal and are important in one-on-one relationships.

We have this friend who was truly friendly, kind, charming, and very intelligent. She used to be the valedictorian of our batch. We became good friends after being through a very awkward circumstance. What happened was in our early freshman year, a batchmate met an accident and died. As a group, we planned to go to the wake at her house.

When we were there our friend’s mother was talking about how her son loved being around his new associates in school. We then learned that he is already a father of two at the age of 21. And then it happened, she mentioned that “Maybe our colleague had kids early because he was going to die young”. Good thing that she was kind of saying it in a whisper!

What Is Social Intelligence?

Social intelligence can be simply described as the capability to know what to say when and how. Social intelligence or being “street smart”, “tact”, “having common sense” means having the ability to effectively communicate and create personal connections with due understanding and assertiveness.

Knowing what triggers other people, is one way that you can display social intelligence. By knowing what makes them tick, it means that you are aware of the motives and feelings of those around you and thus can help you fit into different social situations. Socially intelligent people can easily fit in and know what to do and say if they’re put in a boardroom, courtroom, a school environment, etc.

According to via character strengths survey, social intelligence is composed of two components:

Social awareness: what we sense about others
Social facility: what we do with our awareness

Social Intelligence vs. Emotional Intelligence

Social Intelligence comes from knowing yourself and exercising proper emotional management. Some may confuse it with emotional intelligence, although these two may be different, they are undeniably closely linked.

Emotional intelligence (EI)

Comes from a profound self-examination of one’s awareness of emotions and knowing how important its role is in dealing with conflicts
EI is like a preemptive measure of how to manage the self before dealing with people
EI manifests before personal interactions, it is like preparing the self before it encounters overwhelming emotions.
Social Intelligence (SI)

Comes from an awareness of your emotion and those in the room
Doing and saying things appropriately.
SI is one of the psychological strengths and it manifests when you actually start the interaction and works hand in hand with EI through one’s expression, dialogue, listening, conciliation, and learning through communication with others.
SI is having an awareness of yourself and others and how you act during personal interactions and social situations.

Why Is Social Intelligence Important?

A socially intelligent person can bring comfort to a room dealing with a variety of social situations. Being street smart can open opportunities for meeting new people and be a means to acquire and participate in new experiences. The ability to recognize feelings both in yourself and in others has been connected with better mental health and physical health, work performance, and social relationships.

Social intelligence is a type of intelligence that can be learned and developed through the experience of success and failures in social settings. SI uses the management of emotions and self-awareness to improve interactions, foster leadership, and enable the execution of unique intellectual tasks, something that robots and automation cannot perform.

When I took the via character strengths survey as part of my online course, I learned that social intelligence is essential for unlocking the skills of:

effective communication,
dialogue, and
teamwork to create an optimal and productive work environment
Until recently, social intelligence was a priority that few people had, mostly because they already had the right mindset for it and picked up the associated skills along the way, but training to develop social intelligence is relatively new.

Social intelligence helps individuals:

Build relationships – and is important to numerous aspects of a person’s life.
It allows an individual to form friendships and alliances
It assists a person against being taken advantage of.
People with social intelligence can “read” other people’s faces and know what motivates them.
On a group level, social intelligence is what allows us to function as humans through:

Relying on each other’s cooperation.
By understanding ourselves and other people, we can find ways to collaborate for mutual benefit.
Strong leaders often possess social intelligence in abundance. To motivate people, leaders must form relationships and inspire others to want to do what needs to be done.

Signs of Social Intelligence?

According to verywellmind.com, there are core traits that help in displaying this character strength through effective communication and forming a connection with others. These are the following traits:

Effective Listening
A socially intelligent person doesn’t listen merely to respond but truly pays attention to what a person is saying. This makes other people in the conversation feel like they were understood and thus making a sense of connection.

Conversational Skills
Social Intelligence is also displayed by being an adept conversationalist which means being able to create and carry on a discussion with practically anybody.

They are mostly the people who know the appropriate tone, words, gestures, and expressions. They are usually tactful, sincere, and humorous in and they remember details about people that allow the dialogue to be more meaningful.

Reputation Management
This is considered one of the most complex elements of social intelligence as it requires balance on one’s social and personal self. As people consider the impression they make on other people, they also try to keep their selves true and authentic.

Lack of Arguing
A socially intelligent individual knows when to argue and make a point, they are careful not to make other people feel bad just because they know they are right. They listen to ideas with an open mind and does not reject ideas instantly, they prefer to listen to the other idea even if it is something that they do not agree with.

How To Improve Social Intelligence?

IQ is genetic, but social intelligence can be learned, it is a character strength that takes effort and hard work to master. Social intelligence is not measured by how friendly and social you are. The following tactics can help us develop social intelligence:

Be fully aware of the things, situations, and people around you.
Being keenly observant and paying attention to the smallest social cues of those around you is a good way to help the development of social intelligence. As an example, you can look at individuals who have strong people skills and look closely at how they interact with others.

Try to develop your emotional intelligence more.
It was mentioned earlier in this article how social intelligence work hand-in-hand with emotional intelligence in social situations. As social intelligence is how you act in social situations, emotional intelligence is how you control your emotions and how you display empathy.

Emotional intelligence is your awareness of the emotion as you are experiencing it. When you are good at it, then you can most likely recognize it when others experience it, and thus helps you know how to regulate it properly. An emotionally intelligent person can recognize and control negative feelings, such as frustration or anger, when in a social setting.

Respect cultural differences.
Although social skills are developed through the family, community, and with your friends, it is important that you also consider and learn about cultural differences. A socially intelligent person understands that others might have different responses and customs based on their upbringing.

Develop effective communication by practicing active listening.
The key here is: Don’t interrupt. Take your time to think about what someone else is saying before you respond. Listen to their tones to give you clues to what they really mean.

Appreciate the important people in your life.
Socially intelligent people have meaningful relationships with people. You can start by paying close attention to the

emotions of your spouse and children, friends, co-workers, and other colleagues. You might miss out on cues on how to connect to the closest people in your life when you ignore them.

Days after that incident, I mentioned it to her again and told her the truth, that if I were the mother, I might have been offended if I heard what she said. Then she laughed and told me, that it was nice of me to tell her because, she knew herself that even though she was friendly, sociable, and all, she was not really that socially intelligent.

We became close friends after that. Since then, I have been teaching her how to “read the room” and what things are appropriate to say during tense situations. I’m pretty sure she learned a lot from years of keeping close and whispering things to me first to check if it’s right for a circumstance.

Can you share other stories about your experiences with people exhibiting social intelligence? I would love to hear them below!

If you want to read more about and learn about the other 24 character strengths, you can check out my other articles about the character strengths of bravery and appreciating beauty and excellence.

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