Social Intelligence and Employment Success

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SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE AND EMPLOYMENT SUCCESS
The crux of employment success is social intelligence. For years, individuals have been judged by various aptitude tests (i.e. I.Q. test, SAT, LSAT, GRE, MCAT, GMAT). However, individually, those tests are not the best indicators of who will be successful. Recent studies show that success is largely attributed to social intelligence. Social intelligence is equivalent to interpersonal intelligence and involves perceptiveness, situational savvy, and interactional skill. Social intelligence is understanding and acting in accordance with social situations and environments to obtain cooperation, objectives, and achieve results. In employment fields like law and business, social intelligence is one of the hidden keys to success. Lawyers, in particular, are constantly engaged in a continuum of social interactions. One minute they are dealing with people within their firm and another minute they are interacting with clients, other firms (lawyers), and/or the judiciary. As a result, a proper understanding and use of social intelligence is fundamental to a lawyer’s success. In Social Intelligence: The New Science of Success, Karl Albrecht presents a five-part model of social intelligence: (1) Situational Awareness; (2) Presence; (3) Authenticity; (4) Clarity; and (5) Empathy. Albrecht’s break-down and presentation of social intelligence is helpful for those interested in developing or improving their social intelligence. Each of those parts, as presented by Albrecht, will be discussed in turn. “Social Radar”

Situational awareness can be thought of as having a “social radar,” or the ability to read situations and interpret the behaviors of others in terms of possible intentions, emotional states, and reactions. It includes a knowledge of cultural “holograms”—the unspoken background patterns, paradigms, and social rules that govern various social situations and interactions. It also means having an appreciation for the...
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