Social Awareness is the ability to understand the emotions of other people and how your words and actions affect them. Another name for this is empathy. When you are with another person, how well are you able to notice, understand and empathize with what they are feeling?
Everyone is in their own unique emotional state every day. This affects their work and how they relate with others. Working on your own Social Awareness skill can improve your interactions and overall effectiveness. Just as you can practice taking your own emotional temperature throughout the day, you can make a point of becoming more observant of others’ feelings too.
As each of us go through our day, we experience both positive and negative events and emotions. The influential negative endorphins (cortisol) are greatly compromising innovation and creativity when it is needed most. Just as negative and threatening experiences have dire consequences to the chemistry of our body, positive experiences have the opposite effect. Only good, healthy, positive interactions can dilute those negative endorphins. They can give us confidence by releasing dopamine, the counter hormone to cortisol and we will be inspired to perform better.
Research shows it takes five positive (dopamine) experiences to dilute a negative (cortisol) one. The cool thing about how we, as humans, can impact the people around us is that you can be one of those positive interactions for the people you lead. By viewing each person you come in contact with as a person that you have the ability to inspire, listen to, learn from and motivate, you will increase the trust, performance and effectiveness of your team.
To improve your social awareness, you can ask yourself: