GOOD MORNING MONDAY
– AFFIRMATIVE THOUGHTS FOR A GREAT WEEK
Good Morning! I hope you had a phenomenal weekend and that you spent some time “finding your happy”! Today is great day to be alive. Everything you are looking for is here in the present moment 😊
Last week you continued your journey to deepen emotional intelligence. The focus of last week was self-regulation. How did you do? Did you employ some strategies that enabled you to choose your response so that your emotions were not the “captains of your life”? I am sure you encountered some success on your journey. Congratulations! Remember it takes practice to build the muscle of self-regulation. Keep working on it; you will encounter more success each day and the result will be “response-ability”, choosing your response to any situation. Incorporating this “way of being” into your life will help you continue to build stronger relationships.
Let’s continue the journey to deepen emotional intelligence this week through understanding and improving social awareness, a key building block of emotional intelligence. What is social awareness? It is about being “tuned in to others” and “tuned in to the situation”. It is about seeking to understand, being aware of others and treating others with respect. Social awareness is a realization that “It is NOT about ME”. It is about focusing on OTHERS, observing their emotions and noticing their reaction to the situation. To practice social awareness, it is important to be in the present moment.
Self-awareness focuses you inward understanding and appreciating yourself. Social awareness focuses you outward understanding and appreciating others. To understand others, you must understand yourself. To recognize and understand others’ emotions, you need to have the ability to understand and control your own emotions. So, social awareness builds upon your own self-awareness and self-regulation. Without that foundation, using social awareness skills would be difficult to understand and demonstrate.
When you are demonstrating social awareness you are listening, you are observing non-verbal cues, facial expressions, tone of voice, gestures. When you truly listen, you learn about what others are thinking and feeling. You to begin to understand from their perspective and experiences…. which may be quite different than yours. A key competency of social awareness is empathy; which is about understanding the other persons’ needs, emotions, concerns.
Demonstrating social awareness and empathy builds trust. Trust is built because you are attempting to truly understand, be aware and respect others. Empathy does not mean you have to agree with the person, it simply means you must attempt to understand their point of view. When you understand their perspective and acknowledge their emotions, you can take those into account when you are making decisions.
Social awareness begins with YOU. You do not have to wait for others to display these qualities. You can display these qualities and see how it impacts the situation. Increase your social awareness and increase your chances of success, whatever the situation.
So, what are some key ways to help you become more socially aware? Following are some ideas that I found in an article entitled, “Increase Your Emotional Intelligence by Improving Social Awareness”, by Mike Crompton:
Listen: Quiet Your Mind. Focus on listening. Remember, you do not have to agree. Focus on them. Understand their point of view and what they are saying. As Stephen Covey said, “Seek First to Understand; Then be Understood”. Good listeners do not assume they know or understand the situation before hearing someone out. As you listen, you will yearn to give your viewpoint – Don’t! Remember – you are seeking to understand vs. to be understood.
Learn: Listen for Feelings. Remember, people do not always express their true feelings or concerns directly. So, listen for words that express feelings and needs. Pay attention to tone of voice. Watch facial expressions and body language. Stay tuned in so you can get a better read on how they are feeling; this allows a better opportunity for the right course of action.
Make time for people. Life is busy. You need to make time for people and for their concerns. If you don’t, you will send the message that you do not consider others and their issues important. People will judge you by your actions not your words.
Acknowledge what you think you heard (or saw). Paraphrase to play back what someone says. This is a good way to check for accuracy and understanding. Don’t just paraphrase words; you will have received messages through tone of voice, gestures, facial expressions, etc. playback what you saw or felt surrounding these too.
Withhold judgement. When tempted to criticize(Pause, Step Back – Remember: Self-Regulation). Think about what the other person is experiencing. Put yourself in their shoes. Think about the merits of their position before responding. Do Not Judge!
Today and every day, think about your level of social awareness. Think about your awareness of and connection to those close to you and around you each day. How do you interact with them? Are you aware of their stories? How sensitive are you to what is going on with them each day? Are you truly listening for not only words, but also their emotions when they are talking?
As you improve your own social awareness and empathy, you will create opportunities for better life and work experiences. You will become aware of others’ thoughts and emotions and truly improve your ability to respond. Remember, this is a habit you are building. It is a lifetime’s work. You will continue to get better at this each day.
Have a Great Week! Enjoy your continued journey to deepen your understanding of self and your connection to others.