publication date: Feb 23, 2012
author/source: Lisa MacDonald
In our daily social interactions, there are people we like
and some people whose company we do not enjoy.
We encounter these people at work, in our family and in personal
People who seem to cope better with these situations are
generally thought to have good "people skills."
that this general stereotype overlooks the significance of real social
intelligence (SI). In the introduction to his book, social intelligence: The New
Science of Success
, he expresses his warning using ancient zen
philosophy - "The biggest obstacle to
learning something new is the belief that you already know it."
Albrecht frames his understanding of social intelligence in
five distinct dimensions, or categories of competence: S.P.A.C.E includes -
Awareness. Think of this dimension as a kind of "social radar," or the
ability to read situations and to interpret the behaviours of people in those
Often referred to as "bearing," presence incorporates a range of verbal and
nonverbal patterns, one's appearance, posture, voice quality, subtle movements -
a whole collection of signals others process into an evaluative impression of a
The social radars of other people pick up various signals from our behaviour that
lead them to judge us as honest, open, ethical, trustworthy, and
well-intentioned - or inauthentic.
Our ability to explain ourselves, illuminate ideas, pass data clearly and
accurately, and articulate our views and proposed courses of action, enables us
to get others to cooperate with us.
Going somewhat beyond the conventional connotation, consider empathy a state of
connectedness with another person, which creates the basis for positive
This book offers detailed
chapters on each dimension, illustrated with good humour and practical example
as well as simple assessment procedures to determine your SI skills and
The concept of social
intelligence is not just for personal interactions - it has very real
applications to the workplace. Whatever your
personal or professional goals, a brush-up on social intelligence is a good
place to start.
Purchase social intelligence