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Social Intelligence: The New Science of Success



Social Intelligence: The New Science of Success

Karl Albrecht

ISBN: 978-0-470-44434-4 February 2009 Pfeiffer 304 Pages

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Karl Albrecht defines social intelligence (SI) as the ability to get along well with others while winning their cooperation. SI is a combination of sensitivity to the needs and interests of others, sometimes called your “social radar,” an attitude of generosity and consideration, and a set of practical skills for interacting successfully with people in any setting. Social Intelligence provides a highly accessible and comprehensive model for describing, assessing, and developing social intelligence at a personal level. This book is filled with intriguing concepts, enlightening examples, stories, cases, situational strategies, and a self-assessment tool – all designed to help you learn to navigate social situations more successfully.

Foreword vii

Acknowledgment ix

Preface xi

1. A Different Kind of "Smart" 1

Old Wine in New Bottles? 3

Going Beyond IQ 6

EI, SI, or Both? 10

From Toxic to Nourishing 12

Blind Spots, Lenses, and Filters 14

Social Halitosis, Flatulence, and Dandruff 16

The "Dilbert" Factor 23

Can We Become a Socially Smarter Species? 25

S.P.A.C.E.:The Skills of Interaction 28

2. "S" Stands for Situational Awareness 33

Situational Dumbness and Numbness 34

Ballistic Podiatry: Making the Worst of a Situation 36

Reading the Social Context 38

What to Look For 40

The Proxemic Context 41

The Behavioral Context 47

The Semantic Context 51

Navigating Cultures and Subcultures 58

Codes of Conduct: Violate the Rules at Your Peril 61

Building the Skills of Situational Awareness 66

3. "P" Stands for Presence 69

Being There 70

Is Charisma Over-Rated? 72

Do Looks Matter? 75

Reading (and Shaping) the "Rules of Engagement" 75

The Ugly American Syndrome 78

More of You, Less of Me 80

A Case of Attitude 82

Building the Skills of Presence 85

4. "A" Stands for Authenticity 87

Take a Tip from Popeye 88

It's a Beautiful Day in the SI Neighborhood 90

The Snap-On Smile: Can You Fake Sincerity? 93

Left-Handed Compliments 94

The Puppy Dog Syndrome 97

Narcissism: It's Really All About Me 98

Head Games, Power Struggles, and Manipulation 102

Building the Skills of Authenticity 105

5. "C" Stands for Clarity 107

A Way with Words 108

Hoof-in-Mouth Disease: Sometimes Silence Works Best 110

Role-Speak and Real-Speak 114

Helicopter Language and Elevator Speeches 116

"Clean" Language and "Dirty" Language 119

Verbal Bludgeons 121

Taking a Brain for a Walk 125

The Power of Metaphor 128

E-Prime: the Language of Sanity 130

Building the Skills of Clarity 135

6. "E" Stands for Empathy 137

What Destroys Empathy? 138

What Builds Empathy? 142

The Platinum Rule 147

The Irony of Empathic Professions 149

L.E.A.P.S.: Empathy by Design 152

Empathy in Four Minutes 154

Building the Skills of Empathy 156

7. Assessing and Developing SI 159

AssessingYour Interaction Skills 160

Self-Awareness: Seeing Yourself as Others See You 166

Assessing Your Interaction Style: Drivers, Energizers, Diplomats, and Loners 168

The Strength-Weakness Irony 177

Priorities for Improvement 180

8. SI in the World of Work: Some Reflections 185

The Real and Legal Consequences of Social Incompetence 184

Cultures of Conflict and Craziness 187

Hierarchies,Testosterone, and Gender Politics 193

Getting it Right at Work and Wrong at Home 198

The Diversity Puzzle 200

Ritual, Ceremony, and Celebration 203

Positive Politics: Getting Ahead with Your Value System Intact 207

9. SI in Charge: Thoughts on Developing Socially Intelligent Leaders 211

The S.O.B. Factor 212

Executive Hubris: Its Costs and Consequences 216

Best Boss,Worst Boss 219

P.O.W.E.R.:Where It Comes From, How to Get It 222

How the Worst Bastards on the Planet Get and Keep Power 224

The Algebra of Influence 226

S.P.I.C.E.: Leading When You're Not In Charge 227

10. SI and Conflict: Thoughts About Getting Along 233

The Double Spiral of Conflict 234

Why Argue? 241

Crucial Conversations 243

Added Value Negotiating 246

Epilogue. SI and the Next Generation: Who's Teaching Our Kids? 253

Our Children Are Not Our Children 254

The (Only) Ten Basic News Stories 256

Anxiety Drives Attention 260

Breaking the Addiction to Television 262

The Buying of Our Babies 265

Video Games:The New Sandlot 267

Teachers, Parents, or Neither? 270

Belonging or Be Longing? 272

The S.P.A.C.E. Solution for Schools 276

A Prescription for SI at Every Age 278

Index 281

About the Author 289