Friday, April 1, 2011

You and Them ~ Your Social Intelligence

TGIF! It's been a really tough week for me, so I haven't been writing. But this list of ways to improve on your Social Intelligence are appealing ideas from Tony Buzan's HEAD FIRST: 10 Ways to Tap Into Your Natural Genius. I'm only going to give you a small part of his chapter on Social Intelligence. I hope you enjoy contemplating its value to improve your life.

Buzan begins with a definition: "Social Intelligence refers to your ability to use all your other intelligences to relate in a positive way to those most complex of all creatures--other human beings! Social intelligence applies to your one-on-one meetings, to small and large group meetings, and to your ability (in this modern age), to deal sucessfully with the media, if and when you need to."

I'm skipping over to the Brain Workout--Developing Your Social Intelligence. Buzan says: "Your Social Intelligence is one of your most flexible intelligences, and is one of the most rewarding, easy and enjoyable to develop. This Brain Workout is divided into strategies designed to help you improve your social intelligence when meeting people for the first time, for relating to those you know, and finally for ending relationships." Today I'm simply giving you things to do when meeting people for the first time.  

Beginning Relationships

1. Remain Constantly Aware of What a Miracle You and Others Are
This will automatically open up your interest in others and thereby your senses. Others, sensing your appreciation of and interest in them, will automatically become more open to and interested in you, and so the positive loops of your relationships with others will grow.

2. Attend Shows and Plays
Theater provides you with a stage on which multiple interpersonal relationships are acted out and often commented upon. The theater is therefore a wonderful training ground for you to expand your appreciation of the multiplicity of human relationships, and to incorporate that understanding into your own life. Another good idea is to watch videos/films of the best classic masterpieces.

3. Play Around with Questions 
The Zen question, "Who learns more in a conversation between a wise man and a fool?," is a very useful one to think about!

4. Learn From the Greats
Make a list of the Top Social Communicators of the last century, and more importantly, note down next to each name key words or phrases that support your nomination. Who and Why? What are the skills and characteristics that your Top Communicators share? List them. Now take this list of people and make a Mind Map of their common skills. Decide to develop these skills, one at a time, for yourself.

5. Expand Your Social Horizons
Set yourself the goal of experiencing a wide variety of different social occasions, including festivals, mega-concerts, dances and celebrations of all sorts. Visit other cultures and explore other religions, always taking the role of the "Eager Student," asking to be shown and instructed what to do and how to behave most appropriately on those different occasions. People love to show and share their special knowledge with others, and, as they do so, you will both learn and rapidly develop your Social Intelligence. 

6. Collect People's Stories
From the youngest to the oldest, everyone has a "favorite story"--the tale of unusual, extraordinary, terrifying or magnificient things that uniquely happened to them. Ask them for that story, or stories. What is the most amazing thing they have ever done? What was the funniest thing that they ever experienced? Had they at some time nearly died? Have they ever fought in a war? What was the most ridiculous/stupid thing they ever did? Ask them to tell their tale. Then you tell them yours!

7. Take a Presentation Skills Course
Such a course will encourage you to be your magnificent self, and will give you the opportunity to use many of your other intelligences, especially your Verbal, Sensory, Spatial and Creative Intelligences.

8. Dress to Impress
Make sure that your presentation of yourself in general appeals to the senses and intelligences of others. Your clothes are of particular importance in this context--just think of your reaction to people based on the cleanliness, colors, textures, "tailoredness" and suitability of their clothes. Many studies have been done on "Power Dressing," and they all confirm that in one important way, "Clothes maketh the man...." For the next few days, study the effect that other people's dress has on you, and also the effect it seems to have on the wearers themselves. You will come up with some remarkable findings!

Thinking about your life can certainly change it, so I hope these ideas for doing that will give you a start on making your life a bit better. 

Have a good Friday! I'll be going to Lisa's for pizza and a movie.


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