Social Awareness Skills


To look outward, to learn about and appreciate others, to recognise and understand the emotions of others as you interact with them are all aspects of cultivating your social awareness skills. Tuning into others’ emotions improves your situational awareness and relationship with them.

Building your social awareness skills entails picking up on the body language, facial expressions, postures, tone of voice, the deeper emotions and thoughts of others.

Social awareness skills are built up to strength by being in the present and giving others your full attention.

To nurture your social awareness skills, you will want more of using your five basic senses and the enormous amount of information relayed by your emotions. Paying attention to your emotions is useful in helping you to interpret cues or signals from others. Understanding the cues helps you to put yourself in the other person’s position and to respond constructively.

On a similar note, to greet someone by name is to take to one of the basic and influential social awareness skills. You will be deserving of praise for your heightened social awareness skills when you use a person’s name at least twice during the course of a conversation. For an unusual sounding name, ask the person to spell it for you so that you can picture it written and remember it better. Greeting people by name confirms the person as unique and strengthens your connection with him or her.

To continue with, acute social awareness skills implies reading the body language of others to assess how they are really feeling and then planning an appropriate response. Be careful not to stare, in the process, and start with the head and face. Excessive blinking or shifty eyes often suggests deception while attentive, relaxed eye movements are linked to sincerity. A crinkle of skin in the corner of the eyes frequently attends an authentic smile.

Over with things that matter in strengthening your social awareness skills, timing counts a great deal when dealing with people and their emotions. To cultivate effective timing that adds to your social awareness skills is to ask the right question at the right time, with the appropriate frame of mind, while being mindful of your audience, to ask an appropriate question that shows your genuine concern and care for the other person, not to ask for a raise when business is in a downturn, and not to interject with insensitive remarks, diversions or trivialities when a friend is venting about a spouse.

When a conversation stalls and an awkward silence prevails, a reserve question prepared in advance for such a situation could be handy. The open-ended question should be carefully couched to avoid sensitive areas like politics and religion but could include issues requiring some commentary like work or current events. This aspect of social awareness skills demonstrates that you are interested in the other person’s ideas, thoughts and feelings, and also buys you time to get to know him better.

The key to sharpening your social awareness skills and being more effective in your relationships is to focus on others rather than on yourself.

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