Social and emotional intelligence and career success

Mohammed Amine El Khaldi, Morocco

Social intelligence is the ability to understand and manage our relationships. Skills that contribute to social intelligence are self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills.

Social intelligence has recently become a buzzword in human resources departments around the world, but researchers are coming out of their reservations to say it’s time to take social intelligence seriously. According to Rex Huppke, recognizing and accepting the nuances of human emotions at work can have pragmatic benefits, such as better employee collaboration and a happier work environment. Huppke reminds us that we are human beings every day, and not just when we leave our office. Daniel Goleman, a world-renowned behavioral scientist, said that “the part of the brain on which emotional and social intelligence relies is the last circuit of the brain to reach anatomical maturity, and because of the plasticity of the brain, the brain is shaped by our repeated experiences”.

Developing social intelligence also requires learning to react and speak appropriately, understanding the social mechanisms that govern us, and developing one’s ability to observe and feel social situations acutely. This can only be done in an environment outside the study classes, it is the strength of associative work, extracurricular activities. Extra-curricular activities are particularly recommended for young people, from an early age. These activities are beneficial for their development and also contribute to their academic and professional success. After that, extracurricular activities enable young people to operationalize their leisure activities, which have the power to stabilize turbulent young people and socialize the most shy. In addition to developing concentration and curiosity, cultural activities such as music, but also theater or singing allow the most introverted young people to gain confidence. It is also the ideal way to develop a sense of belonging to a group, socialize and make friends. Additionally, out-of-school activities can be positive in the event of school failure. They increase self-confidence: a young person will be able to learn to manage his stress, but also to believe in his performances by carrying out an activity that he loves, and especially that he masters. In all cases, a young person will have more success experiences and motivation, which will indirectly encourage academic and professional motivation.

Even though some might think that in the digital age of automatization social intelligence is less important, it is not so. In the words of Sofía García-Bullé, social intelligence is crucial for effective communication, dialogue, and teamwork to create an optimal and productive work environment. Until recently, social intelligence was a priority that few people had, mostly because they already had the right mindset for it and picked up the associated skills along the way, but training to develop social intelligence is relatively new.

Today, teaching social intelligence is indispensable because it is the best resource to build and maintain a good work culture and to protect jobs in an era of increasing automation. Students need the tools to develop social intelligence beginning in the first levels of education so they can acquire it through their school years and master it in their adult lives.


The Importance of Emotional Intelligence at Work.michealing

Social Intelligence, by: John F. Kihlstrom and Nancy Cantor