Social IQ

Social I.Q. in general is our intelligence when it comes to relating with other human beings. To be a successful business owner we obviously have to be very intelligent. Not only do we have to be intelligent we have to have a thirst to keep learning. However, having a handle on numbers, the industry, or systems doesn't always equate to having "Social Intelligence." Human beings are the most complicated part of a business equation, but they are a necessary part. The concepts below will help us create successful interactions with employees, clients, and partners alike.

1. They're Not You:

One of the most common misconceptions when it comes to human relations is that people think just like us. Quite the contrary, nobody thinks exactly like you. To make things even more interesting we often don't realize that others can't see our mental processes. In other words, your reply, idea, or comment are a product of hundreds of thoughts you put together in your head. To expect someone to relate to our final answer without giving them the lead up to the answer is a losing proposition. It is important to make sure we let others know WHY we're saying what we're saying.

2. Listen twice as long as you Speak

We've heard the cliche "You have two ears and one mouth." Well, this cliche is dead on. While there are many advantages to this, here are two. One, everyone likes us more when we listen and ask questions rather than dominate conversations. This makes for stronger alliances. Two, don't we want to be the person with the most information? The person who speaks most learns less. The more we know about the other person and what is being discussed, the more educated our responses will be. It also often puts us in an advantageous business position to know more about the other side than they know about us.

3. Change for the Situation

Not all people are the same and not all situations are the same. You are going to have to play different roles at different times. Don't ever sacrifice who you are as a person but know that sometimes you're going to have to adjust the way you would usually react in order to get to the outcome you want. People range from the loud and hard-headed to the timid push-over. No matter what the situation, it is important you do the smooth job of adjusting to their personality while at the same time bringing the situation to a successful outcome.

4. Be Sincere and Be Friendly.

No matter how intelligent we are, and no matter how much more intelligent we think we are than the other person; being an insincere jerk is something everyone gets. Our tone, posture, and facial expressions are all indicators of who we are and what we think of the other person. Be sure you know what you look and sound like to others. This is often the hardest thing for us to do because we don't walk around with a mirror. A good way to assess ourselves, however, is to observe how other people interact with us and others. If someone speaks to you with a condescending tone, or has a facial expression of disinterest, ask yourself, "Do I ever look or sound that way?" The things we don't like done to us are essentially our mirror. Be sincere and always be friendly even if you disagree.

Now go out there and be the "smooth operator" you are!