Sunday, July 29, 2007

Beyond IQ. Social Intelligence (SI). A journey into S.P.A.C.E.

Have you ever wondered how highly success sales people navigate social situations so skillfully and seem to always know how and when to engage others in ways that are effective in any sales situation?

Success in sales is nearly always based on superior intelligence. Superior market intelligence, superior competitive intelligence, superior customer intelligence and superior intelligence of the sales team or sales person. Personal intelligence or IQ (Intelligent Quotient) used to be considered as the single best predictive indicator of Intelligence and therefore personal capacity and capability at work and in life. This was followed by the more complete concept of Multiple Intelligences (MI) which divided intelligence into 6 categories: Abstract Intelligence – symbolic reasoning, Social Intelligence – dealing with people (the subject of this post), Practical Intelligence – getting things done, Emotional Intelligence – self-awareness and self-management, Aesthetic Intelligence – the sense of form, design, music, art and literature and Kinesthetic Intelligence – whole-body skills like sports, dance, or music.
So what is Social Intelligence (SI) and more importantly how can I get more of it? Here is a simple 5 part model that you can use to develop your current level of Social Intelligence. Based on the book Social Intelligence: The New Science of Success, by Karl Albrecht, Jossey-Bass, 2006

S.P.A.C.E.: The 5 Skills of Human Interaction:

Situational Awareness: the ability to read situations and to interpret the behaviors of the people in those situations, in terms of their possible intentions, emotional states and ease of interaction.
Presence: a range of verbal and nonverbal signals, one’s appearance, posture, voice quality, subtle movements, a whole collection of inputs that one uses to form an overall impression of a person.
Authenticity: how others interpret our behavior to judge us as honest, open, ethical, trustworthy, well-intentioned or otherwise.
Clarity: our ability to explain ourselves, illuminate ideas, communicate data clearly and accurately, articulate our views and proposed courses of action, enables us to get others to co-operate with us.
Empathy: a shared “feeling” between two people, a state of “connectedness” with another person, which creates the basis for positive interaction and co-operation.

By studying our performance in each of these 5 dimensions we can: i) determine where we are today, ii) decide where we want to be tomorrow, and iii) put in place a simple action plan to progress in each competence area as desired.
The best way to do this is to make your journey into S.P.A.C.E. an everyday exercise of observation, learning and development. By expanding your S.P.A.C.E. you will be more effective at tapping into your customers collective minds and that means more and bigger sales. Good selling!


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Anonymous said...

This sounds like a rehash of Gardner's multiple intelligences. Everything that you mention is heavily g loaded, thus people are limited based upon their iq.

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