I’ve been reading a book called Social Intelligence by the author of Emotional
Intelligence, Daniel Goleman. It accounts for some of the effects we all experience
as we tune in to other people, such as empathic resonance and the concept of
Japanese amae; “feeling felt”.
Why is this important?
According to Goleman, our level of social intelligence determines our success not
just as Leaders, but in all our relationships and social interactions – and the sense of
fulfilment we derive from them.
In it he talks about the ‘high road’ of the thinking mind and the ‘low road’ of the emotional, quick to
react side of us that makes snap (and often correct) decisions about people and situations. He says, “the low road, with its ultrarapid mirror neuron links, operates as a sort of sixth sense, prompting us to feel with another person, even though we may be only vaguely aware of our attunement.”
Why your spindle cells matter.
Does this attunement account for our ability to enter a room and immediately sense
the atmosphere? Could it be that our “spindle cells are responsible for the secret of
the speed of social intuition?”
Social Intelligence is the key to better relationships.
Our ability to tune into emotions as we approach someone, even when they choose
to hide them, is something that can be honed. Perhaps realising that this is
something we are all hardwired for, makes the process conscious when we need it to
build bridges and establish closer connections.
It seems that these “always-on” neural pathways are responsible for our ability to
read people and situations with incredible accuracy, meaning that this is not just
simply a survival instinct, but the essence of how we form close relationships.
Being present is what gets you there.
One of the ways I help clients tune in better to others is by listening with a completely
blank mind. This makes you completely receptive to how your body is responding,
which takes you out of your head and means you get the true meaning of the
message. One that’s not distorted by your emotions, thoughts, biases, and
If you’re interested in learning how to become a more authentic, compassionate, and
inspirational leader, contact me.