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Social Intelligence: The New Science of Success

Social Intelligence: The New Science of Success

A useful analysis of the main components of social intelligence.

Author(s): Karl Albrecht

Publisher: Pfeiffer

Date of publication: 2009

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The ability to establish good relationships with our entourage is a key success factor, and a quality expected of leaders by the large majority. Starting from this observation, Karl Albrecht proposes to analyze this competency, called social intelligence, in greater detail.
The foreword and chapter 1 present the central idea of the book, namely that the relationship between two individuals can be damaged by so-called “toxic” behaviors, but developed and maintained by “nourishing” ones. Chapters 8 and 9 explore this idea in greater detail, particularly in professional settings and for people in leadership positions. Readers will undoubtedly recognize situations that they have actually experienced.
Chapters 2 to 6 present the five main components of social intelligence according to the author, i.e., the ability to understand social situations and adapt to them, exude a presence aligned with the expectations of those around you—illustrated by the contrary examples of Clint Eastwood and Stanley Kubrick—be “authentic,” express oneself clearly and comprehensibly, and show empathy.
Chapter 10 provides essential tips on suitable behavior to adopt and mistakes to avoid when dealing with conflict, with the instructive example of a large law firm.
It seems unfortunate that the section concerning ways to increase social intelligence (Chapter 7) is the sparsest in the book, and contains only a few tips on evaluating social IQ and very general advice. Readers are left to draw their own lessons from the author’s enlightened analysis of the components of social intelligence.