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What is Social Intelligence? And why is it unnecessary for people to receive training for this?

Social intelligence (SI) was a concept that came out in the 80’s. This is why I love science. It is always evolving, bettering itself, correcting past mistakes as we learn more. When the research in the 90’s came out on emotional intelligence, we learned that social intelligence was not enough on its own. So, if your training programs are up on the current science, they can tell you that emotional intelligence training REPLACED social intelligence training and here’s why.

Emotional Intelligence (EI) leads to increased social intelligence, but social intelligence does NOT lead to increased emotional intelligence. So, if you’re training program is still spending time and money on “social intelligence” training, it’s wasting both time and money because you’re still going to need emotional intelligence training!

I’m aware that there are those who react strongly to the word “emotional.” No one wants to be emotional. But that is not what emotional intelligence training is – quite the opposite. It’s about learning how to be not so emotional.

That could be one of the reasons people are still using social intelligence, even though it’s out-dated and no longer the best type of training. Another reason could be that the business world doesn’t always keep up with science. That’s okay, that’s what we’re here for. There are many scientists working with businesses, schools, law enforcement and other industries to keep them up-to-date.

You can do a quick search on the Internet and find a lot of different companies still offering social intelligence (calling it SQ, which is also incorrect) training. I just found this chart comparing the two.

I will use the misinformation on this chart to illustrate. The brief definition of EI is only a piece of EI because learning to understand and accept your own emotions leads to the ability to understand and have better interactions with people.

Increased EI leads to better decision-making skills for current AND future scenarios. EI is both an interpersonal and an intrapersonal skill.

EI is learning how to have more social intelligence. SI is a subset of emotional intelligence. Again, with SI training you will still need EI training. With EI training, you don’t need additional SI training.

Why not use the latest science, the best method, the most comprehensive training program? You will save time and money this way. Beware of people who only seem to know half the science, just enough to sell you their program. For example, using the wrong acronyms – see the next blog!

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