Social Quotient

Companies have traditionally measured IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and more recently EQ (Emotional Quotient) competencies in their recruitment processes. SQ (Social Quotient) is the next level to attract and develop staff.

“Social Intelligence describes the exclusively human capacity to effectively navigate and negotiate complex social relationships and environments. Social scientist Ross Honeywill believes social intelligence is an aggregated measure of self and social awareness, evolved social beliefs and attitudes, and a capacity and appetite to manage complex social change.” Wikipedia

Someone with a high social quotient will have the ability to positively influence and inspire others to achieve, whilst also being able to prioritise their work to generate the biggest output. In the selection process, there are various tools, techniques and assessments that are available to measure SQ:

  • Lominger – Competency or behavioural based interview techniques
  • Axiology – predictive performance matrix
  • 360o Reviews

Most of us will appreciate that it’s not enough just to be clever as some of the smartest people in the world aren’t successful if they are socially inept or lacking in social quotient. If we were to ask businesses who their strongest performers are and why, responses will usually be more to do with soft social skills rather than technical skills. Yes companies need intelligent people but most skills can be easily taught and people are continuously evolving through the learning cycle. But to move onto the next level, individuals need to be passionate, inspired, dedicated and socially capable in order to succeed.

Management training programs need to be focused more around identifying and developing the social intelligence of future leaders. With the recession has come both cut backs in training programs and increases in the demands, stress and fragility of employees. Businesses and employees need to be agile enough to handle these changes, and social intelligence is the strongest way to do this. But leadership has to be stemmed from the top, which is why some of the most successful businesses have had leaders with the highest levels of social quotient (think Steve Jobs, Richard Brandson).

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