Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been writing about “social intelligence,” that ability to both recognize and respond to the words, gestures, and feelings of others in an accurate, constructive way.
In the quest to become more effective, one aspect of social intelligence that people often overlook is that of “concern.” That is, it’s not enough to realize that, say, a co-worker is overwhelmed by a project — whether it’s 25 dinners out of the kitchen on time for the special party or putting together a spread sheet that accurately reflects the QA process of a web launch. What really matters is whether or not you feel compelled to help — and then whether you do it.
People who are concerned — who care enough to actually step in and get involved — tend to make better team players, because they know that the group’s end product depends on everyone’s contributions and that if one person is struggling, the whole project will suffer. Moreover, people who are concerned tend to make better community members, because, again, they’re moved — and willing — to work for the good of the whole, not just themselves.