Having “social facility” — or the ability to not only perceive others accurately but respond skillfully — depends in no small measure on how we present ourselves to others.
At the very simplest level, presentation refers to how we look — how well-groomed we are, how well we dress, how gracefully (and appropriately) we behave.
But self-presentation also includes being able to persuade, entertain, and convince other people, even if it means acting a bit. Indeed, notes Daniel Goleman in his seminal “Social Intelligence” (2006), “(T)he ability to ‘contol and mask’ the expression of emotions is somtimes considered key to self presentation. People adept in such control are self-confident in just about any social situation, possessed of savoir faire.” (p. 94)
Of course, all charm and no substance makes Jack a not-very-valuable worker and a nearly useless leader. We’ve probably all suffered through such colleagues — people who talk a big game, promise unbelievable results, but end up not having the practical skills needed to do what they say they’re going to do. Such people are disappointing. But luckily they generally don’t last long.