Social skills are the key to human intelligence.
In evolution, Dunbar has noted species with large social groups were the ones to see the largest increase in brain size. George (2000) has described how the capacity to understand others is the key to great leadership. By understanding what makes other people tick, we better understand how to create value in negotiations, how to help people achieve their goals, how to be a good educator, and how to avoid other people’s malevolent persuasion attempts.
Social skills are developing rapidly because people are communicating more.
Much of this is via social media sights. IBM estimates that 90% of the world’s data has been created in just the last two years, and much of this is people generating data for one another. The ability to create meaningful messages that stick in other people’s minds is therefore becoming even more important. People have a lot to pay attention to. Getting their attention is becoming even more important.
The benefits of social intelligence are obvious.
By understanding how other people think, what is called perspective taking, we improve our own lives as well as those around us. Research has shown that perspective taking reduces racism and increase prosocial outcomes (Galinsky & Moskowitz, 2000). It helps us to strengthen our children’s ability to resist smoking (Pfau and Bockern, 1994) and to better motivate ourselves to achieve our goals (Zimmerman, Bandura, and Martinez-Pons, 1992). Indeed, there are few things people achieve that would not benefit from better understanding psychology.
If we all had social skills developed like those presented in Mr. Adam, the world would be a better place.
Because Mr. Adam is about helping people through positive psychology. This is based on principles of conflict avoidance, motivation by focusing on the positive, and also a clear understanding of how other people might motivate use negatively. By understanding the latter, we take the power away from persuasive techniques that do not benefit us or society.