Why Social Intelligence Leads to Professional Success

This past month I gave a key note talk and training at a University, in upstate New York. I got to put myself back in the mindset of when I was in graduate school.

Those memories are bitter-sweet.

Well, mostly bitter.

The way I remember it, in my late 20s an outrageously skinny, socially-reclusive, starving artist-type with bad acne, and little sense of my own self -orth. Basically disgruntled and deflated… disappointed by life.

Oh, and I was flat broke.

Given that I had a 2.5 GPA in undergraduate, it’s safe to say my intelligence and work ethic were somewhat average.

So…the question of the day is how did I become a multi-millionaire by age 35?

I want to share with you three powerful lessons and so you can follow a similar path.

What Happened?

A. I took a summer job in the field that I most dreaded. Door to door, commission-only cold-call sales.

B. This thrust me into a virtual blender of human interaction. A laboratory of meeting new people, connecting with them, learning to influence their behavior. Forty hours a week, 51 weeks a year.

C. In the process, I developed a unique type of awareness. Let’s call it social intelligence, or three dimensional awareness.

This elusive skill-set was enough to compensate for all of my weaknesses, and it supercharged my existing strengths.

Today…in consulting and coaching individuals and organizations around the world the formula towards building a life of prosperity and fulfillment that I know you are seeking has never been more clear.

  • 1. Approach. Must have a strategy for making favorable impressions with the people you encounter. Put your best foot forward when it matters most in life. Stand out from the crowd, project dominance, and high value.

    TIP. This is accomplished primarily with our body language. Above all, pay close attention to your posture. Read everything you can find on body language, and learn to speak a language everyone on the planet is speaking but very few can interpret.

  • 2. Connect: We are an emotionally driven species. You must have access to your own emotions, and be able share them with others. Emotion is the glue that make a relationship a sticky. Memorable. Remember, ten minutes after you leave the room, they’ll forget 90% of what you said….and be left with how you made them feel.

    TIP Start holding your eye contact for longer than you are accustomed to. In passing by with quick interactions, let your eyes linger for 3-4 seconds instead of one. And in more sustained interactions, hold eye contact for 7-10 seconds before looking away. Take a risk. Be willing to reveal something about yourself. Practice being open and genuine with people vs. closed and secretive.

  • 3. Influence To live your mission, you need to be able to not only get your point across, but inspire others to sit up and take note, listen to you, support you, hire you, and invest in you. When the first two are in place, the stage is set. But most people think influence is about bravado and dominating other peoples’ viewpoints. In fact it’s quite the opposite: influence involves cultivating a cooperative dynamic, serving and inspiring others.

    TIP Maybe you’ve heard: nobody likes to be sold. That “salesy” feeling is simply when someone puts their own agenda above your agenda. We feel agenda 100% of the time. And it never ever feels good. Put yourself into a mindset of contribution. This is not weak, but powerful. When you start really caring about what other people want and find ways to help them to get it–you’ll be unstoppable.

There you have it: the magic threes.

Approach. Connect. Influence.

Now, the MAP of Interaction is the most complete framework I’ve seen to encapsulate this elusive life skill. And reviewing it regularly in your daily life will pay massive dividends.

The next lesson we’ll dig a bit deeper into some more specific ways you can use the MAP to Make Your Mark.

All the best,

Thomas Bell

Free PDF Download: The 9 Dimensions of Social Intelligence

Approach new people, forge strong relationships, and influence the outcomes that you desire by elevating your social intelligence.