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Transforming IT Culture: How to Use Social Intelligence, Human Factors and Collaboration to Create an IT Department That Outperforms by Frank Wander

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Chapter 11

Social and Emotional Intelligence

The Organizational Canvas Meets the Social Paintbrush

Life would be stunted and narrow if we could feel no significance in the world around us beyond that which can be weighed and measured with the tools of the physicist or described by the metrical symbols of the mathematician.

—Sir Arthur Eddington

Much has been written about social and emotional intelligence in the past 30 years. I first came across this subject through Howard Gardner, who wrote about intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligences in his 1983 book Frames of Mind. Intrapersonal intelligence is an understanding of self, “an access to one’s own feeling life—one’s range of affects or emotions: the capacity instantly to effect discriminations among these feelings and, eventually, to label them, to enmesh them as a means of understanding and guiding one’s behavior.”1 The second, interpersonal intelligence, is focused on others, and this is what is also commonly referred to as social intelligence. It provides “the ability to notice and make distinctions among other individuals and, in particular, among their moods, temperaments, motivations, and intentions.” Gardner goes on to say that “in an advanced form, interpersonal knowledge permits a skilled adult to read the intentions and desires—even when these have been hidden—of many other individuals and, potentially, to act upon this knowledge—for example, by influencing a group of disparate individuals to behave along desired ...

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