We’ve all said things that people interpreted differently than we intended. These seemingly benign comments lead to the awful feeling that comes only when you’ve planted your foot firmly into your mouth.
Verbal slip-ups often occur because we say things without knowing the subtle implications they carry. Understanding these implications requires social awareness—the ability to pick up on people’s emotions and experiences.
TalentSmart has tested the emotional intelligence of more than a million people. It discovered that social awareness is a skill many of us lack.
We lack social awareness because we’re so focused on what we’re going to say next—and how what other people are saying affects us—that we completely lose sight of others.
This is a problem, because people are complicated. You can’t hope to understand someone until you focus all of your attention on him or her.
The beauty of social awareness is that you can vastly improve your relationships with other people if you make a few simple adjustments to what you say.
Related: 9 Things Successful People Won’t Do