Social Intelligence: Main Theories

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 2
Words: 542
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: PhD


Social intelligence is the ability of a person to understand and contextualize their emotions and the emotions of others. The effective use of emotions and emotional states to direct and assist people in performing better in their daily lives and work. Understanding people and their behavior can aid communication, resolve conflicts, and be a generally positive influence on an individual (Main Theories of Emotional and Social Intelligence). Understanding one’s own feelings can even have a mentally beneficial effect on the psyche and the person’s mental health. The concept of social intelligence is effective in relation to many activities in life and can be used by any individual. Despite that, the skill can be especially effective when used by a qualified leader, a person that needs to interact with a large number of people as their main line of work. This paper will further explore the benefits of emotional intelligence as a tool for a successful leader. Various theories on how the concept is defined and utilized will also be discussed.

Effect on Leadership

Social Intelligence boosts a number of crucial skills a leader must possess in order to work with other people. Firstly, an ability to read people’s emotions allows a leader to be more efficient at both verbal and non-verbal communication(García-Bullé, 2019). An ability to easily understand one’s subordinates and their needs improves the speed at which operations are performed, which is beneficial to the company’s development (Why Leaders Need Emotional and Social Intelligence: ALCN 2017). Communication skills also allow the leader to better command people and word their orders and request in a more appropriate manner. Emotional and social intelligence gives leaders the ability to know what actions and behaviors and detrimental to worker’s morale and avoid them (Leading with Character: Social Intelligence 2016). Keeping the workers happy and motivated is one of the more important factors in managing a business. Being a leader means that a person’s position requires them to support and guide people that work for them, which subsequently puts the person in charge at a distance from others. An ability to read the mood and adapt one’s approach to suit the situation is extremely useful, as the leader can then be a part of the groups and be regarded as one of “our own” (Goleman, 2017). Feelings of trust and mutual understanding born from these attitudes are good for mutual success.


In conclusion, the use of emotional and social intelligence can be an effective tool for improving one’s communication with other people. The concept is used widely in society, and various professionals can display the use of this skill for a wider benefit. Leader, more than most other professions, benefits from learning and utilizing social intelligence in their work practice. Social intelligence promptly addresses the need of a leader to understand their subordinates and be in touch with their emotional and professional needs. Adapting and shifting the focus to suit the desired mood is a great strategy for convincing other people and keeping them in a positive mood. Leaders are also able to better command their own feelings and avoid issues of anger, doubt, exhaustion, and burnout. Overall, the use of emotional intelligence is beneficial to a working environment and all people in it.


Why Leaders Need Emotional and Social Intelligence: ALCN. (2017). Web.

Goleman, D. (2017). Leaders Who “Get” Their Teams. Korn Ferry. Web.

Leading with Character: Social Intelligence. Michael Lee Stallard. (2016). Web.

García-Bullé, S. (2019). What is social intelligence and why it should be taught at schools. Observatory of Educational Innovation. Web.

Main Theories of Emotional and Social Intelligence. Emotional and Social Intelligence: Theories and Models. Web.