How High Is Your Social IQ?

Ironically, being quiet for a while is the best way to boost it.

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Can sitting still really improve our social skills?

Some of the most sought after skills in our global workplace have to do with social intelligence—our ability to regulate our emotions, listen openly to others, inspire colleagues, express ourselves confidently, and much more. And one of the delightful ironies to practicing mindfulness meditation is how this simple act of sitting still cultivates these very talents.

But how does this work? How does simply sitting still boost our social intelligence?

Research into mindfulness, while limited, has offered some promising insights. For example, mindfulness has been shown to intensify our confidence, improve our sense of well-being and strengthen our attention—all vital to being socially intelligent. Even more surprising, mindfulness has been shown to actually grow the part of the brain that regulates emotion. Such research is inspiring, no doubt, but how does this unfold in real life?

One potent effect of mindfulness is its ability to help us dismantle bias. Typically, we engage our world through the bias of a “mindset.” If we are a CFO, we listen for financials; if we are “in love,” we look for rewarding connection; if we are a salesperson, we…