How to Create Space for Socially Intelligent Work Relationships

When our mental filters blind us at work, it’s time to clean the lens.

Illustration by Edmon de Haro

When it comes to work, getting the job done isn’t the only thing that matters. The way we relate to our coworkers is also crucial—without healthy workplace relationships, it’s hard to accomplish much of anything. So how can we cultivate a positive social environment while on the job?

In his bestselling book Social Intelligence, Daniel Goleman describes how we’re biologically hardwired to “tune in” to one another. In fact, one of the central skills of social intelligence, he found, is attunement, which is our ability to build rapport with others by offering total attention and listening fully.

Building relationships at work is not just a matter of “knowing the right people” in order to get ahead.

Building relationships at work is not just a matter of “knowing the right people” in order to get ahead. Working well with colleagues elevates everyone’s experience, builds trust and mutual respect, fosters creative collaboration, and instills confidence that may even translate to greater professional opportunity.

The Role of Meditation

Science is exploring how mindfulness meditation strengthens our ability to attune to others—specifically, how it strengthens the part of our brain responsible for regulating emotions, heightening communication, and reducing anxiety.

What’s less measurable is how…

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