The Interpersonal Composite scale includes Interpersonal Relationships, Empathy, and Social Responsibility. This facet of emotional intelligence measures one’s ability to develop and maintain relationships based on trust and compassion; articulate an understanding of another’s perspective; and act responsibly while showing concern for others, a team or for a greater community/organisation.
Working in a company is a bit like playing in an orchestra. You have skills and experience that allows you to play your instrument really well and when everything is going well, the music sounds great. But often you can be so focused on playing your particular part that you don’t hear the sounds coming from fellow musicians or know how the music is being heard by the audience.
At work we can be so tied up in what is important to us that we have no idea what other people are doing, and sometimes have no idea how well or badly the customers think we are serving them. It is a great advantage to have this information and the skills to do it are easily learned.
Your performance is judged by different criteria from different perspectives. A salesman and a managing director will perceive the work of a company accountant differently, for example. The perceptual positions technique helps you to gain an insight into the way other people view your behaviour or the way your department or whole company operates.
Interpersonal Relationships refers to the skill of developing and maintaining mutually satisfying relationships that are characterised by trust and compassion. Mutually satisfying relationships include social interchanges that are potentially meaningful, rewarding, and enjoyable. Among positive interpersonal relationship skills are the ability to connect with others by remaining open and by a willingness to both give and receive affection and intimacy; and the ability to remain at ease and comfortable in social situations. This emotional skill requires sensitivity toward others, the desire to establish meaningful relationships, and the ability to feel satisfied with relationships.
Empathy is recognising, understanding, and appreciating how other people feel. Empathy involves being able to articulate your understanding of another’s perspective and behaving in a way that respects others’ feelings. At the core of empathic behaviour is being able to perceive and appreciate what, how, and why people feel the way they do – being able to emotionally “read” other people – while demonstrating an interest in and concern for others.
Social Responsibility is willingly contributing to society, to one’s social groups, and generally to the welfare of others. Social Responsibility involves acting responsibly, having social consciousness, and showing concern for the greater community.