the ability to recognize and understand the needs of the people in our lives
Simply put, we are wired to care about others. In the 1980s, scientists observed something called “mirror neurons” in monkeys — the same neuron would fire when a monkey did something themselves as when it just saw another monkey do the same thing. Interestingly, humans are born with this trait too! They help us understand other people and feel what they are feeling. This is why we might cry during sad movies, for example.
Social Awareness is the ability to recognize and understand the needs of the people in our lives. From how we talk with people in our day to day, to our broader role in society, it means being thoughtful about how we interact with those around us. Being socially aware helps us build stronger relationships, and it makes us better communicators, collaborators, and leaders.
Social awareness starts with active listening — giving the people you connect with your full attention. It also means observing body language as an indicator of non-verbal communication. In addition, it means we learn to understand what biases we carry, and being more conscious of our lenses affect how we interact with those around us. While we can never fully understand someone else’s experience, by being more conscious of other people’s perspectives, we can start to see others, and ourselves, more clearly.