Behavior can be a complicated concept to try and master, much less understand. Every person is different and can interpret behaviors differently. In social groups, there is a wide range of behaviors occurring, which can seem overwhelming at times. But by having a little insight on not only the behavior others, but our own, we are able to better understand what is going on around us and how to navigate through the situation.
Perception can be a hard aspect to learn from since most of the time our perception can only be drawn from our own experiences – and we’re pretty biased when it come to our own thoughts. Perception is an important tool in controlling behavior because it helps us determine how we can appear to others and how other people’s behaviors can influence us. Your belief in yourself can affect your perception and can in turn affect your outward behavior.
We may not always know exactly how people perceive us since many will not say these things out loud, but we can make our own conclusions based on our perception of their behavior. Do they come close when they speak to you or do they try to move away? Do they smile and interact with you or do they seem withdrawn? Do you use these thoughts when you perceive people and their behaviors? It is likely you form some of the same conclusions and determine how to respond to the behaviors they are displaying.
Facts vs. Emotions
The main difference between facts and emotions is that facts are based on definite results while emotions are often involuntary and one-sided. But both facts and emotions can affect our behaviors and change how we act towards others. Facts can drive a conversation and allow people to connect on a logical level. Emotions are involved in everything we do, but sometimes they can affect the impact of our behavior and the information we are talking about.
Any social situation is most likely driven with emotions, and sometimes this can cause facts to become irrelevant and even misconstrue the information given. For example, a male speaker may not be taken seriously at a feminism rally, or a group full of teachers may not listen to a group of school board members. When you recognize that emotion may be driving the situation, it’s time to reflect back on the situation and rediscover the facts and figures of the information. You may have to be a leader in the group and remind everyone to focus on the facts and save the emotions for later.
Online communication can be a hard concept to conquer since it can cover a wide range of areas. In our ever-growing world of technology, online communication can include emails, instant chats, video calls, and even text messages. While this form of communication can be a quick and easy way to connect with someone and cut out the need to physically see them or pick up a telephone, it can cause misconceptions in the process.
It is difficult to convey feeling, emotions, or even tone in online communications, so the use of particular words is important to remember. People may not be able to hear the light-heartedness in your words or the stern demeanor in our office warnings. Additionally, online communication can often seem impersonal, since you do not have to take the time to contact someone and speak to them personally, which can cause people to feel insulted or even slighted. When possibly, speak to the person face to face or by phone in order to get your message and feelings across. Save the electronic communications for quick and impersonal messages.
Listen and Watch More
One of the best ways to monitor your behavior and the behavior of others is to learn to listen and watch more than you participate. When listening to others talk, focus on their words, not necessarily the person saying them. Don’t get caught up in one or two things they say and try to stay focused on the topic at hand. Even though you want to chime in, avoid making your own predictions and assumptions and continue to listen until the end. By watching and listening more, we are able to better to monitor the behaviors of other as well as our own since we are not focused mainly on ourselves. By focusing on the other person and their actions, we can develop better listening skills and catch more information than if we tried to assume it all ourselves.
This post is from July’s topic on Social Intelligence.