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Social Awareness is the Key

Social awareness is the most predictive of what kind of person one is and what type of coworker one will be. It is hard to assess during recruitment and we don't pay attention to it even during the probation period. This is why they say take people out for coffee and check how they behave.

People with high social awareness are more valuable than people with high GPAs or a degree. They always ask the question "Am I annoying someone right now?" and if the answer is yes, they make it right.

Here are some examples which you can ask during recruitment if you want to test

I would never hire these people so pay attention:

  • Playing music or watching videos on public transport without a headset or speaking loudly on the phone.

  • Grocery check out, they don't have their payment method in their hand prepared they wait until it comes to payment.

  • Those who take 700 years to order something while knowing there is a queue behind them.

  • Those who ask millions of questions from the metro station ticket office while people queue behind them.

  • Those who don't offer their seat to those who need it.

  • Those who don't help someone carry the luggage on the stairs when the person needs help.

  • Those who don't consider old people.

  • Those without their travel card prepared to pass through the metro gates and stop and start looking for it holding others up.

  • Those who are a pain in the ass with customer service assistants and need lots of attention.

  • People who don't hold doors for others are the absolute no to hire.

  • The ones who cannot read the room. Those who don't feel the temperature of the place. The manager who thinks his team loves him...

The list goes on but you get the jist of it, right? What is the problem with this type of people?

People with a lack of social awareness are very comfortable inconveniencing others and that's not the people you want to hire.

They will be okay to delay others at work, they will not consider others when making decisions, or take ages to decide something. They are normally slow to make decisions or think ahead. They are the ones who bring their smelly food to the office despite knowing we are all dying. They don't care and in many cases, they just cannot read the room.

They will be the slackers. Everyone is working hard and they go, ok I am going home see you tomorrow, instead of, let me help so we can all go home.

But most importantly, they are the managers and leaders who will not consider the consequences of their decisions and actions on their people.

Do not hire people who are comfortable inconveniencing others. Social awareness is so important yet nobody talks about it. We all have those colleagues we just look at thinking "Who raised you?"

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