Social Interactions. How they make us human. This has been a major theme in the book, "When They Call Younuts: Conversations About Anger, Disgaea, and Other Usual Yikes." I have often thought that social interactions are what give human beings meaning. That is, to interact means to pay attention to others, to listen, to try to understand.
The book maintains that humans have lived in social settings for million of years. It would be safe to say that they have not always been very nice people. But in all that time, they have managed to coexist in remarkably creative and social ways. In fact, social interaction is one of the things that define human civilization. The book maintains that all great works were produced by large numbers of creative people. Which suggests that individualism may not have been all that bad.
What's interesting about this line of thinking is that it goes against much current scholarship on the topic. Most people today would have some kind of professional opinion on the subject. Most people would also subscribe to the idea that there is a genetic component to behavioral differences. If people differ in behavior, then why not vary in social interaction?
There is a tension between social interaction theory and social norm theory. The social interaction theory suggests that we do not socialize as much as we should. Perhaps, we socialize less because it is harder. We are afraid of facing social interaction and we therefore avoid it. Alternatively, we might view social interaction in the same way as we view language. Since language is part of socialization, then we might expect our children to be the same.
The social norm theory suggests that we do socialize a lot more than we realize. We may actually be interacting with many more people than we recognize. We interact with friends, coworkers, neighbors, boss, minister, therapist, etc. When we interact with people, our social interaction patterns create those social interaction patterns and shape our character traits. It has been noted, for example, that most successful business leaders are extroverted but also socially friendly.
A social interaction theory proposes that people who are introverted and/or socially anxious are not likely to become successful business leaders. On the other hand, a person who is outgoing and/or who has high self-confidence is most likely to become a leader. This may not be a definitive answer or even necessarily relevant for every situation, but it does illustrate a point - especially for the business world.
Most business leaders, as well as members of other professions, have at one time or another participated in social interaction. Social interaction includes having conversations, meeting new people, making new friends, working together, and so forth. Therefore, the social interaction theory can be said to have a strong degree of validity. How then do we make changes and improve social interaction? This article offers some tips on social interaction that can be very helpful.
For starters, we need to get more people out into the world, and to participate in social settings. If we don't, we will only see people who are worried about being left out of a group, and who will shy away from participation in activities that they would enjoy. Inviting people to be a part of your social group, as well as the activities that you are involved in, will help create a better social climate. Of course, participation should never be done behind their back, as this will always create an insecure feeling and may cause someone to feel threatened.
A good strategy to implement is the "ability to communicate" portion of social interaction. When people can communicate with each other through eye contact, body language, and subtle hints, it greatly increases the chances for a positive outcome. If there are misunderstandings, it will be easier to resolve those as well. By understanding other people's ability to understand them, and their emotions, you can create better communication within your business.
Another great tip to use is to encourage interaction among the various members of your social network. For example, if you have a birthday party coming up, invite a few people over for lunch or dinner to celebrate it. It may sound counterproductive to invite a complete stranger over to celebrate your birthday, but by doing so, you are sure to end up with a much better experience than if you simply throw a party for yourself and your close friends. If the people that you invited knew a little bit about each other, they may be able to provide better service, have a better time, and get better results from their interaction with others.
Social interaction is one of the biggest keys to better business. By encouraging it, you can see incredible results from your business. Don't put it off; make it part of your daily routine. After all, by encouraging better social interaction in your business, you'll be able to get better results, grow your business faster, and get your clients and employees to work better for your business