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Other awareness, also known as social awareness, refers to the ability to understand and empathize with other people’s emotions, perspectives, and needs. It involves being able to read social cues, show empathy, and build positive relationships. Other awareness is an important component of emotional intelligence, as it allows individuals to navigate social situations and work effectively with others.

An example of other awareness is when you notice that a coworker seems upset and you ask if they are okay. By recognizing the coworker's emotional state and showing concern, you can build trust and strengthen the relationship. This can also help the coworker feel supported and valued, which can contribute to a more positive work environment.

Another example of other awareness is when you take the time to understand and appreciate a friend’s perspective. You might ask questions to clarify their point of view, acknowledge their feelings, and work collaboratively to find a solution that works for both of you. By showing empathy and respect for the friend’s perspective, you can build stronger relationships and achieve better outcomes.

Other awareness is an important component of emotional intelligence and effective communication. By understanding and empathizing with others' emotions and perspectives, you can build stronger relationships and achieve greater success in your personal and professional lives.

Becoming better at other awareness involves developing a set of skills and strategies to understand and empathize with others' emotions, perspectives, and needs. Here are some techniques that can be helpful, and note the similarities between this and self-awareness, and how this is more involved:

  • Active listening: Paying attention to verbal and nonverbal cues and asking clarifying questions can help you better understand others' perspectives and feelings.

  • Perspective-taking: Trying to put yourself in others' shoes and see things from their perspective to help build empathy and understanding.

  • Empathy: Acknowledging others' feelings and showing concern and support can help build trust and positive relationships.

  • Cultural competence: Being aware of and respectful of differences in cultural background, beliefs, and values can help individuals navigate diverse social environments.

  • Conflict resolution: Learning effective strategies for resolving conflicts, such as compromising and collaborating.

  • Mindfulness: Practicing mindfulness can help you become more aware of your own emotions and reactions, which can in turn help them better understand others' emotions and perspectives.

Overall, becoming better at other awareness involves a combination of skill development and self-awareness. By practicing these techniques regularly, you can develop greater emotional intelligence and build stronger relationships with others. As with self-awareness, non-judgemental observation is a key skill here.


During the next social interaction you have, try to monitor both yourself and the other person. Observe how you feel and what you think - then watch and try to understand how the other person feels and what they think by listening and being present. The action is harder than it sounds - it’s passive, but in addition to having the interaction with them, you are also monitoring and observing both yourself and the other person. After the interaction, look inwards and reflect on how the experience of doing both was.


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