If social cognition (from Daniel Goleman’s ‘Social Intelligence’) is about having an inate understanding about the etiquette that surrounds social activities and interactions, and if it is important for a business to understand that etiquette as I demonstrated in the HabitatUK case study; then it follows that it is of high importance within a mentoring relationship.
Social cognition, differs from other social intelligence skills (such as empathy and listening) because it is about applying ones understanding of what is ‘right’ or correct in any given situation and how it may be different in another, and then being able to switch easily between the two. An example of this might be learning that a mentee might find it difficult to talk about a particular, but very important subject because it is emotionally charged and then finding a way to overcome the barrier through another mechanism or subject area.
This can be hard to envisage when written down and I’ve been trying to find a way to demonstrate it effectively through video and I struck lucky on one of the Mega Man videos. In the video Proto Man cleverly recognises that the underlying issue is that Mega Man doesn’t have any friends ….!