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Social Thinking: Who Has It, What It Does

abstract:We've all met people who just can't seem to get along socially - be that an awkwardness in the workplace, inappropriate behavior in public or social settings or people who have given up interacting and become loners. A new book by Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke titled, Social Thinking At Work: Why Should I Care? (North River Press, June 2011) is out that helps to explain how we develop social skills and why they're so important to personal and professional success. Turns out the term was coined by the author(s) over a decade ago and in the ensuing space of time they've gone on to become thought leaders on the topic, giving lectures and winning awards. Their work starts with youth and carries on up to teens and adults.

" Social thinking is a term for social cognition. Social thinking is required prior to the development of social skills. Successful social thinkers consider the points of view, emotions, thoughts, beliefs, prior knowledge and intentions of others (this is often called perspective-taking - considering the perspectives of others). This is for most of us an intuitive process. We can determine the meanings behind the messages communicated by others and how to respond to them within milliseconds to three seconds! Social thinking occurs everywhere, when we talk, share space, walk down the street, even when we read a novel and relate to our pets. It is an intelligence that integrates information across home, work and community settings - something we usually take for granted!"

You don't need to have Aspberger's Syndrome or autism to be interested in this book. It turns out, social behavior has a spectrum: some of us are better at this than others. Sounds like a useful resource to leave laying around the office coffee room, if not suggested reading in workplace orientations. Check out their website and join their Facebook page.


June 15, 2011



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