Social Thinking At Work
This 205-page book was written based on our clinical experience working with very high functioning adults who have social learning challenges. Another possible title for this book was, "Good Intentions Are Not Good Enough," given our observation that our clients have such good intentions and simply want to appreciated for what they are attempting to contribute (just like all of us)! In this book, we have explained the ideas and lessons we often review in our clinical sessions to help our professional adults learn about the social world cognitively since they have struggled to learn this intuitively.
Many of our adults who struggle socially don't identify their problems with diagnostic labels. We also find our students/clients learn from a stronger base when exploring their own social cognition/social learning abilities and challenges rather than exploring which label fits them best. For this reason, we have avoided referring to diagnostic labels in this book.
We have also found that as our clients age into adulthood, there are few constructive and detailed guides for how social emotional processing is refined in the adult world, particularly the workplace. While many of our clients are highly skilled employees, their relative weakness in building and sustaining relationships at work can limit their success.
Social functioning in the workplace is complicated for us all! Most adults continue to learn to develop better social coping strategies with age; our clients with social learning challenges are very capable of learning but need information about the social emotional relationship process presented in a more directed, stair stepped manner.
The title's from the book's chapters help to convey the scope of the information covered in the book. In each chapter we explore the issues in depth with specific ideas for the reader to explore.
Introduction: The Social Mind: It's Always on the Job, Even When You're Off the Job
- Chapter 1: Social Thinking: What Is It, and How Is It Different From Social Skills?
- Chapter 2: What Plays Into Good Communication Skills?
- Chapter 3: Emotions: The Uninvited Guest That Keeps Showing Up
- Chapter 4: Perspective Taking: Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking?
- Chapter 5: The Four Steps of Communication
- Chapter 6: The Core of Communication
- Chapter 7: Fitting In
- Chapter 8: Relating at Work
- Chapter 9: Social Technology: How It's Changing the Way We Communicate
- Chapter 10: Social Behavior Maps: Navigating the Social-Emotional World
- Chapter 11: Strategies: Tips and Pointers
Our final chapter provides points of exploration for the reader to develop better self-awareness of their own social functioning as well as tips to help them continue to learn new concepts and skills related to each of the previous chapters in the book.
The audience for this book is intended to be the person with social learning challenges. However, we also encourage people working in HR departments to avail themselves of this information. One of the greatest challenges in the workplace is developing strategies for all employees to address social emotional issues in an honest manner while also providing constructive ideas to help each of us to improve. There are few people who are truly adept at managing their own and other's thoughts and emotions, all of the time!
Through this book, we hope to encourage the learning and use of clear strategies to foster healthier social emotional relationships in the workplace, community and home.
About the Authors
Michelle Garcia Winner is a Congressional-award winning speech-language pathologist who specializes in treating individuals who are experiencing social and communication problems. She runs a clinic in San Jose, CA, has authored number books and speaks internationally on the Social Thinking treatment approach she developed. She serves on the panel of professional advisers of the Autism Society of America.
Pam Crooke is part of the clinical faculty at San Jose State University and senior therapist at the Social Thinking Center in San Jose, CA. Prior to joining Social Thinking, she conducted research published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders on the effectiveness of the Social Thinking Vocabulary in the teaching of students with high-functioning autism.
Authors: Michelle Garcia Winner,Pamela Crooke, PhD