There are so many skills you need to learn and master in the corporate world. Today I want to highlight a skill which I view as one of the most important in order to improve your work environment and one which I actively work on.
There’s a saying that everyone goes by where I work: Relationships are Currency.
If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.
Emotional intelligence is a great way to develop lasting and meaningful relationships that can in turn help you with your career.
So how do we define emotional intelligence?
Emotional Intelligence n.
“Skill in perceiving, understanding, and managing emotions and feelings.” – Dictionary.com
“Emotional intelligence is a way of recognizing, understanding, and choosing how we think, feel, and act. It shapes our interactions with others and our understanding of ourselves. It defines how and what we learn; it allows us to set priorities; it determines the majority of our daily actions. Research suggests it is responsible for as much as 80 percent of the “success” in our lives. ” -J. Freedman
Emotional Intelligence consists of five components:
- Self Awareness
The ability to recognize and understand your own emotions and the effect of your actions on your own and other people’s emotions. When you master self-awareness in the workplace you are able to know and work on your strengths and weaknesses while using them to your further advance your career.
Self-regulation is literally the ability to regulate your own emotions. Now this doesn’t mean you need to shove down all your emotions and hide them away. Self-regulation is more about knowing when and how to express your emotions appropriately. Right place and Right time. In the workplace self-regulation is important in helping you adapt well to change and conflict.
Empathy is being able to understand and share the feelings of others. It is shown by listening attentively to others and being open to their feelings. Empathy will come off in the way you respond to people and in turn they will respond by displaying empathy towards you. It is a great way to really connect with your colleagues in a meaningful way and make them feel valuable. Being empathetic allows you to understand people and the reasons behind their behaviour and you will be better suited to helping them improve (great leadership traits).
- Social Skills
Needless to say social skills are important for developing relationships with the people around you. The better your social skills are, the more relationships you are able to grow around you. Social skills include listening skills and verbal communication skills.
One thing I love about my leader is that he often asks us, What Motivates You?
It is very easy and common to be motivated by external factors like money, power, recognition etc. however the ability to be motivated by internal factors is one important factor of emotional intelligence. Self-motivation means you’ll always try to better yourself regardless of external factors. Being self motivated also means that you have a high need for achievement.
If we lack emotional intelligence, whenever stress rises the human brain switches to autopilot and has an inherent tendency to do more of the same, only harder. Which, more often than not, is precisely the wrong approach in today’s world.
-Robert K. Cooper
I’ve attached this great infographic which highlights the value of emotional intelligence in the workplace: