Emotional Intelligence - The Missing Link
According to Wikipedia, Emotional intelligence (EI) is the capability of individuals to recognize their own and other people’s emotions, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, and manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to environments or achieve one's goal(s).
Although the term first appeared in a 1964 paper by Michael Beldoch, it gained popularity in the 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence — Why it can matter more than IQ written by the author, psychologist, and science journalist Daniel Goleman
Stated in the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report emotional intelligence will be one of the top 10 job skills in 2020. Every workplace is comprised of people with different strengths, personalities and emotions, which can greatly affect the way they work. According to Bisk at the University of Florida, a lack of Emotional Intelligence can be detrimental to you and disrupt your career in a number of ways:
- Insensitivity: People who are insensitive are often perceived to be uncaring. Their co-workers are less likely to want to work with them or offer help. If you’re insensitive, you may not make a good leader, and you are less likely to be promoted.
- Arrogance: Arrogant people can sometimes seem to think they know it all and that no one can teach them anything. Arrogance is not a quality that employers seek.
- Volatility: Tapping into the emotions you feel is good; however, acting out in anger can derail your career. Volatile people can cause dysfunction in teams, upset co-workers and doom projects and initiatives to failure.
- Rigidity: If you are inflexible in your thinking and approach, or believe that your way is the only way, you’re not a team player. In today’s professional environment, being a team player is absolutely necessary.
- Selfishness: If your agenda is the only one that matters, you could be perceived as being selfish. Being professional means collaborating with others and aiming for a win-win situation whenever possible.
The business world is always changing and emotions are becoming a much more important aspect of working relationships. Having emotional intelligence increases your chances of being more accepted on teams and considered for leadership positions. It can also set you apart from the competition when seeking a new position or promotion.
If you'd like to make your emotions work for you, here are 10 tips you can practice:
- Think about your feelings
Emotional Intelligence works best when you ask yourself the right questions like "What is my current mood, and how might that influence my decisions today?" or "What are my strengths and weaknesses?" This is one way to begin building self-awareness, which will yield valuable insights that can be used to your advantage
- Learn from others
When listening to others, don't focus on right or wrong; rather, work to understand how perceptions differ. This includes learning to take negative feedback, which can expose blind spots and lead to self-improvement
- Practice pausing
A ‘pause’ is simply taking a moment to stop and think before you act or speak. (But beware: While easy in theory, it's difficult to practice.) Don't expect perfection. The pause if practiced consistently can actually spare you from embarrassment and can save many relationships
- Be empathetic
Instead of judging or labeling others, work hard to see things through their eyes. Ask questions like, "Why does this person feel this way?" and "What's going on behind the scenes?" Do this, and you will enjoy a clearer understanding of the world around you, and build deeper, more connected relationships.
- Praise others
By focusing on the good in others, and then telling them exactly what you appreciate about them, you inspire others to be the best version of themselves.
- Learn how to apologize
"I'm sorry" can be the two most difficult words to say. But they can also be the most powerful. Acknowledge your mistakes and apologize when appropriate, and you'll develop qualities like humility and authenticity, naturally drawing others to you.
- To err is human, to forgive is divine
Refusing to forgive is like leaving a knife in a wound--you never give yourself the chance to heal. Instead of hanging on to resentment while the offending party moves on with his or her life, forgiving gives you the chance to move on, too.
- Re-evaluate relationships over time
Refuse the temptation to judge others too quickly, without considering context and extenuating circumstances. Remember that we all have bad days and sometimes even a bad year. Instead, make it a practice to consistently and honestly re-evaluate your relationships, and you'll be sure to get the most out of them.
- Control your thoughts
When you experience a negative situation, you may not have much control over your feelings. But by focusing on your thoughts, you can control your reaction to those feelings. When you focus on your thinking, you resist becoming a slave to your emotions. Instead, you acknowledge those feelings and can then move forward in a way that's in harmony with your goals and values.
- Being emotionally intelligent requires ongoing practice
Emotional intelligence isn't about achieving perfection, or reaching a certain level of Emotional Intelligence. It's about continuous learning and growth, once you have mastered these tips you will still make mistakes but it will be how you handle your mistakes that will determine how truly emotionally intelligent you are.
Jennifer Grant International can help you and your team to perfect your emotional intelligence skills. Call us today to book a consult, workshop, seminar or lecture.