Organisations are now beginning to realise the advantages of high Emotional Intelligence of their workforce. The relevance is especially true in the domains of sales, teams, and leadership. Some international enterprises have even recruiting coaches to teach Emotional Intelligence to their employees.
So what exactly is Emotional Intelligence? And why it is emerging as a vital attribute in the professional world?
Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer, two leading researchers on emotional intelligence have defined EI in their 1990 article as, “the subset of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions.”
Emotional Intelligence is the driving force behind:
Hiring good people
More centered individuals who are in turn more productive
Motivation and perseverance
Guiding principles for the business’ mission and vision
Following are of EI criteria that work powerfully we work our way through each level of EI:
- Emotional Awareness – the aptitude to be attentive, to be aware of our emotional conditions, to identify our emotions and frame our emotional responses on our personal values.
- Emotional Management – the capability to be open and adjustable towards change, to be in control of ourselves and to stay constantly motivated and confident.
- Emotional Relating – the skill to intensely bond with others at workplace, manage our differences with co-workers, be self-assured in your relationships and socially skilled.
- Emotional Enlightenment – the aptitude to take lessons from our emotional experiences, have high self-esteem and positive mindset.
So, how do we get there?
Start with Emotional Awareness. Find out how to tune in more to what we’re feeling and also how we respond to different situations. A great way is to make a list of the personal values and then be deliberate to consciously decide our emotional reactions to things.
Once done we can apply this understanding to how we do business, and we’ll soon notice changes in ourselves and how we react to and handle different situations. To begin with simply be a silent observer; with practice, we will evolve and grow with each of EI levels to the final stage of Emotional Intelligence.
It’s more important that we learn to use our emotions intentionally at work, than merely control them. And with the ability to use emotions rightly, both women and men can have an advantage at work-space.
“Do our emotions assist us do better in our work-life?” They do! Emotional Intelligence is one of the most vital professional and leadership possessions we can build up. However, EI is not as “emotional” as many may think. Rather, it’s the fine emotional clues that give us the “intelligence” to decipher a complicated interpersonal circumstance, gauge a negotiating colleague and stimulate demanding employees.
Following are seven powerful tips to help us boost our emotional intelligence –
Incorporating more interactions into our day is a very effective way to boost our emotional intelligence. Add more and more small-talk to the routine; for instance, instead of listening to music, or staying glued to social media while going to work, strike actual exchanges with the barista at the coffee shop or the person we meet while walking by the park every day. According to Dr. Julie Gurner, a business consultant with a doctorate in psychology, “Small, brief social interactions outside our office helps us to connect better with others inside our office.”
Keeping a Journal
Journaling regularly helps immensely to identify our emotions. According to Dr. Danielle Harlan, the founder and CEO of the Center for Advancing Leadership and Human Potential with a doctorate in political science and a master’s degree in education, “Part of being emotionally intelligent involves knowing what you are feeling at any particular point in time. Journaling (especially after emotionally charged interactions) helps people to better understand what they were feeling and to recognize patterns of behavior in themselves and others.”
Nothing connects us better with other than kindness and connecting with people incredibly expands our EI. Many EI coaches lay emphasis on the significance of demonstrating empathy and selflessness throughout the day.
When we are truly conscious and aware only then we can make out and understand others’ emotions. Experts recommend studying others’ body language and mood swings or shifts in energy level. If a colleague who is at all times lively and occupied, but appears strangely withdrawn – he/she is actually showing a mood change which could be because of a recent incident. As a perceptive co-worker, our communication with him/her must alter.
Take a Breather
We do send emails when angry and send them without assessing the repercussions – only to realise it was not a good idea. So it is always better to wait for a day before shooting a retort to the demanding email. Meanwhile we may try to exercise emotional reframing – take a walk or deep breaths, collect our emotions, or find other ways to retune until we feel ready to re-engage in an insightful and unbiased manner. Besides, making assumptions before assembling the necessary facts is foolish and so is taking others’ reactions personally. Instead, we must try hard to keep our mind clear from the muddle of worries that should not be there and are not useful.
We can also calm ourselves down by engaging in something that demands logical-analytical skills, such as evaluating a business article. These apparently haphazard activities actually pushes our immediate focus out of the ‘emotional’ area and put it into the logical area of our mind which enables us to make rational judgments.
Being a good listener when others are struggling rather than an opinionated know-all enables others to tackle with their troubles totally on their own and reach the correct solution. Anyone arriving at a solution individually will be more enthused to follow it and more involved than if we are always ready to offer them with a handy solution.
How does understanding EI help us in our professional life? Here’s a short list:
Build win-win relationships
Motivate yourself and others
Communicate more effectively
Give and receive constructive feedback
Handle difficult situations and people
Armed with enough emotional strength and firmly honed EI skills, we can phenomenally shift the paradigm in business. With a little bit of self-journeying and taking the regular emotional exercises, we can soon make this a reality.