What determines a good professional? Most of us will say qualities such as dedication, hard work, smart work, punctuality, multi-tasking skills, discipline etc. But that’s not enough in today’s world. Most of the jobs now require team-work, coordination at multiple levels, and not a just individual contribution. Hence, a very important quality for seeking excellence as an employee is having superlative Emotional Intelligence.
According to the World Economic Forum, Emotional Intelligence will be one of the top job skills in 2020.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Yale psychologists John D. Mayer and Peter Salovey coined the term Emotional Intelligence in 1990. Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the ability of the mind to process emotional information most effectively. It is the awareness that you as an employee have about our own needs and the needs of others you work with. Researchers say that employees with high Emotional Intelligence are able to drive better results, possess better leadership skills, handle and motivate team-members with ease, understand client needs deeply, communicates smartly and delivers desired output. In a nutshell, Emotional Intelligence enhances your people skills and aids improved coordination with employees, colleagues, business associates, senior management, vendors, customers etc.
Source: University of Maryland & Robert H. Smith School of business (2011)
The five pillars of Emotional Intelligence are:
- Emotional Awareness
This is all about being aware of your emotions and triggers which impact your mental health and performance. An emotionally intelligent person is not only aware of the triggers and his thought process but also analyses it rationally, looks at it objectively and reacts in the most responsible and constructive way. Something that a company wants in all its employees, especially those at leadership levels.
As working professionals your life is going to be peppered by tight deadlines, strict supervision, erring subordinates, demanding bosses, interfering colleagues and so on. It is very difficult to keep emotions in check and not let it get the better of you. But being emotionally intelligent, you know where to draw the line, how not to react on impulse and communicate your concerns in a way that is better understood by all. At the same time, you make sure your performance is unaffected by these incidents.
Who doesn’t need highly motivated employees in the workplace? Employers spend a huge amount of money on employee training and re-skilling these days, but what’s the point if the employee is not self-motivated? Money, designation and career growth are superficial motivators. An emotionally intelligent person recognises this and derives motivation from work and competes with himself to excel in his performance. A strong face against disappointment and failure is also a trait of an Emotionally Intelligent employee.
Do you pressurize your team members to achieve numbers without addressing their concerns? Do you let down your Team Leader when he needs your support the most? If yes, then you lack empathy. The most important trait of a good team player is to view things from the perspective of others and solve each other’s problem that comes in the way of work. As an employee with strong Emotional Intelligence, empathy is an important quality that you would have mastered.
- People Skills
Building good rapport with your team members and associates, building trust and staying away from gossipmongers and other energy sappers at work are all about people skills. Being Emotionally Intelligent means making intelligent choices. Yes, you cannot choose your bosses, clients or team members, but you can surely choose how to build your relationship with them so that you can get the best out of each other.
Did you know there is also a relation between high Emotional Intelligence and a higher salary? Human Resource Managers across the globe believe that employees with good EI can negotiate a better salary because they know the most opportune time to talk about it, how to put forth their case appropriately, and also how to take any negative answer in stride.
A research by the Carnegie Institute of Technology revealed that 85% of a company’s financial success was due to skills in “human engineering”, personality, and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. On the other hand, only 15% was due to technical ability.
We know that “why” Emotional Intelligence is important, but very few of us know “how” it is developed. One very important tool to develop Emotional Intelligence is Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). NLP offers tools, concepts, models and techniques that help one to develop a mindset with Emotional Intelligence. NLP helps one to understand our emotions as it is, be comfortable with them, learn from them and gradually transform the emotions to a more positive state.
Invest in yourself and scale new highs in career
While the world is going gaga over Artificial Intelligence, it’s time for some introspection and taking a hard look at yourself. Job skills can be acquired quickly, but a life skill like developing Emotional Intelligence takes a good amount of time. This is a skill that once acquired cannot be dropped. While Intelligence Quotient (IQ) may test the knowledge or skills you have in your chosen career field, but Emotional Intelligence (EI) tests your ability to manage your emotions at a workplace and establish relations with others. Choose your priority wisely and lead a productive life!