Emotional Intelligence & Your Career

I really like business psychology and specifically; how our understanding of it can help us develop individually in the workplace and on a personal level. Yesterday, I attended a conference at General Assembly about Emotional Intelligence so I decided to write about this interesting topic, applying it to my own workplace.

Emotional intelligence (EQ) involves self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. In 1990, psychologists Peter Salovey and John Mayer wrote an article on Emotional Intelligence defining it 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.” This concept was popularised by Daniel Goleman’s very successful books on the topic.

Emotional intelligence is made up of four core skills that sit under two primary competencies: personal competence and social competence.

When we interview candidates, we go through a number of active thought processes. Without realising it, we are measuring their responses, behaviours and how well they put themselves across. What we are really doing is assessing emotional intelligence – that quality, honesty and ability to build rapport often make applications stand out and is the key to becoming the type of employee who ultimately, helps clients improve staff retention and keep costs down.

Success is a result of many factors which include; Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence. Intelligence (IQ) is your ability to learn, and it’s the same at age 15 as it is at age 50. Emotional intelligence (EQ), on the other hand, is a flexible set of skills that can be acquired and improved with practice. Both IQ and EQ certainly play roles in influencing your overall success, as well as things such as health, wellness, and happiness. The maximum benefit may lie in learning to improve skills in multiple areas. In addition to strengthening certain cognitive abilities such as your memory and mental focus, you can also acquire new social and emotional skills that will serve you well in many different areas of life.

Why is EQ so important at work?

1)    Healthier professional relationships

Understanding what makes other people tick, and developing positive and harmonious working relationships, is a large part of Emotional Intelligence. Improving your EQ will enable you to interact and communicate with others more effectively and enhance your professional relationships.

2)    Improve personal effectiveness

EQ is increasingly being regarded as a major key in personal success, and by some, as being more important than IQ. Being able to manage yourself and others successfully is often a crucial factor in success.

3)    Improved thinking skills

EQ can help you to gain new perspectives on old difficulties, therefore improving your problem solving and decision making abilities. It can also help with developing your strategic thinking capability and your ability to motivate and inspire your team.

4)    Better self-management  

EQ gives you the tools to become more self-aware of your emotions and prepares you with the strategies to use your emotions effectively.

5)    Improved leadership capability

Leaders with high levels of emotional intelligence have an advantage. EQ can help you to develop empathy and understanding about other people and this is crucial in the ability to inspire, influence, motivate and persuade.

We ended the workshop with Viktor E Frankl inspirational quote:

“The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.”
― Viktor E. Frankl

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