Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the new yardstick for future jobs marketability. This is the capacity of individuals to recognise their own, and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior and to manage and adjust emotions to adapt environments or achieve one’s goals.
EI defies the belief that superior intellectual ability and technical knowledge will get you the jobs you want in life. Rather, EI focuses on personal attributes such as initiative, awareness, adaptability and persuasiveness, traits savvy employers look out for in prospective employees.
Whatever job description, or chosen career path, you will constantly be scrutinised through these emotional intelligence lenses. Understanding how to cultivate these capabilities is critical for future success. Understanding intellectual and emotional capability nuances will guarantee any future employee’s success.
University of Harvard Professor David McClelland argues, ‘academic aptitude, school grades, and advanced credentials’ are not good predictors of job performance successes or failures. Instead, a set of personal traits or habits leads to effective, superior job performance. These traits add economic value to the efforts of a person on the job, he adds.
5 Core Areas of Emotional Intelligence
There are five core emotional intelligence areas, namely self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, internal motivation and social skills. These components allow us to perceive emotion, access and generate it so as to assist with thought, which leads to the understanding of emotions and emotional knowledge. In all that motion, we need to be able to regulate emotions to promote intellectual growth.
Self-awareness is the foundation for personal growth and success. Developing an emotional self-awareness gives individual control of their emotions, limiting the scope of how much emotion control them.
Self-awareness means understanding feelings associated with emotions, and knowing what course of action to take for the desired outcome. This type of self-awareness makes it impossible for emotions to control our actions or reactions as the case may be.
Self-awareness gives the individual control to choose their responses as opposed to being reactive to emotions. Emotional self-awareness can be developed by recognizing areas that need strengthening. This is achieved by attempting to rate one’s strengths, getting feedback from others on those areas.
Self-awareness acts as the moral campus for our value systems, ethical behaviour patterns, belief systems and cultura,l moral fiber. This provides the grid in which we operate as human beings. We are potentially guided by this emotional intelligence radar system in our lives.
Self-regulation is the ability of manage the curved balls that life throws at us. This implies that we have choices as to how we express our feelings, both bad and good emotions. Anger can be an intense form of motivation especially if it comes with the urge to change the status quo. Shared sadness can knit people closer together.
Regulating emotional intelligence is an act that allows individuals to choose impulses, which invariably leads to successful lifestyles. In order to master the art of emotional self-regulation, be aware of your emotions and how you react to them. Jot down responses to the situations and embark to master them and improve on them.
Always work out the constructive and positives out of every criticism. This helps to focus on the positive side of emotions. Replace negative emotions with positive ones and focus on embedding the positive emotions in the psychic.
Empathy is being in other people’s shoes as they experience moments of emotions, very different from compassion. This is understanding other people’s emotional makeup. This skill entails treating people, according to how they react to their emotions.
Top performers understand and know how to be empathic to others. Having empathy is almost a precursor for managing successful teams or organisations. Leaders gain the respect of their follow when they show them empathy.
To cultivate this competency, put yourself in someone else’s position. Experience the emotions and feelings of others.
It’s easy to support your point of view. Take time to look into other people’s perspective. Cultivate the ability to read body language, the unspoken word of emotions. Address these reactions accordingly by giving others the opportunity to express themselves.
Social skills are the act of managing relationships and building networks. Business growth nowadays depends on referrals. Referrals grow from networks and relationships established over time. The trademark of social skill is maintaining effective change management, expertise building, and leadership.
Leaders who are proficient in social skills are good at managing and resolving a conflict between a cross-functional set of work dealings. They are normally very good communicators and inspire the loyalty of others. Social-skills competent leaders persuade and lead their teams in negotiations and conflict resolutions maneuvers.
They always seek out to maximise cooperation and teamwork in the space that they operate in. This skill is critical when managing change in an organisation. People usually change. They normally hate to confront unknowns and they usually want to bask in known territories. Change managers with excellent social skills, manage Organisational change very well.
Internal Motivation is the inner vision of what is important in life. This is the motivation that is beyond status or gain of whatever form. This is the inner joy of doing what somebody loves to do. Top performers exhibit this competency through sheer drive derived from the joy of performing the task.
The urge to want to learn a new skill, the adrenaline rush that comes with being immersed in an activity is the hallmarks of the internal motivation at work. An organisation will exhibit a sheer determination to succeed despite mounting pressure of to fail.
Top performers will strive to go the whole nine yards to accomplish the task at hand. They get their thrill from the desired outcomes. Top performers persist in the face of bleak forecasts because they understand that change is the only constant in life.
Science of Management
The ability to make everyone on a team, love what they do and work for each other is at the heart of team building and team leadership. Team achievement is a shared sense of competitive drive, strong social bond and shared vision.
Leaders that usually achieve these lofty management heights are very high on emotional intelligence. They are the type of leaders that have mastered these set of soft skills and are utilising them to achieve desired outcomes.
The key to the success of these leaders is their ability to inspire, influence, and develop others while successfully avoiding and/or managing conflict. It is very essential that leaders possess these soft skills to effectively handle workplace issues while avoiding conflict.