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Emotional Intelligence accounts for nearly 90% of what sets high performances apart from peers with similar technical skills and knowledge. The technical skills that helped secure your first promotion might not guarantee your next. You need to consider an emotional element if you aspire to be in a leadership role. Emotional intelligence helps you successfully coach teams, deliver feedback, manage stress and collaborate with others.
Emotional Intelligence is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions as well as recognize and influence the emotions of those around you. The most effective leaders are all alike in one crucial way. They all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence. It’s not that IQ and technical skills are irrelevant. They do matter entry level requirements for executive positions.
Emotional Intelligence is the strongest predietor of performance. Hiring managers have noticed that employees with high emotional intelligence are more likely to stay calm under pressure, respond to co-workers with empathy and resolve conflict effectively.
Emotional Intelligence is broken down into four core competencies namely:
SELF AWARENESS - is the core of everything. It describes your ability to not only understand your strengths and weaknesses, but to recognize your emotions and the effect they have on you and your team performance. Working with colleagues who are not self-aware can cut a team’s success in half leading to increased stress and decreased motivation. In order to bring out the best in others you need to bring out first in you. Easy way to assess your self awareness is by completing a 360 degree feedback, where you evaluate your performance and then match it up against the opinions of your peers, boss and direct reports. Through this process you will gain insights into your own behavior and discover how you are perceived in the organization. You recognize your own emotions and how they affect your thoughts and behavior. You know your strengths and weaknesses and have self confidence.
SELF MANAGEMENT - is the ability to maintain emotions in stressful situations, maintain a positive outlook despite setbacks. The reaction should be automatic. It is easier to make the transitions from reaction to response if you are in tune with your emotional intelligence. It’s important to remember to breathe, pause, collect yourself and do whatever it takes to manage your emotions so that you can more appropriately and intentionally respond to stress and adversity. You are able to control impulsive feelings and behavior, manage your emotions in healthy ways, take initiative, follow through on commitments and adapt to changing circumstances.
SOCIAL AWARENESS – It is to recognize others emotions and the dynamics in play within your organization. While it is important to understand and manage your own emotions, you also need to know how to read a room. Leaders who excel in social awareness practice empathy. It enables leaders to communicate and collaborate more effectively with peers as they strive to understand their colleague’s feelings and perspectives. Empathy ranks as the number one leadership skills which helps leaders in coaching, engaging others and decision making. Managers who show more empathy towards their direct reports are viewed as better performers by their boss. Through empathy you can better support your team and also improve your individual performance. You have empathy, you can understand the emotions, needs and concerns of other people, pick up on emotional cues, feel comfortable socially and recognize the power dynamics in a group or organization.
RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT – Is the ability to influence, coach and mentor others and resolve conflict effectively. It’s important to properly address issues as they arise. Every undressing conflict wastes company’s time in gossip and other unproductive activities, putting a drain on resources and morale. You need to have tough conversations if you want to keep your team happy. Relationship management is when you know how to develop and maintain good relations, communicate clearly, inspire and influence others, work well in a team and manage conflict.
CHARACTERISTICS OF EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
People with high emotional intelligence are very self aware and understand their emotions well and do not let their feelings rule them. They work on their strengths and weaknesses to perform better. Controlling emotions and impulses is self regulation. People who self regulate do not make impulsive and careless decisions. They think before they act. Some characteristics of self regulation are thoughtfulness, comfort and change, integrity and ability to say no. Second is empathy, an important element of emotional intelligence. It’s the ability to identify with and understand the wants, needs and viewpoints of those around you. Empathetic people are excellent at managing relationships, listening and relating to others. People with strong social skills are typically team players. They help others to develop and shine rather than focusing on their own success first. They are masters at building and maintaining relationships and can manage disputes as excellent communicators.
Emotional Intelligence is an awareness of your actions and feelings and how they affect those around you. It means you listen to their needs and wants; you value them and are able to identify with them on many different levels. The good news is that emotional intelligence can be learned and developed. Try and put yourself in place of others by being more open and accepting their perspectives and needs. Do not rush to any judgment before you know the facts. Humility can be a wonderful quality which does not mean you are shy or you lack confidence. Give others a chance to shine and do not worry about getting praise for yourself. Do a self-evaluation. Have the courage to look at yourself honestly; it can change your life. Stay calm and in control in difficult situations. It is highly valued in the business world. Do not react, become upset and blame others. Keep your emotions under control. Do not ignore and avoid the person if you have hurt their feelings. Apologize directly and take the responsibility. People do forgive and forget if you make an honest attempt to make things right.
Emotional Intelligence is just as important to professional success as technical ability. Organizations are increasingly using it when they hire and promote. People with high emotional intelligence are usually successful in most things they do, because they are the ones that others want in their team. They make others feel good and they go through life much more easily than people who are easily angered or upset. We all have different personalities, wants, needs and different ways of sharing our emotions. Navigating through all this takes tact and cleverness, especially if we have to succeed in life.
Although ‘regular’ intelligence is important to success in life, Emotional Intelligence is key to relating well to others and achieving your goals.