Nowadays, IT companies are increasingly seeking out individuals with strong emotional intelligence (EI) as one of their most preferred soft skills. This is due to the realisation that personnel who possess a high level of EI possess more refined interpersonal abilities and the capacity to effectively handle difficult situations. According to Daniel Goleman’s book “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ”, EI is twice as vital as technical proficiency or Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and makes up 67% of the talents deemed necessary for outstanding performance in leaders.
A Definition of Emotional Intelligence
Having the ability to identify, assess, and control one’s own and other individuals’ emotional states is what is referred to as emotional intelligence. It is not enough to simply be aware of your own emotions; it is also necessary to recognise how they affect those around you. To successfully manage relationships and to make an impact on others, it is important to gain an understanding of how they think and feel.
Comprising Emotional Intelligence
American psychologist Daniel Goleman identified five factors that together make up emotional intelligence.
Self-Awareness: The ability to make decisions intuitively while also taking into account one’s feelings, abilities, limitations, wishes, principles, and ambitions, and the impact they have on oneself and other people.
Self-Regulation: This necessitates the ability to rein in or refocus disruptive emotions and impulses, as well as the flexibility to adjust to novel situations.
Motivation: This entails tapping into motivational forces, finding pleasure in learning, and sticking with a task while encountering resistance.
Empathy: Feelings of others should be taken into account whenever possible, but particularly while making choices.
Communication Abilities: managing connections to influence behaviour change.
Improving Your EQ: Strategies for Personal Growth
It is evident that some people display an inclination towards emotional intelligence from a young age; however, other individuals may find it difficult to develop this skill. Fortunately, emotional intelligence is a skill that can be acquired and improved steadily through various techniques. These techniques include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Show genuine curiosity for other people: Empathy and showing genuine interest in the lives and experiences of others is the foundation of emotional intelligence (EQ). It is important to consistently try to adopt the perspective of others and better understand the motivations behind their actions and decisions. If you want to know how to create a positive working environment for your colleagues, one strategy is to take the time to learn what brings them joy and contentment. Demonstrating your care for others is also conveyed when you take the time to pay close attention to their words and body language, allowing you to pick up on the subtle details of what they are saying and not saying.
- Please don’t steal the spotlight from others: Team members who find themselves taking too much of the credit for the success of a team should remember that this can create animosity among their colleagues. It is important to take pride in your own accomplishments, but also to be aware of when it is necessary to step aside and help others succeed. Doing so can help build strong relationships with your coworkers and ensure that everyone feels appreciated for their contributions.
- Appreciate Opinions: It is essential to be able to accept feedback constructively if you wish to experience professional success. Rather than allowing yourself to take criticism personally, it is important to recognise that feedback is intended to provide valuable insight and should be regarded as such. Furthermore, it is important to ensure that your colleagues, friends, and those you manage feel comfortable in providing you with direct, honest feedback, even when the message may not be pleasant.
- Take Stock of yourself: By engaging in introspection and reflecting on your own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) through a basic analysis, you can gain valuable insight into how to improve your performance in the workplace. Doing so can help you to avoid circumstances which make you feel uncomfortable, and give you the ability to put yourself in challenging situations while responding in a more constructive manner. Additionally, being aware of your weaknesses and potential dangers can help you to better equip yourself to handle the emotions of others, as having a strong sense of your own emotional intelligence will enable you to better regulate your own. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you conduct a SWOT analysis to gain a better understanding of your advantages and disadvantages, and to help you strengthen yourself against potential threats.
- It’s important to congratulate someone in a sincere way. If you value your colleagues, you will become attuned to the most suitable ways to express your appreciation for them in appropriate circumstances. As a broad principle, people tend to react positively to compliments, and they will have a higher opinion of you if they think you truly meant what you said.
- The key is to maintain objectivity: Due to the wide range of educational experiences, financial backgrounds, and religious beliefs, it is likely that not everyone will have the same opinion as you. As such, it is important to respect the views of others, even if you fundamentally disagree. It may be beneficial to attempt to convince them of your point of view with well-thought-out arguments and an empathetic tone. Although we should strive to make our case with love, we should not be so forgiving of those who subscribe to an ineffective and damaging mindset when it comes to interpersonal relationships. Lastly, do not let your current level of knowledge stop you from learning and expanding your horizons.
In conclusion, it is important to always take into consideration the small details, as well as the attitudes, feelings, likes and opinions of those around you. Be aware that you may not always win a disagreement and be willing to apologise if you unintentionally offend someone. I am confident that these strategies will help to enhance your interpersonal interactions and set you on the path to achieving professional success.