An overview of the past three years has left many staffers with a heightened sense of uncertainty. Leaders now need to opt to fine-tune their skills to improve the holistic function within the workplace. The old way of thinking primarily focused on a person’s intellectual quotient (IQ), meaning that candidates were considered highly employable depending on the scalability of their IQ. That idea has significantly transformed in recent years, as more organizations realize it takes more than a high IQ for someone to be regarded as a good worker.
Organizations still strive to hire smart people, but it’s become critical that employees know how to navigate the office environment with all its peaks and valleys. In this sense, emotional intelligence (sometimes referred to as EI or EQ) may play a more critical factor in success than IQ. Emotional intelligence (EQ) has become the single biggest predictor of performance in the workplace and the strongest driver of leadership and personal excellence.
Emotional intelligence is widely recognized as a valuable skill that helps improve communication, management, problem-solving, and relationships within the workplace. It is also a skill that researchers believe can be improved with training and practice. As we navigate the world around us we become more attuned to our emotions thus, becoming the emotional compass that allows us to assess situations as they arise.
Emotional intelligence is typically broken down into four core competencies, sometimes also referred to as pillars;
The element of self-awareness involves the ability to recognize one’s own emotions. People with high self-awareness tend to pay close attention to how they’re feeling at any given moment. Understanding that their emotions impact how they choose to respond to certain situations. They know that making a sudden decision during a highly emotional moment might lead to negative consequences down the road. Self-awareness also involves noting what a person’s particular strengths and weaknesses are. Perhaps someone knows they struggle to communicate with others, making them aware of what needs to change.
Self-management is all about knowing how to make sound decisions regardless of how we feel. We all know how easy it can be to lose our composure in the moment and to behave thoughtfully and properly when we become overrun by negative emotions. Think of a time when you have experienced this. Was it easy to think or make a logical decision clearly? Probably not. When we become excessively anxious, our ability to judge our situations and the situations of others in a clear and objective way becomes obscured.
Social awareness involves understanding what is happening for others and using empathy to connect. Socially aware leaders are considerate of other people’s needs, concerns, perspectives, and emotions. They pick up non-verbal cues and interpret them, giving them the power to choose the appropriate response. Leaders who are aware of their impact on social situations modify their behavior to bring about the result they want. Knowing yourself is the precursor of authenticity. When you’re self-aware, you act and interact in an authentic way, so people relate to you.
Working well with others is a process that starts with social maturity and the ability to consider and understand what other individuals are feeling. We learn additional social/emotional skills once emotional awareness is in play. This will make our relationships more productive, fruitful, and fulfilling.
We must become aware of how we use nonverbal communication. It is difficult to resist sending nonverbal signals about what you are thinking and feeling to others. The many muscles in the face, especially those around the eyes, nose, mouth, and forehead, help us to express our own emotions wordlessly as well as read the emotional intent of other people. This plays a huge role in improving your relationships by recognizing the nonverbal messages you send to others.
To be effective, leaders must have a solid understanding of how their emotions and actions affect the people around them. The better a leader relates to and works with others, the more successful he or she will be. Take the time to work on self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. Working on these areas will help you excel in the future!