Why You Need the Power of Emotional Intelligence to Succeed
understanding and accommodating emotions of others will make you smarter and stronger
Read Time: 3 Mins
Humans are social animals. We’re wired to feel and express, unlike other mammals who are only driven by ‘fight or flight’. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be hungry to congregate, exchange ideas or find a sense of belonging to a community.
A varying degree of emotional intelligence is ingrained within us.
This intelligence (also known as Emotional Quotient or EQ) has become the highest performance indicator for exponential job performance and career success. The rigid corporate world which favors technical expertise or years of service is becoming more fluid.
What is emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and manage your own emotions and those of others to guide your thinking and behaviour to a positive outcome.
Why you won’t succeed without EQ
Your techie heart may be arguing rational thinking and technical knowledge is all you’ll ever need to get that promotion or bonus. But this research from the Case Western Reserve University suggests there's more to it. Emotional intelligence, not IQ or personality, predicted the effectiveness of engineers at a multinational manufacturing company with success.
Moreover, 85% of business professionals don’t think they’re respected or valued by their employers, according to a TalentSmart research. That's a huge majority!
Almost every job involves human interaction and navigating it with interpersonal skills. You may be an introvert, shy or don't want to invest yourself emotionally in the workplace. To make it worse, we’re getting so high on building superficial connections thanks to the Internet that we end up skipping the crucial step to becoming emotionally intelligent.
No one enjoys mixing personal with professional. But if you want to really succeed at your job, understanding and accommodating emotions of others will make you smarter and stronger.
The thing is, anyone can learn to improve their EQ by acknowledging its value. That’s all! We all think, act and react differently. If you interact keeping this fact in mind, you’ll find EQ to be a powerful asset.
The four pillars to lead an emotionally intelligent life
In the words of Travis Bradberry, the award-winning author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 – emotional intelligence is the balance between rational and emotional brain.
There are four key pillars to improving your EQ level. Once you start becoming emotionally aware, these pillars will inspire empathy, intrinsic motivation and passion for personal growth in you.
Self-awareness: Understanding your emotions, the triggers which cause them, and how you react because of them.
Self-regulation: Utilizing your emotions consciously to drive positive and productive behaviour changes around you.
Social awareness: Recognizing emotions of others around you, meaning what they feel and think.
Relationship management: Using the awareness of your emotions and those of others to direct better encounters.
Before you can start to look inward to create an optimistic external environment, do an EQ assessment test to measure your current level and draw a starting line.
Once you know where you stand, you can start to feed the brain neuroplasticity with a few simple practices such as:
- Listening wholeheartedly to a conversation
- Recognizing everyone comes from a distinct background
- Taking a small tour around the office
- Being involved in the moment
- Understanding the reasons behind team members’ decisions or objections
- Appreciating the efforts of your peers
- Acknowledging others’ unique perspective
- Encouraging open communication with colleagues
You may use your cognitive skills or IQ to land at an established tech firm. But these threshold competencies won’t measure up against your peers with a similar skill set and expertise.
Each one of us sees the world from a particular point of view, with a subjective mind full of emotions and experiences. Yet most of our adult life is dictated by the objective system.
What will help you crush that rigid objective mountain is developing your people skills and the capability to make them part of your identity in the workplace.
Sphoorti Bhandare is a PR consultant with a heart of a digital nomad. Sphoorti studied Electronics (B.Tech.) and pursued Masters in Public Relations in New York. A Bollywood dancer by nature, Sphoorti keeps busy by finding new PR trends, learning about social media tools and planning her next travel destination. She’s usually found mastering Zumba, making whipped coffee and hopping from one country to another.