Emotional Intelligence: A Pillar to Professional Success

90% of leaders have it.

Mar 16, 2018

Emotional Intelligence, that both trained and intuitive ability to understand your own emotions, as well as others, and then make decisions and manage your behavior accordingly is an essential step toward professional success. It is comprised of four primary tenets:

·         Self-awareness: An ability to honestly recognize your strengths - and limitations – and your correlating emotions at any given moment. It’s using your strengths to guide others and considering your weaknesses as an opportunity to grow and learn. An honest evaluation and recognition of your emotions, while listening to the non-verbal cues of people around you, enables you to act and react in confident, flexible, growth-inspiring ways. 

Becoming more self-aware: Keep an open mind and be mindful of both your strengths and weaknesses. Learn your emotional triggers and take steps to build self-discipline so you can control your responses. Stay focused on your tasks and learn to set personal boundaries.

  •  Self-management: Goes a step beyond recognizing your emotions. It’s the ability to monitor your emotions, and then respond to them in appropriate and positive ways. Essential elements include maintaining a healthy control over impulses and quick responses, fostering a positive - yet realistic vision, stress management, and intentional choices for transparent integrity.

Developing your self-management skills: Practice counting to ten before responding to comments, signals, events, etc. Be mindful of your thoughts and organize your response. If necessary sleep on it. Connect with a mentor – someone who can give objective advice because they aren’t emotionally connected.

  •  Social Awareness: The ability to accurately perceive the emotions of others, acknowledge their validity, thoughtfully consider their position, and then respond appropriately. This is accomplished by listening, of course, but also by observing body language, facial expressions, and the general mood level projected by both individuals and by the whole group or organization. It’s seeing beneath the surface and relating to undercurrents and dynamics with empathy and understanding.

Fostering Social Awareness: Greet people by name and focus on listening mindfully – to their words and their non-verbal communication. Intentionally dig beneath the surface -taking time to pick up on cultural and mood cues. Live in the moment – rather than letting your mind be distracted with what will be happening later.

  •  Relationship Management: This is the culmination of emotional intelligence – it’s using the first three tenets to interact with others in ways that build relationships through clear communication. The ability to work well in a team, manage conflict, and act a positive influencer – helping others to recognize their value. It can be a challenge – even when project gears are running smoothly – but excellent relationship management is the magic that pulls all the tenets of emotional intelligence together.

Building relationship management skills: Take time for others – be interested in their input. Share yourself and invite them to do likewise. Show them that you care by validating their perspectives and emotions. Take time to connect, and then build on that connection – remembering that it’s a two-way street. Be a willing coach and mentor.

 In Summary, emotional intelligence is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions to achieve positive results. In fact, studies show that 90% of top talent leaders have a high emotional intelligence score. As Jack Welch says,

“No doubt emotional intelligence is more rare than book smarts, but my experience says it is actually more important in the making of a leader. You just can’t ignore it.”

Lofton Staffing understands the value of emotional intelligence when in the professional realm. It’s one of our markers for a great match. Contact us today and discover the difference a partnership with Lofton can make, both in acquiring talent and in securing a position.

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