Emotional Intelligence (EI) – An essential skill?

By: Jim Kissane
Are you aware of the importance of Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EI) includes abilities such as recognizing, appraising, describing, understanding, and analyzing emotions in self and others, as well as regulating, managing, and adapting one’s emotions in changing situations. EI has been associated with many aspects of daily living, including one’s perceived emotional well-being, self-esteem, happiness, and life satisfaction, general psychological and physical health, and quality of interpersonal interactions. Not surprisingly, EI has also been found to be an important predictor of success in almost any job.

Why is Emotional Intelligence a better approach to identifying leaders?
Well first, the concept of “Intelligence” is typically focused on analytic reasoning, verbal skills, spatial ability, attention, memory and judgment (all of which can have many different definitions).

Besides, we are all different, and come from many different backgrounds and experiences. This diversity complicates relationships in the workplace, and the consequences of inability to read others’ emotion at an early stage of development may lead to the development of poor social skills, which can manifest themselves in poor worker-boss or peer-peer relationships on the job.

For example, males tend to be more willing to compromise social connectedness for independence, they are not as good as women at “reading” the feelings of others, and may be more physiologically overwhelmed by marital conflict. Women tend to have a greater need for “connectedness”, have a wider range of emotions and are better at reading emotions than males, and tend to be better at developing social strategies overall and perhaps will tend to be more engaged in marital conflict.

Do these aspects carry over into the workplace – You Bet !

Thus, as individuals grow in responsibility EI becomes more important a factor. Failure to develop a healthy understanding of emotional behavior can overwhelm solid “technical skills” performance – even to the point of rendering a technically competent person ineffective.

Examples of this are evident on todays workplace. You may have worked with bosses who exhibit

* “all or nothing” thinking
* overgeneralization
* excessive worrying
* worrying as magical thinking
* disqualifying the position
* jumping to negative conclusions
* “should” statements
* labeling & mislabeling
* personalization
* stonewalling
* criticism; contempt

Since 50% of work satisfaction is determined by the relationship a worker has with his/her boss, it follows that EI should be a prerequisite for effective leadership across borders.

Developing competency as a supervisor/manager requires a higher level of self-mastery and people skills; developing the ability to put yourself into the positions of others is an essential skill today.

Source: WorkForce Development