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Updated: Oct 12, 2022

Emotional intelligence continues to be the skill to hone

What comes to your mind when you hear the term emotional intelligence?

For me, I think about things like being able to control how I react, regulating the way I say things to staying calm under pressure. Since we are all emotional beings, having the skills to manage our own emotions and those of others is becoming more and more important.

In a report by CapGemini, emotional intelligence will be key for the future, especially with the rise of artificial intelligence. Technology continues to drive change and shift the way activities are undertaken. Based on their research, they found that due to the “Displacement of routine tasks, evolving job roles, and the inability to automate certain tasks will be key reasons for an increase in demand for EI skills”. Of the companies they researched, “74% of executives and 58% of non-supervisory employees believe that EI will become a “must-have”.

In its simplest definition, Genos states that EI is:

“Emotional intelligence (EI) involves a set of skills that help us perceive, understand, express, reason with, and manage emotions, both within ourselves and others”

Emotional intelligence isn’t just about how we keep ourselves in check to avoid negatively impacting others, it is also about us and our own emotions and how we deal with what we feel.

When Daniel Goleman wrote his book “Emotional Intelligence – Why is can matter more than IQ”, the impact was profound and landed him on the cover of Time magazine, people resonated with it and realized that this thing that is related to our emotions impacts us so much, personally and professionally.

Studies have shown that when individuals, teams or departments demonstrate emotional intelligence, the following things happen:

· Improved sales

· Higher organizational engagement

· Increased productivity

· Lower turnover

· Better relationships with customers

· Greater sense of trust with honesty

The CapGemini report stated that “The top quantitative benefits include enhanced productivity, high employee satisfaction, increased market share, and reduced attrition. On average, 60% of organizations have witnessed improvements in areas of productivity, employee satisfaction, market share and lower attrition to the extent of 20% or more over their previously existing levels…”

Of course, our skills are important, they enable us to do our work, whether that is being a specialized in credit risk, a trader or a doctor. What the human skills provide is the essence of who we are and how we demonstrate that.

Imagine going to see a doctor who is cold, lacks empathy and completely misses the points of what you require? Deep-down, we will feel that they are cold, lack support and simply don’t get us. Now, imagine the same dr asking us, how we feel, how they can help you or even asking non-symptom related questions because they have noticed something is not right because they looked at us more than just a time-slot.

Emotional intelligence is holistic, it enables us to be fully aware and present where we notice ourselves and others.

How can we build emotional intelligence?

  1. Start with yourself – understand your triggers, how you feel, how your thoughts and feelings impact the way you behave, make decisions and interact with others

  2. Pay attention to others – observe, notice, react and understand others and acknowledge how they feel and what they require.

  3. Be real – authentic and honest behaviors create trust, psychological safety and consistency

  4. Learn the ability to regulate emotions, reactions and words – think before speaking, learn to express effectively during stressful situations and keep emotions in check

  5. Build those communication skills – learn the art of verbal and non-verbal communication and notice the things which are not being said

To quote Pip Russell (Strategy, innovation, and commercial operations vice-president, Schneider Electric) in the report by CapGemini:

“We need people in our workplace who can connect with others, who display empathy and understanding, (and) who understand emotions. More than ever, emotional intelligence is not just a ‘nice to have’ but a core capability for the future.”

In my experience, we not always get emotional intelligence right but we can start to shift in the right direction.

Want to know more about emotional intelligence and understand your levels of emotional intelligence, get in touch with Monica to learn more.

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