Upon discovery in 1995, Emotional Intelligence (EI) served as the ‘missing link’ for success. Prior to this, Intelligence Quotient (IQ) was believed by most to be the sole source of success. This was until discovering that 70% of the time, people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs. But why?
Emotional Intelligence is the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. It affects how behaviour is managed, social complexities are navigated and personal decisions are made, to achieve positive results. Therefore, when combined with IQ, both quotients support and build off of one another to achieve the most success.
Below, Select Training and Management Consultancy L.L.C. presents the four components of Emotional Intelligence and provides Emotional Intelligence practices, to ensure optimal success.
Self-awareness is the ability to accurately perceive one’s own emotions and stay aware of them as they occur. It allows one to connect to their changing emotional experience and understand how it influences their thoughts and actions. Self-awareness is the primary step to becoming emotionally intelligent because once it is achieved, it promotes effective self-management, social-awareness, and relationship-management further on. To develop self-awareness, Select recommends the following:
1. Emotional Self-Awareness:
- Pay attention to the physical reactions aroused in the body during stressful situations.
- Keep a daily journal to write down behaviours and emotional feelings, when faced with stressful situations.
2. Accurate Self-Assessment:
- When interacting with people with whom one feels comfortable around, ask for constructive feedback about one’s own actions and behaviours.
- Make a list of one’s believed strengths as well as any areas where development is needed, and then compare the list to a similar list prepared by someone else.
- Adjust thinking and behaviors so that they closely match those of someone who models the trait of self-confidence. With that model in mind, act decisively, instead of self-consciously watching every move made.
- Find someone trustworthy who would be willing to help objectively analyse one’s own abilities.
Social-awareness is the ability to identify the emotions, intentions, and behaviour of others, to better understand them, and approach them effectively. This can be done by carefully listening to what others say, and by observing their nonverbal cues. Furthermore, becoming socially-aware inhibits better self and relationship-management. To improve social-awareness, Select provides the following tips:
- Pay attention to critical interactions with others.
- Turn off the sound on the television and watch it to identify the moods and nonverbal cues of the actors without hearing anything.
2. Organisational Awareness:
- Identify key people inside and outside the organisation who exert influence over policies and activities. Create an influence chart for one’s own organisation or department and compare it to the formal organisation chart.
- In discussions with others, try to get their perspective on how to get things done within the department. Try to provide information about unspoken organisational constraints that may prevent certain things from happening at certain times.
3. Service Orientation:
- Set a measurable goal to improve the level of service provided to others. Include a needs analysis, an analysis of one’s own service, and an analysis of the concerns and needs of others.
- Start a reading file of articles about others’ needs in one’s own department or organisation.
- Take action to change or modify some procedures in one’s own department that others have complained about.
Self-management is the ability to use the awareness of one’s own emotions to remain flexible, and positively direct self-behaviour. Especially during stressful situations, the control of one’s own emotions and the ability to act thoughtfully and appropriately can be lost. Thus, while practicing self-management, receiving information without letting it override thoughts and self-control can be learned. Select suggest the following for improving self-management:
1. Emotional Self-Control:
- Make a list of all the things that trigger lost control. Create a strategy to prevent these triggers from causing lost composure and self-control.
- Reduce stress through physical activity or other types of relaxation.
- Spend time exploring the values and principles felt most strongly about and write down the important ones. Next to each one, examine whether one’s behaviour is consistent with these values, and ask what is needed in order to be more genuine and be true to beliefs.
- Consider the issues that cause acting against all opposition. Clarify what is and is not worth fighting for.
- Keep a detailed filing system for all monthly bills, telephone, rent, heat, etc.
- Build routine checks into a calendar to ensure devotion to deadlines, policies, and standards. In the event that something does not reach the desired standard or takes much longer than the time frame given, work through the plan to give the task at hand more time and effort.
- Periodically review own or department processes. Ask: What are the strengths and weaknesses of each? Is there a better, more efficient way of approaching things?
- When current strategies are not working, stop, acknowledge that it is not working, and make the necessary changes to plans, activities, objectives, or behaviour.
- For two or three days, make a list of all difficulties encountered, and write down the consequences next to each one. Note that when feelings are pessimistic in nature, positive activity is shortened, but when feelings are optimistic in nature, positive energy flows.
- Try to change thoughts from negative to positive.
- Volunteer to be a leader of a service organisation that markets its information to the community and solicit funds for support.
- Make a list of all the external and internal factors that affect one’s department. Then map out the steps to capitalise on those opportunities and take actions to prevent significant problems.
Relationship-management is the ability to use self and social-awareness practices to manage interactions with others successfully. Once self and social-awareness are practiced, they inhibit the development of social and emotional skills that make relationships more effective, fruitful, and fulfilling. Select recommends the following practices for effective relationship-management:
1. Developing Others:
- Regularly take time to talk to individuals about their aspirations, the things they want to do better, and the things they would like to try.
2. Inspirational Leadership:
- When launching significant new projects or initiatives, consider spending time with the team, creating a vision for the work to be done, and building a commitment to moving forward.
- Interview or shadow a leader who is found to be inspirational. Ask why they are found to be inspirational, analyse their style, and ask how they view their roles.
- Form a study group among colleagues to talk about successful experiences and reality-test future strategies.
- Take part in a task force or committee on an important and timely organisational or cross-departmental problem.
- Identify and observe others who have an engaging style while presenting, pay attention to their nonverbal cues, and the visual aids they use to get their meanings across.
- When delivering information to people, encourage them to ask questions and summarise key points to ensure they have understood.
5. Change Catalyst:
- Think about the worst possible change that might happen to one’s self, team, or department. Write a list of possible benefits from that change and think about how these benefits could be sold to the team or department, if necessary.
- When preparing to tell others about change, think about each person and how it will affect them. Consider how they have responded to change in the past and the questions or comments they might have. Use the considerations to prepare for discussions with others about upcoming change.
6. Conflict Management:
- If upcoming trouble is sensed with an individual, take steps to bring the disagreement or grievance into the open before it becomes a conflict situation.
- When in a heated discussion, focus on the issues at hand and leave personal matters aside. Ask: “Is what is being said or done productive in trying to resolve this situation?”
7. Building Bonds:
- Take part in professional associations or appropriate social events to build networks and strengthen relationships.
- Identify organisational dynamics. Practice thinking in terms of these dynamics rather than simply about individuals or roles. Consider the general relationships of people and groups within the organisation.
8. Teamwork and Collaboration:
- Create a symbol for a group or team to rally around, or hold a get-together to celebrate the team’s success.
- Avoid taking control of the agenda or being the first to make suggestions. Share the different roles being played in a group.
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