Career development expert, Soulaima Gourani, says emotional intelligence (EQ) is the most powerful predictor of professional success, ranking higher as a successful business tool than mental intelligence and personality. In her book, Take Control Over Your Career, Gourani explains emotional intelligence as “understanding yourself and others. To be able to read and understand, control thoughts, emotions and actions.” Pretty sure she’s talking about controlling our own thoughts and not getting your Svengali on. A trending topic among business writers today touts the benefits of fostering Emotional intelligence (EQ) in the workplace.
Whether you work in a traditional office or as an entrepreneur, turning your vision into a successful business, researchers are finding that people with strong emotional intelligence skills do well in their personal lives, as well as in their professional lives. Practicing emotional intelligence enhances your team skills, allows you to seamlessly adjust to change, thinking rationally on your feet and working wonders in problem-solving areas.
Emotionally intelligent CEOs lead to engaged and loyal employees
Businesses with emotionally intelligent leaders can keep their employees engaged, which in turn leads to loyal employees producing better results, towards more profitable outcomes. Especially, in today’s ever-changing job market, performance and productivity go hand in hand with emotional intelligence, in a landscape that requires learning and adjusting to new technologies on the fly. Leaders who model emotional intelligence may wish to get their staffs on the EQ train, as well, ASAP.
Self-regulation or Keeping your head when all around you are losing theirs
How you control your own thoughts and opinions will help you focus on how to lay the groundwork for the best possible outcomes each business day. In the US, we tend to take our freedom of speech rights for granted and are prone to telling it like it is, often to our own detriment. In the heat of battle, when frustrations and tempers run high, leaders can keep it all cool and constructive, by setting a calm and problem-solving tone. Self-restraint involves diffusing uncomfortable situations instead of lashing out, throwing tantrums, finger pointing or other ineffective and alienating reactions that add stress in uncomfortable moments.
Take a step back
In order to act responsibly, controlling our responses and tolerating uncomfortable feelings, we need to take a minute or two to slow down and detach from the situation at hand. Take a step back, absorb the big picture and find a response that will restore a productive and progressive workspace. This means taking stock of your physical responses, as well as controlling your emotional responses. Take a walk, take a few deep breaths, take a yoga class or just have a relaxing cup of coffee or tea. Take a break to consider the most effective way to respond, preferably one that offers a solution.
Self-awareness: Developing the ability to listen and alter your behavior based on feedback
It’s like not having a mirror to see what your face is up to in terms of hair gone wild or food in your teeth, etc. We can’t truly see ourselves from a totally objective perspective. “You have blind spots” Gourani explained, “and it is like ‘you’ve got broccoli in your teeth …’ You need people to tell you that, because you can’t see it.” We can learn to understand our strengths and weaknesses, internally, as well as discover how we affect others and how they perceive us, externally.
Interestingly, in a Harvard Business Review article, Tasha Eurich, an organizational psychologist said, “According to our research with thousands of people from all around the world, 95 percent of people believe that they’re self-aware, but only about 10 to 15 percent really are.” Cultivating self-development skills involves opening yourself up to feedback. “Feedback is not easy to a lot of people,” said Gourani, “and it is an essential component of change.”
When you develop a healthy and positive sense of who you are, says Entrepreneur.com, “Constructive criticism may sting but it isn’t a huge blow to your sense of self.” Self-awareness helps you to make smarter decisions and use constructive criticism as learnable moments. Also, it’s a good idea to surround yourself with what Gourani termed, “your loving critics,” people whose opinions you trust, so when you get feedback or criticism from someone you don’t know or trust, you can run it by your loving critics. Own your perception of yourself and the way other people perceive you towards constructive outcomes.
Empathy: Learn how to listen
Seeing things from another’s perspective or putting yourself in their shoes can inform you about how to work with people whose opinions may conflict with yours. The capacity for compassion and understanding the human condition can empower you to connect better with others and inspire better working relationships that build morale. Often, leaders in the role of giving orders and towing the bottom line don’t take the time to listen to their employees. Opening up to your team’s ideas and opinions instills loyalty, cohesiveness and a sense of being heard and understood.
Resilience: Bouncing back from adversity
Self-awareness, self-regulation, and empathy all come into play in full force during a setback. Leaders didn’t get where they are by running from challenges and diversity. Developing a strong mentality will enable you to successfully navigate through stressful times that could range from hacking embarrassments to issues with vendors. In a Mental Floss article, Arizona State psychologist, Frank Infurma said that two key variables have been noted in those who demonstrate resilience in the face of adversity:
- strong social relationships
- a strong sense of purpose
Just one person who can guide you through a setback can keep your resilient nature intact. A sense of identity and purpose can be cultivated through parenting, your work, social advocacy or anything that gives you purpose. Just find something meaningful and keep at it.
At Venture X Naples, our welcoming, collaborative vibe attracts business owners across a wide spectrum of the community. From startups to established brands, like-minded professionals take advantage of flexible workspaces and a workplace where leaders are inspired to develop their EQ skills and so much more! Contact Venture X Naples today at (239) 300-9601 or schedule a tour to check out our coworking facility in the heart of Naples and just five minutes from the beach.