Emotional Intelligence

by Andy Smith

Common questions

  1. What is Emotional Intelligence?
  2. Does emotional intelligence have any business benefits?
  3. How can I improve my EI skills?
  4. How do I keep my emotions under control at work?
  5. How do I understand other people better?
  6. How do I keep my team positive and motivated?

 

1. What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the ability to recognise and manage emotions, in yourself and in other people. It is increasingly being recognised as being at least as important as IQ for success in business, relationships and life in general.

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2. Does Emotional Intelligence have any business benefits?

Business is about relationships, and the abilities of EI are essential in setting up and sustaining these relationships. Success in business also depends on staying motivated through setbacks, and on controlling our emotions, allowing us to make decisions objectively and delay gratification now to achieve greater rewards in the future. At senior management level, emotional intelligence competencies are a better predictor of success than IQ – an effect which increases the higher up the management ladder you go.

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3. How can I improve my EI skills?

There are five key EI skills and it pays to work on them in the following order:

  • Self awareness
  • Self-management
  • Motivation
  • Empathy
  • Handling relationships.

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4. How do I keep my emotions under control at work?

First, treat the emotion as information and think about what it is trying to tell you. There are various powerful centring and visualisation techniques which can help you keep your emotions under control.

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5. How do I understand other people better?

The short answer is to pay more attention to them. People give off all kinds of unconscious non-verbal signals which are easy to overlook but carry valuable information about their emotional state.

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6. How do I keep my team positive and motivated?

You can increase your influence on your team’s emotional climate by becoming more expressive. If the team is experiencing significant conflict or is demotivated, there are things you can do to remedy the situation.

Remember, all teams have rules for how they interact, whether these are made explicit or not. If you do not set up explicit guidelines for acceptable group behaviour (best done with the full involvement of the whole team), you will be working to whatever implicit rules have arisen, whether these are good for the team’s functioning or not.

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