In today’s fast-paced and pressured business environment, the way we work and the skills we need are constantly changing. People are beginning to realise that success takes more than intellectual ability or technical know-how. Another sort of skill is needed to survive and thrive in challenging times. A different way of being smart.
The focus has moved towards personal qualities such as initiative, empathy, adaptability, and persuasiveness. These essential human abilities help build strong personal and leadership skills. Understanding how to cultivate these traits (Emotional Intelligence) in yourself, is central to your professional and personal success. Equally, if you head a company, cultivating EI in your people is essential to maintain a competitive edge and the success of the business.
The good news is, unlike IQ, EI is largely learned and can be cultivated. Professional Coaching, Life Coaching or Business Coaching and Mentoring, all help boost Emotional Intelligence. Helping individuals and teams build their EI, is at the heart of all my Coaching Programmes.
At the core of EI is self-knowledge and the ability to recognise and handle your own feelings. The power to tap into your emotions and positively guide and improve your actions and performance, as well as influence the behaviour of others. Rather than relying on intellectual and technical skills, EI gives us the capacity to understand people; what motivates them, how they work at their best and how we can work most co-operatively and productively with each other.
EI also helps us nurture relationships and maintain friendships. It enables us to demonstrate sound social skills and discern and respond to different moods, temperaments, motivations, and desires in others. It builds the kind of leadership instincts that will inspire and guide individuals and teams.
It is widely believed that people entering the employment market in this new millennium have lower EI than in previous decades and that this decline is worldwide. The generation falling behind are those that have recently started work and they represent a large proportion of our work force today.
“It is only with the heart that one sees rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye”
Antoine de Saint-Éxupery – The Little Prince
A recent recruitment survey of the skills that businesses are looking for in entry-level staff, indicated that specific technical expertise is frequently rated less important than the underlying ability to learn on the job. After that, the most desired traits are:
o Active listening and clear verbal communication
o Being adaptable, creative, and responding positively to setbacks
o Being confident, a self-starter and self-disciplined
o Feeling motivated to work toward goals and possessing the drive to develop and progress your career
o Good interpersonal skills; working co-operatively and effectively in groups and teams, and at meetings and presentations
o Sound negotiation skills and ability to deal with disagreements and confrontation
o Maintaining a positive and active presence within the organisation, taking pride in your work and achievements
o Wanting to make a contribution and demonstrating leadership potential
o Possessing sound competencies in reading, writing and maths (the sole academic trait on the wish list)