Emotional Intelligence is a skill which one can be born with or learnt and improved over years through training and practice. Emotional intelligence, also emotional quotient or EQ has the ability to have control over reactions like stress relieving, empathy, overcoming challenges to impromptu situations. It is now widely recognized as a valuable skill that helps improve communication, management, problem-solving, and relationships over time and great methods of practice.
IQ (Intelligence Quotient) on the other hand is a measuring unit for our intelligence potential but does not account for our intelligence in terms of knowledge. It is the EQ (Emotional Quotient) which makes you socially active and creative. EQ (Emotional Intelligence) is the heightened awareness of others' emotions, including your own. The most successful professionals thrive in their respective fields due to their EQ.
Leaders in the corporate world have developed self-awareness, social awareness, and relationship management in their team members to operate efficiently in a dynamic environment. With this, they can ascertain the strengths of colleagues based on the type of personalities and intelligence across members. Building on emotional intelligence skills and seamlessly weaving them with a clear vision for the work will not only increase their confidence and motivation but also inspire their peers to follow suit. This eventually configures exceptional teams who create products and solutions to outperform their competitors.
If there is a lack of Emotional Intelligence in the corporate world, the structure comes trickling down creating a domino effect of the consequences. Self and team leadership is hampered, followed by strained communication which leads to a disenchanted and disengaged staff. This can also lead to lost ability and motivation to think and create effectively. To improve and understand EI at offices, grading leadership performances, team engagement and productivity prepares a holistic future of uncertainty and volatility.
Some insights which define EQ:
• Self-management: With the ability to manage stress and stay emotionally present, especially when we are overwhelmed and lose control of ourselves, we can learn to receive upsetting information without letting it override your thoughts and self-control. You’ll be able to make choices that allow you to control impulsive feelings and behaviors, manage your emotions in healthy ways, take initiative, follow through on commitments, and adapt to changing circumstances.
“Leaders in the corporate world have developed self-awareness, social awareness, and relationship management in their team members to operate efficiently in a dynamic environment”
• Self-awareness: It’s very important to learn how to balance your social performance with emotional integrity and discover communicating with more openness and transparency. Over time, learning how to read body language and tone of voice, becomes a better communicator and a truly active listener. You recognize your own emotions and how it affects your thoughts and behaviour, but making you aware of your strengths, weaknesses and self-confidence.
• Empathy: Emotionally intelligent people are good at stepping into another person's shoes and understanding how they feel, it is like Empathy is understanding other people’s emotional trauma. In workplaces, empathy plays an important role in understanding the different dynamics between colleagues and supervisors and allows you to recognize who holds power and how it influences the behaviors, feelings, and interactions that form such relationships.
• Relationship management: It’s important to learn how to build trust with your co-workers, keep an opendoor policy, and show that you care about them. Learning how criticism works and that stonewalling destroys relationships, is only to know how speaking up enhances brevity, inspires and connects rather than disconnecting you from others. Once emotional awareness is in play, you can effectively develop and maintain good relationships, communicate clearly, inspire and influence others, and manage conflict.
• Being a TEAM Leader: Knowing yourself and others is a key element of emotional intelligence and being an effective leader. It gives you perspective and skills required to get the most out of your co-workers and create a collaborative team that is inspired by each individual’s unique contribution to the whole.
• Social awareness: Social awareness simply means you understand the emotions, needs, and concerns of other people, pick up on emotional cues, feel comfortable socially, and recognize the power dynamics in a group. We need to explore how negative and positive emotions impact our brain’s performance and discover the key drivers that improve our personal and work performance. This heavily impacts our brain agility, sleep, exercise, and nutrition.
To be a leader, you must utilize and balance both intelligence- IQ & EQ. While your IQ helps strategize, it is the EQ which helps focus on being ultra-perceptive of situations, for emotional intelligence to be effective, it has to start with yourself. You can’t distil or enhance other people’s well-being, improvement, and sense of self without first understanding how you operate on an emotional level.
Progression might be in your professional ladder, and may be determinant of the work you procure, but the journey of a million miles starts with one step within you!
Niraalee Shah, CEO-India
Niraalee Shah is the founder of Image Building and Etiquette Mapping India. After becoming a certified international etiquette trainer with The British School of Etiquette (BSE) in England, Niraalee decided to share the training, vision and mission of BSE with India. She then partnered with BSE to set up The British School of Etiquette India. As the CEO of BSE India, Niraalee aims to extend her wealth of knowledge to corporates and organizations globally in India.