Emotional Intelligence — The Secret to Sharpening Your Social Skills
The Rise of Emotional Intelligence
Previously, we defined emotional intelligence (EI) and explained why modern companies place a high value on emotionally intelligent employees. In fact, when tested alongside 33 other important skills, a workplace study by TalentSmart determined that emotional intelligence is the strongest predictor of workplace success. It directly related to 58 percent of success in a variety of jobs.
People with high emotional intelligence possess valuable knowledge and experience about connecting to both themselves and others. They acquire these skills by developing the five core components of EI: self-awareness, self-regulation, internal-motivation, empathy, and social skills.
This article covers how combining these competencies in different ways creates some of the most highly-revered skills in both life and the workplace; and how you can develop these skills with practice.
Communication and Social Skills
Touted as one of the most crucial soft skills, strong communicators possess high emotional intelligence. This is a direct factor of strong self-regulation and social skills. Self-regulation denotes the ability to think, maintain control, and then act in any situation. When emotions run high, self-regulation enables the user to stay calm.
Strong social skills then take over. The communicator analyzes everything from body language, to word choice, to relationships between people. Hence, social skills empower the communicator to read the situation and respond to meet others’ best interests.
Strong communicators find success by calmly assessing any situation and responding appropriately based on the social environment.
If a team aspires to optimize its value contribution, then working together towards a common vision enables that possibility. According to Forbes, in order to cultivate that vision, the most successful teams come from a foundation of trust.
However, trust is so much more than team-building exercises. It stems from the ability to selflessly share with others and to connect on an emotional level. Explaining this in EI terms, having empathy towards your teammates creates this emotional connection, which fosters genuine trust.
Yet, to properly unite a team under a common vision requires an additional element of self-awareness. By understanding your communication style and how others perceive you, you can cater your messaging to fit the values and needs of the team, which you’ve learned through practicing empathy and building trust.
Thus, as a function of trust and proper messaging, your team will better understand the vision and feel empowered to pursue it.
How to Apply Emotional Intelligence
The process of combining EI competencies to develop leadership traits works on any number of social skills such as time-management, delegation, and team-building. If you’re starting to understand the correlation between these components and success, then naturally, the next question becomes, “How do I develop my Emotional Intelligence?”
Thankfully, emotional intelligence is a trainable skill; and something you can develop with time, patience, and practice.
The next article in this series outlines tips and strategies to cultivate your self-awareness, a key ingredient in bringing your emotional intelligence to the next level.