November 2018 Business SCAN
In the 21st century, organisations, possessed by the culture of high performance and continuous improvement, sometimes push employees to behave like top rational achievers, while forgetting about their inner emotional labyrinths. Research suggests that individuals with high emotional intelligence display better social relationships, performance, negotiation skills, and are generally more content with their life.
Emotional intelligence is much more than being outgoing and empathetic
Research suggests that individuals with high emotional intelligence display better social relationships, performance, negotiation skills, and are generally more content with their life. Therefore, to increase effectiveness, corporations have invested in developing individual’s and team’s emotional intelligence in the past 30 years.
Goleman and Boyatzis (2017) suggest there are four main domains to emotional intelligence. These are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and social management.
Self-awareness is about knowing yourself. Being able to define your values, assess your strengths and weaknesses, and to be confident in your own skin.
Self-management is about being able to regulate your emotions. It’s about being adaptable, hopeful, optimistic and resilient. This domain explores how you as an individual are capable to adjust in situations to accomplish goals.
Social awareness is about identifying external domains and being able to work according to needs. It integrates empathy and organisational awareness which are both necessary skills for social awareness.
Relationship management relates to social skills. This can be fostered by leadership, teamwork, collaboration, and conflict management with individuals.
Tips to increase your Emotional Intelligence
Here you’ll find practical advice to develop your emotional intelligence.
|Understand your emotions||Practice reflection and introspection.
Acknowledge your feelings and understand where they are coming from. This is the first step to develop self-awareness.
|Understand your strengths and your limitations||Recognise what you are good at, and what you need to improve.
Your strengths will help you overcome your weaknesses but knowing when to stop is as important as knowing when to keep going.
|Practice empathy||Observe other people’s reactions, expressions and behaviours.
If you are uncertain of what your colleagues are feeling, its always good to ask. This can also help in practicing empathy.
|Understand it’s okay to be wrong||Put yourself in other people’s shoes.
Understand what individuals are going through and empathise with their situation.
|Listen||Make sure you listen, and care what individuals say, particularly if you don’t agree with them.
Sometimes it’s better to take a step back and let others share their stories, there is always opportunities to learn from other’s experiences.
|Recognise||Make sure you identify and celebrate people’s achievements.
This empowers and motivates people to be the best version of themselves.
Sources: Mayer, J. D., Salovey, P., Caruso, D. R., & Cherkasskiy, L. (2011) Emotional intelligence. The Cambridge handbook of intelligence, 528-549.; Goleman, D., & Boyatzis, R. (2017). Emotional intelligence has 12 elements. Which do you need to work on. Harvard Business Review, 84(2), 1-5.
Consider which of these areas you believe require the most attention in your pursuit of emotional intelligence.
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