Leadership & Communication

Could higher emotional intelligence help your career?

3 Sep 2013, by Informa Australia

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to recognise, evaluate and control your feelings, whether it’s anger, fear, sadness, pleasure or love.

Those with high EI are able to identify these emotions easily in others, enabling them to be empathetic and form connections with colleagues, families, friends and even strangers.

Having the ability to control your emotions can have several benefits in the workplace, underpinning your drive and ambition to ensure you have the leadership skills it takes to move a step forward in your career.

Here are several benefits of greater EI and how they can boost your job hopes.

Coping with stress

Stress is a natural reaction to high-pressure working environments, particularly if you are in a role that has a lot of responsibility.

Whether you’re managing several people, running an entire business or suffering under the strain of an increased workload – stress is a common complaint of modern employees.

In fact, a 2012 report by the Australian Psychological Society revealed that 32 per cent of people identified workplace issues as a source of stress.

However, people with high EI are able to control their stress levels and redirect their energy into more positive emotions.

Not only is this likely to prevent workplace burnout, it will show bosses that you can keep your head when everybody around you is losing theirs.

Impulse control

The famous Stanford University marshmallow experiments, first conducted in the ’60s and ’70s, show the long-term drawbacks of poor impulse control.

In the studies, a marshmallow was placed in front of a child and they were given a choice: eat the sweet immediately, or hold back from eating it and receive two marshmallows after a certain period of time.

Unsurprisingly, younger children tended to gobble up the marshmallow as soon as the researcher’s back was turned! Delayed gratification being a difficult concept for them to understand.

Learning to develop better EI can help people with impulse control, enabling them to appreciate how their actions have both short and long-term consequences.

This can help enormously with strategic business decisions, as well as allowing people to control their temper or hide their impatience.

Motivation skills

Understanding your emotions and those of others should improve your motivation skills, as you will be better able to gauge what drives you and your colleagues.

Whether its money, a promotion or simply a ‘good job, well done’ at the end of a tough project – job satisfaction comes in a variety of forms.

Failing to provide the right motivation for your staff members could lead to apathy, poor talent retention and even resentment in the workplace.

And if you find it difficult to motivate yourself, you may be missing out on a number of opportunities that could maximise your career enjoyment.

This can be particularly true if you work from home, where distractions and procrastination may prevent you from meeting your full potential.

Improve communication skills

Having excellent communication skills is often an important part of being a manager or leader.

Whether you need to convey ideas, woo new clients or resolve conflicts, building positive interpersonal relationships should give you an edge.

People with good emotional intelligence are often able to quickly judge a situation and apply the correct emotional response, while offering a solution that keeps as many parties happy as possible.

The more you develop your EI, the better you will become at handling difficult workplace situations.

This will set you apart from your colleagues as you will appear cool, calm and collected when necessary, but able to show enthusiasm, motivation and energy as well.

Register your interest for the Emotional Intelligence Mastery course, where you’ll learn the essential elements of emotional intelligence, and gain practical understanding of the key emotional competencies, integrating Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP).

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