You may have been hearing a lot about the importance of emotional intelligence (EI) lately. In a nutshell, it’s the ability to be aware of, control, and express your emotions while managing relationships with care and compassion.
Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? But it isn’t always an easy thing to do, especially on the job.
What Does EI Look Like?
Say someone at work takes credit for your fantastic idea. Your brain has a biological response—it thinks it is threatened and releases hormones. Because of this, you lose critical thinking capabilities and become limited in your decision-making abilities. It happens in a typical workday all the time.
Let’s flip that scenario. Suppose your boss just told you how awesome you are and that she loves the work you are doing. When rewards happen, your brain kicks in and releases dopamine, the “feel-good” hormone, enhancing your critical thinking. You become highly engaged and rise to the peak of creativity and problem-solving.
People with high EI can manage these situations, knowing what their reactions will be. They also tend to be more resilient, handling stress and adapting better to change when compared to a person unaware of their EI capabilities.
Emotional intelligence also has to do with noticing behavior, being authentic, and having the ability to have difficult conversations productively. It’s about responding rather than reacting. It’s when you take a deep breath and use all your skills to respond well.
Why Cultivate Your EI? The Reasons Are Many.
There is a tremendous return on investment for organizations that measure and provide development opportunities for EI. When people have a higher level of EI, it’s been shown they:
- Lead more effectively
- Perform better at work
- Show more resiliency
- Sell more
- Serve members or clients better
- Develop highly liked teammates
- Engage more in their jobs
The good news is this: While our intelligence quotient cannot be learned, our EI certainly can be. Not only does it make for a better employee, but EI also makes for a well-rounded and resilient person.
And there is more good news: MRA just announced a new half-day offering: Emotional Intelligence: The Differentiator. Check it out on the MRA website.