Is Emotional Intelligence the most relevant skill?

Imagine stepping into your office’s shared workspace on a bustling Monday morning. Amidst the hustle, you spot a colleague peacefully dozing off at their desk. As you process this sight, various impressions and thoughts may arise about the motivations behind their behaviour.

As you browse through this scene in your mind, let’s explore this discussion by starting with a definition.

What is Emotional intelligence?

You might be familiar with the word emotional intelligence but are not sure what it means. No worries. Let’s explore the words “emotion” and “intelligence.”

Intelligence refers to the general cognitive ability of a person, while emotion refers to how we feel and react to things happening around us. If you treat each word separately, then the true meaning of emotional intelligence becomes clear.

Emotional intelligence is about understanding our feelings and using that understanding to be really smart about how we handle situations. But wait a minute, is emotional intelligence all about understanding your feelings? Well, that is one side of the skill. The other side which makes it complete is also about understanding how others feel.

How important is emotional intelligence?

There are numerous soft skills relevant to today’s workplace. Specifically, people’s skills such as communication, conflict resolution, active listening, empathy, negotiation, etc. are becoming increasingly important as our workplace experiences more people diversity and complexities.

So then, what makes emotional intelligence stand out?

The level of your emotional intelligence can be directly linked to some work and personal objectives. Let us explore three such objectives.

1. Stress Reduction

Emotional intelligence helps you understand and manage your own emotions, leading to better stress management. When you’re attuned to your feelings and reactions, you can navigate challenges with a calmer demeanour, preventing stress from escalating.

2. Effective Response to Challenges

With high emotional intelligence, you can assess situations objectively, considering your emotions and those of others. This enables you to respond to challenges thoughtfully and rationally, making well-informed decisions.

3. Building Stronger Relationships

Emotional intelligence fosters empathy and understanding, crucial for nurturing positive relationships. When you grasp others’ emotions and communicate effectively, you build trust and rapport, creating a more harmonious and collaborative environment.

Recall the scenario where a colleague dosed off at the office on a Monday morning prompts reflection on the application of emotional intelligence. In this context, leveraging emotional intelligence involves addressing the situation empathetically. This is particularly relevant given a recent LinkedIn poll we posted where options related to stress, sleep deprivation, and well-being were excluded. While some respondents criticised the sleeping colleague, branding them as unprepared for work, others suggested initiating a conversation about their health and well-being, especially if such staff is not known for always sleeping on the job. Emotional intelligence, in this case, entails considering alternative factors that might contribute to the colleague’s drowsiness rather than hastily jumping to conclusions.

In the ever-evolving workplace landscape, emotional intelligence stands as a beacon of relevance. It guides us through understanding our emotions and those of others, fostering better relationships and informed responses to challenges. As we navigate scenarios like a colleague dosing off, armed with emotional intelligence, we embrace empathy, effective communication, and thoughtful decision-making.

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