I have recently been confronted with a situation with a client where a few miscommunication issues took place. As I worked through the misunderstanding, it got me thinking how much better things would be in life and business if we all communicated more effectively and developed Emotional Intelligence to get a good outcome to some tricky situations we are faced with.
The art of Emotional Intelligence & its effectiveness in business
It is widely accepted that soft skills such as active listening greatly affect how people feel and respond to their boss, clients and senior management. If they feel valued, appreciated, and heard, they are engaged and motivated to achieve goals set out by leadership. Great leadership is, in fact, servant leadership: attending to team members with empathy and helping them succeed.
Emotional intelligence deepens our empathy—a capacity to sense the feelings of others. Our ability to use soft skills determines our level of emotional intelligence. However, a recent Harvard Business Review article reports that the quality that most senior executives lack is empathy. For this reason, it is essential that all of us understand emotional intelligence.
Simply put, emotional intelligence is that “something” within us that helps us to sense how we feel and enables us to truly connect with others and form a bond. It gives us the ability to be present and listen to someone when they most need it. And emotional intelligence is that sense of internal balance within us that enables us to keep our composure, make good decisions, communicate successfully, and maintain effective leadership even when under stress.
The four main skills of emotional intelligence are:
Self-awareness – our ability to perceive our emotions and understand our tendencies to act in certain ways in given situations
Social awareness – our ability to understand the emotions of other people (what others are thinking and feeling)
Self-management – our ability to use awareness of our emotions to stay flexible and direct our behaviour positively and constructively
Relationship management – our ability to use our awareness of our own emotions and those of others to manage interactions successfully.
To be sure, it’s our soft skills that put people at ease, help them feel appreciated, and enable us to build and maintain solid relationships founded on confidence and trust. And yes, being friendly and likeable matters a lot, too!
We also can all appreciate how much our mood matters. Our mood is contagious. As a leader, if our mood is positive, it ignites a spirit of trust, good energy, collaboration, pride in our work, respect for senior management, and healthy risk-taking. If our mood is bad, well, we can expect a culture rife with fear, anxiety, high turnover, and poor financial results.
So next time you have a misunderstanding personally or professionally consider the impact it has on you and maybe actively putting into action some emotional intelligence skills will ensure a positive outcome and a better working relationship moving forward, as it did for me with my client situation recently.