Is emotional intelligence the key to landing your next promotion?
People often ask us if emotional intelligence is just the new kid on the block getting all the attention, or if it will actually help them do useful things like land their next promotion.
In short, the answer is yes. Here’s why.
In a nutshell, emotional intelligence is being able to know what:
- you are feeling and understand why you’re feeling it
- other people are feeling and understand why they are feeling it
- to say and what to do – in the right way, at the right time, to get the right response from people.
EI allows people to be liked, trusted, and to get along with each other – which is the basis for participative collaboration and team-player-ship. No matter how technically competent you are or how impressive your resume, if you can’t exercise these abilities you won’t be the most valuable applicant for any role.
Let’s have a look at how it all works. There are four main aspects of emotional intelligence.
1. Self awareness
Self awareness means having a really good understanding of your emotions, as well as your strengths, limitations, values and motives. This means you can be more honest with yourself and laugh at yourself, be more open to and responsive to feedback. It means you can use your ‘gut instinct’ to guide decisions, are not easily dissuaded from your values and goals, can voice views that are unpopular, go out on a limb for what is right and can make strong decisions despite uncertainties whilst maintain a positive sense of self-worth. All of which are attributes sought by employers.
2. Self management
From self awareness flows self management. It is no use feeling an emotion, but having no ability to manage your behaviour to limit any negative consequences of it for yourself and others. However, when you are in control of what you say and do, you reject the easy way of making rushed decisions and your actions are shaped by your values, not compromising them.
When you can self manage, you’re more easily able to be conscientious and trustworthy. You have more ability to lead and adapt to change, you’re more driven to exercise initiative and to think fast and act with creativity and innovation to solve problems. Self management can often resemble the inner self-dialogue that’s established through practices like meditation – where you extend the space between feeling, thought and action. This is also more likely to enable an attitude of optimism, along with all of the other self management outcomes, are truly valued in workplaces.
3. Social awareness
Once you can recognise and manage yourself, then you can recognise others people’s needs and manage them. This is perhaps the most important part of engaging in any workplace – the ability to ‘read’ others and assess their emotional states. It’s the basis of empathy and enables you to spread emotions in the positive register. You can move people by articulating a dream to elicit hope, optimism or compassion. By doing this, you can forge connections and build shared understanding. Social awareness is also the basis for a sense of service – putting your skills and talents to the best use for organisational purpose, and for understanding the currents, decision networks and politics of organisational life.
4. Relationship management
The first three aspects of emotional intelligence come together to bring us the most powerful aspect of them all: relationship management. This is what allows us to interact positively, with resonance. It includes our ability to develop others to; influence others; guide and motivate others with a compelling vision; initiate, manage and lead change; resolve disagreements; cooperate and build teams. These form the foundation of any endeavor, so are highly prized by any employer.
Just in case you need further proof of the role of EI in securing your next promotion, research finds that IQ accounts for between only 4-20% success in life, as opposed to EI which accounts for 80% or more success in life.
Emotional Intelligence truly is the competence that leverages talent and ability.
If you want to keep advancing in your career, you might like to start flexing those emotional intelligence muscles.