Unlike traditional intelligence, which refers to the ability to solve problems and use logic, emotional intelligence is related to our ability to understand and manage emotions, ours and others. While these skills can be applied in a large number of situations, it is especially important to use emotional intelligence at work.
People who have chosen to cultivate it and use it in this context notice a great improvement, both in their job satisfaction and in their relationships with their colleagues. Some experts even assure you that emotional intelligence at work also guarantees more income.
In today’s article we will see the n How can you apply the concept of emotional intelligence at work. To do this, we will focus on three key areas: job search, professional engagement and leadership. But, before we get into the subject, we want to clarify the concept of emotional intelligence and what exactly it implies.
What is emotional intelligence?
According to Goleman’s definition, emotional intelligence is made up of five distinct skills :
- Self-awareness. The ability to understand our feelings and moods. It also means knowing who we are, our values, our goals and our skills.
- Self-mastery. The ability to control our emotions in order to use them in our favor instead of countering or fighting them.
- Motivation. The ability to set demanding goals and focus on achieving them, despite the difficulties.
- Empathy, also known as the ability to understand the feelings, emotions and needs of others. Sometimes, it is described as “putting yourself in the other person’s shoes”.
- Social skills, the set of skills that help us relate to others more effectively. These include various skills, such as leadership, persuasion or social intuition.
These five dimensions are key to developing emotional intelligence at work, but each of them will be more useful in a different situation.
Emotional intelligence: how to use it to find work
In order to use emotional intelligence at work, you first need to find one. And, not surprisingly, emotional intelligence is a fundamental skill for getting a job.
Nowadays, finding “an interesting job” does not only depend on “strong” skills, as our success will also be determined by empathy, the way we communicate and social skills. Given the swarming of valid and competent profiles on the job market, it may be that the final decision of the HR department is influenced more by emotions (theirs and ours) than by our resume.
Self-control will also be fundamental in the search for work. Without it, we will not be able to persevere in the face of the first refusals, and this will demotivate us and make the task of finding a job that we like even more difficult.
Emotional intelligence at work
The use of emotional intelligence at work does not end once it is found. On the contrary, in a context as competitive as that of modern companies, the five skills described by Goleman are fundamental for our professional performance and for our emotional well-being.
Although it is quite common in general, in Italy in particular there are many workers who say they feel dissatisfied with their work. Although there are many factors that influence this aspect, the lack of emotional intelligence certainly has a good share of responsibility:
- How can we choose a job we like if we don’t understand or know ourselves? (self-awareness).
- When something goes wrong, do we let apathy take over our lives or do we move forward purposefully? (self-control, motivation).
- Do we understand our colleagues and get along with them despite their character differences? (empathy, social skills).
Emotional intelligence for managers
What happens if you are the manager of a work group? We might think it’s only team members who need emotional intelligence, right?
Nothing could be further from reality. For a boss or manager, it is vital to motivate their employees and understand how they feel to create a pleasant work environment. Without these skills, we can never become the best leader for the group.