Emotional Intelligence | Managers Guide

Now we all know that the skills that managers and employees need to thrive in any business environment would include clearly communicating with each other and discussing topics openly, listening to the issues that are expressed by other parties, being able to effectively manage conflict, and inspiring each other to operate at a higher level. For a long time this has been enough but in the recent time human beings have evolved and as such employees would also evolve. Every environment is different and would bring different outcomes when exposed to an individual from different environment i.e. new hires or recruits or changes in management.

With the ever-changing environment, I think we all need Emotional Intelligence (EI), and not just need but we should use it for our growth and successes. Emotional intelligence involves a number of competencies which allows a person to be aware of, understand and to be in control of their own emotions, the emotions of others and use their knowledge to foster success in the work environment. Employees are social beings and as such come with emotions.

People with highly developed EI are considered the most successful people at work. Most of this people are average in skills, but very much out-going. They often get along with others quite well and it’s easy to have them lead sessions where you can push for staff buy-in when you want to change a process. Possessing emotional intelligence and engaging in intentional efforts to raise your Emotional Quotient(EQ) will make you more efficient, productive, and successful in the workplace.

Why Emotional Intelligence?
*It helps one to be able to recognize how to react to cues in the environment and how their emotions may affect their performance.
*For managers, they can use their gut sense to make decisions on their direct reports on needs for improvements from observing project outcomes.
*It helps one to analyze their inner abilities, strengths and limitations. This helps in deciding on what they would want to develop on more to improve productivity in the work place.
*Generally it also builds self-confidence as you can judge the mood of the other parties and know the topic that interests them most. For instance in an interview set up , most people with a high EI get to wow the panel since they can read interviewers mood on every answer they give and can align themselves to give the perfect impression.

One can also control themselves or restrain on actions that would put them under pressure. Self-management is critical for a manager, I must say, I struggle with this a lot. Career conversation especially with my direct reports are sessions that at times I fail to control my impulsive feelings and I guess to most of you it’s the same.

In a nutshell, it’s not about being nice all the time, it’s about being honest, it’s not about being emotional; it’s being smart with your emotions. As a manager or a direct report, improve this by confronting more emotional situations/challenges and resolve them positively. While at it always distinguish if it is a feeling or thought; if it’s a feeling, show respect and validate it, especially other people’s feeling. With improved emotional intelligence, you will achieve greater career success and satisfaction; stronger personal relationships with your co-workers; increased optimism and confidence in your work; and overall better health.

© Sabwa John Milton, 2018

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