Emotional intelligence is one of my most valued leadership skills, and is behind any personal or professional development training I’ve done. Emotional intelligence is defined as “the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions,” and in order to move forward as an organization one must frame the way individuals communicate with one another, the way they think, the way they act and the way they see conflict or situations.
More importantly, before any changes can be made, it’s crucial for us to start by analyzing who we are and why we make the decisions we make.
There are four critical components through which we see the world, and situations that arise in the workplace.
- Fear—We feel powerless and out of control. We do not like what is happening and yet are unable to change it. We are reactive, blame others or seek escape. Life is a hassle.
- Duty— We have control over our lives by conforming to what others expect. We are “good” and “honorable” people. We build security, submit to the rules and avoid problems with others. Life is safe.
- Achievement— We seek importance and meaning through our achievements. We project a competent and “together” image to others. We are productive, goal-oriented and competitive. Life is good when we perform well.
- Integrity— We are alive and happy. We unconditionally accept what is, and recognize numerous choices about how to respond to the events and circumstances of life. We believe in ourselves and care about others. Life is great.
It’s essential to be aware of how our emotions affect us individually. Without such awareness, it’s nearly impossible to function and thrive within a high performing team or organization. Emotional intelligence is proven to have a direct impact on professional success, and if each individual focuses on being emotionally aware, the organization will incur greater long-term success.
Awareness involves several things:
- Being fully present
- Seeing reality clearly and for what it is
- Recognizing the choices we make
- Making choices based on the present, rather than past emotions or concerns
- Being active and independent