By Perminus Wainaina
What makes some people more successful in work and life than others?
The most probable answer would be “Intelligent quotient (IQ) and work ethics” but these two factors alone don’t tell the whole story.
One of our major abilities is the way we manage emotions, both our own and those of others. It can play a critical role in determining our happiness and work success.
These abilities are collectively called “emotional intelligence”.
According to Dr. Travis Bradberry, TalentSmart conducted a research with more than a million people and found out that 90% of top performers have a high level of emotional intelligence. They usually make more money than people with a low degree of emotional intelligence.
I have also discovered this to be the case when i am coaching my clients.
Next 4 steps explain how to develop your emotional intelligence skills.
KNOW YOUR EMOTIONS: Be aware of what inspires you to do more, and what makes you anxious and slows you down. Try to recognize office “stressors” that are not work-related, like spending time with your co-workers or people who drain you and listening to their mean comments, and try to keep away from them.
Focus your thoughts on positive aspects of work: remember why you have started to do this job in the first place, and what makes you good at it.
This will immediately boost your self-confidence. Also, think about your flaws as areas of improvement: it will increase your work motivation and help you to concentrate on your tasks.
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR EMOTIONS: It is important not to allow negative feelings to overpower you.
Emotionally stable people are more likely to stand up to their commitments, which builds their trustworthy reputation. In an office environment, it is crucial to think before you act; especially if your actions are based on impulses rather than reasoning.
Even in cases when you have all the arguments on your side – for example, the promotion that had been promised to you after successfully finished assignment somehow slipped away – you must reevaluate your remaining options before you burst into righteous anger.
Maybe it will be better to practice your patience and to channel your negative energy into achievement drive that will lead to even better results. In that way, you will definitely prove how valuable you are for your company.
SHOW YOUR INTEREST IN OTHERS: In one study, surgeons in malpractice suits who spent additional 3 minutes with their patients reassuring them, making orienting comments and showing concern were less likely to be sued (Freedman, 2014). Like in your private life, empathy is crucial in your office: take an active interest in the work of your colleagues, engage your listening skills with customers and try to understand their standpoints.
ENGAGE YOUR SOCIAL SKILLS: One research showed that MBA students with high EI were seen as bigger contributors to their group; in case of demographically diverse groups, their contribution was estimated even higher(Freedman, 2014). We can get the best from team work by discovering common goals shared by entire team. Once we get to know our colleagues better, it will be easier to avoid conflicts and to communicate clearly and promptly.
Start behaving as your own human resource manager: by building good relationships with people in your office, you will create precious social network based on common values and aims and consolidate your position in the
From all mentioned above, it is easy to understand why EI is more important for work success than IQ. And now, one great piece of news: unlike general intelligence, EI is socially mediated ability; by practicing our emotional intelligence, we are training our brain to turn these actions into our habits (Bradberry, 2015).
This means that we all have an ability to increase our chances to succeed and to grow our leadership potential: we just have to learn more about ourselves and others and to understand what is really important in our life.
Perminus Wainaina is the C.E.O and Managing Partner at Corporate Staffing Services, a leading HR consultancy firm based in Westlands. He manages a team of 20 staff and has wide experience in coaching, leadership development, recruitment, and HR consultancy.