Career Control: Developing Your Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is critical to the success of senior technology leaders. With the rise of artificial intelligence slowly replacing the functions that require a high IQ, EQ is crucial in maintaining a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report uncovered that EQ is poised to become one of the top 10 job skills by 2020 with evidence that leaders who possess a high level of EQ, foster an environment for happier, more productive employees which in turn creates fertile ground for the growth of new leaders.

While computers can gather, analyse, and interpret data, a human touch is required in the emotional aspect of running the most successful organisations. Employers must ensure their leaders and teams invest time into developing their EQ and provide a solid foundation for the development of other core competencies essential to a successful career in senior technology.

Do you find yourself being impatient, making impulsive decisions, becoming stubborn and or indecisive with your colleagues and in meetings? Although these behaviours can be drivers to success as you climb the career ladder, should you regularly find yourself exhibiting these traits on a regular basis, it may be time to work on developing your emotional intelligence.

So what does having a high EQ entail? Essentially, it is the capacity to be aware of, control and express ones’ emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. It includes aspects such as self-motivation, dealing with challenges, conflict and setbacks, adaptability, possessing awareness of others, building trust and emotional expression and control.

The reality is, if you cannot control your emotions, you make impulsive decisions and cannot put the best version of yourself forward in any situation. Ultimately, the ability to control emotions calls for a high level of emotional intelligence.

Looking ahead, developing your EQ requires a combination of four main competencies –
-       Self-Awareness - noticing what is affecting you personally positively or negatively
-       Self-Management - acting on your feelings
-       Interpersonal Intelligence type 1 – awareness of others around you, what’s going on for other people and between people
-       Interpersonal Intelligence type 2 - relationship management skills to adapt to Interpersonal Intelligence type 1

Three ways to kickstart an upgrade in your EQ are as follows –
-       Interpersonal relationships – invest time and energy in establishing high quality relationships; be sociable and start showing people that you are trustworthy.
-       Empathy – listen attentively to others, responding sensitively and compassionately to others’ needs.
-       Social responsibility – focus on being a cooperative, contributing member of a team, group, organisation or community.

Learn how to build trusting relationships, lead, manage & motivate others, develop your listening skills, encourage others to talk about themselves, make others feel important – and do it sincerely.

This article was written in partnership with Neelam Kaul, Global Executive Coach and Trainer and Founder of 'Stressed In The City'.
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