Have you heard the term EQ? No, not the equalizer on your stereo; it’s your Emotional Intelligence. While nearly everyone has heard of and understands what IQ is, there is an almost more important quotient that you need to be worried about in today’s business world…EQ.
The hard skills required for nearly every job are changing. Not so much in that the work is different, more so that soft skills, those skills that are more about the relationship building than the actual product, are becoming today’s hard skills.
You must now not only learn the necessary physical and mental skills required for a job, but also the emotional skills required to keep and enhance relationships. You must become self-aware, socially-aware, as well as understand the concepts of self- and relationship management. Check out this video where I discuss the pitfalls of having high IQ and low EQ.
I will quickly cover what those four concepts mean and then follow up with a few strategies to help you enhance your EQ. Here’s a link to my discussion with the PA Institute of Certified Public Accountants on these concepts.
Self-Awareness – This concept focuses on understanding what you are feeling at a certain time and why you are feeling that way. It is the ability to look within to understand how situations affect you.
Social-Awareness – This concept is much like self-awareness but focuses on how others in proximity to you and your situation are feeling and why. It is the ability to read a room.
Self-Management – This is the ability to manage your emotions in any situation. It comes first from being self-aware and then having the ability to put the relationship before yourself.
Relationship-Management – It is your ability to communicate in a way that nurtures and preserves current relationships and allows you to grow new relationships.
Some strategies to focus on to enhance your EQ are relatively simple. It’s likely you already utilize a few of them in your daily life now. Check out this discussion on these strategies from my engagement with the PICPA.
The first strategy is bonding. Try to find a common thread in the first 60 seconds. If you find a common thread quickly, it not only allows for easier conversation but also bonds you to the person on an emotional level.
Second is making the most of ALL situations. Don’t focus only on situations that are easy. Make the most of all situations regardless of how difficult, and you will be more successful.
Finally, work with the colleagues who annoy you. I’m sure you just looked away from the screen and said, “Wait, what?” Think about it. You are ALWAYS being watched by those above you. If you show that you can move beyond your feelings and still get the job done, you are making quite a positive impression on your bosses.
So remember, your soft skills are quickly becoming today’s hard skills. Maybe you can do the physical and mental side of your position, but so can numerous others. It is your emotional intelligence that not only will set you apart but also will move you ahead in today’s business world.