The topic of Emotional Intelligence has been a popular one for several years. It became a key conversation throughout the pandemic. It forced us to look at our work and personal lives, blending together and navigating the unknown. We have all learned about ourselves in the last two years and continue assessing our needs. So what makes Emotional Intelligence relevant to our work today? I believe it is the framework we lead and build strong work partnerships with others. Think about it, our work happens through people, connecting, and creating meaningful work. Our most valuable resource is people.
Daniel Goleman’s model of Emotional Intelligence is made up of five areas. It starts with knowing yourself and self-awareness of how you show up to varied situations. Once we have awareness, we must learn the second area, how to self-regulate our behaviors to other’s styles and approaches to build trust and common ground. The third is empathy, the ability to put yourself in someone else’s situation to understand what they see and experience. We all have our own perspectives, and understanding others is important. The fourth is motivation and understanding what drives us as individuals and as a team. How are we linking our work to the mission? The fifth is a social skill, knowing how we best meet and develop relationships with others. This social skill is how we build our friend groups, work partnerships, and lead projects or teams. Each of these five elements is critical to learn and continue to develop for ourselves and others throughout our careers.
The best place to start is thinking about your intention (how you want others to experience you) and your impact (the way others actually experience you). Maybe you think that this is a lot. It can feel that way when evaluating where you may have strengths and areas to develop. Ask for feedback from your trusted network, and ask others to share what they appreciate about your style and approach and where you can continue to grow. The feedback you receive will help guide and direct your areas of focus.
We understand the importance of building strong relationships with everyone within our networks to do meaningful work. Wendy and I work on this as business partners, coaches, and consultants with our clients. We offer several tools and resources for emotional intelligence and will be designing a course shortly to help our community grow together.