Why You Need Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence

Do you have emotional intelligence? Do you know why you need to have emotional intelligence?

It once was thought that your education was the best measure of your potential and predictor of your success. You only needed to graduate college with good grades and land a good job. Now emotional intelligence is being seen as an equally important factor in your success.

Employers Want Emotional Intelligence

A recent survey detailed what skills and traits employers want in entry-level employees.

  1. The ability to learn on the job
  2. Listening and communications skills
  3. Adaptability and creative responses to setbacks and obstacles (problem solving skills)
  4. Personal management, confidence, motivation to work toward common goals, a sense of wanting to develop one’s career and taking pride in their accomplishments
  5. Group and interpersonal effectiveness, cooperativeness and teamwork, skills in negotiating disagreements
  6. Effectiveness in the organization, wanting to make a contribution, leadership potential
  7. Competence in reading, writing, and math

When you look at this list only one of the seven listed is academic. Competence is reading, writing, and math. The other six traits fall under emotional intelligence. Employers want soft skills, but they also want emotional intelligence.

Why Emotional Intelligence is Important to a College Student

When you graduate college and find a job you can not totally rely on your academics to bring you success. You may graduate in the top of your class and still lack the emotional skills needed to be successful in your career.

Simply put, emotional intelligence is the measure of ones ability to understand and deal with their own emotions, the emotions of others and how to properly act on those emotions.

For years the current generation has been criticized as being self-absorbed,  emotionally lacking and narcissistic. They attached a label, “Generation Me” (good read) to signify the perception that with this generation the needs of the individual come first before anything else.

The problem is these traits do not fit into the workplace very well. When you look at the skills and traits desired by employers in the survey you see that most are not centered around the individual, but ones ability to work with a team and as an employee to meet the needs of the company.

Emotional Intelligence 101

Developing your emotional intelligence requires time. Most of all it requires a serious examination of your emotional behavior, how you interact with others and recognizing areas you need to improve in.

Some key areas to examine and develop include:

  • Emotional Self-Control – Learn your emotional triggers and methods to control them.
  • Acceptance of Criticism – It will come and can leave you emotional charged.
  • Teamwork and Collaboration – You must get along with and work well with others, even if you don’t like them.
  • Communications – Communicate clearly and be specific, without emotional interjection.
  • Empathy – Understand and accept that the emotions of others are just as important as yours.
  • Resolve Conflict Positively – Conflict will occur and an emotional response makes it worse.
  • Build Positive Relationships – With your co-workers, your boss and the people in your life.
  • Learn Body Language – You communicate with your body language and so do others. Learn what is important to do, not to do and how to read it.
  • Learn To Deal With Stress – As a college student you already know about stress. Stress can take a physical and emotional toll. Learn ways to cope with it, overcome it and use it to your advantage.

Cognitive ability is the most important factor in determining your success in the workplace. Emotional intelligence is a very close second. Don’t sabotage your career because you can not manage your emotions of the emotions of others.

Developing your emotional intelligence is important for personal, family and business relationships.

Photo credit: alamosbasement