Have you ever met a successful person and wondered how they achieved that success? You might be meeting someone who on the surface doesn’t appear to be too intelligent, might not dress extremely well, or who might not speak in public as well as they could. You might even sit back and wonder, how on earth has that person done better than me? I’m smarter, I dress better, and I speak well. What is it? If you’re wondering that, chances are that you have just found someone who has more emotional intelligence than you do. It is an old adage in business that you do business with people you like. And why do you like someone? You probably like someone who leaves you feeling better about yourself after an interaction. It may even be a negative interaction where the person needs to share negative feedback or deny you a raise. Even with the negative response, you may still feel positively about that individual. If so, you have just dealt with someone who has emotional intelligence, someone who achieved success by making people feel good about themselves.
As we move from a manufacturing economy to a knowledge economy, the world is changing and what it takes to succeed in that world is changing at the same time. It is no longer possible to succeed by managing numbers, machines, or facilities. In order to succeed in the knowledge economy, you must manage the people who have knowledge. Unlike machines that don’t need to be managed with sensitivity or unskilled factory workers who can easily be replaced, knowledge workers are a particularly sensitive breed. Essentially in a knowledge business, your asset is your employee’s knowledge. This is an asset that walks out of the door at the end of every day. The way you treat them during the day will dictate whether they walk back in the door the next morning. In order to treat them well, you need to use emotional intelligence.
The Work Environment
When you get right down to it, would you rather work with someone who has poor impulse control, gets angry frequently and isn’t a cooperative member of the group, or would you prefer to work with someone who has good interpersonal skills and is generally happy and decisive. To be an effective leader, you don’t need to have all of these skills but you’ll have to have enough of them to be respected and liked by your coworkers.
Before you learn to manage relationships with others effectively you should learn how to manage your relationship with yourself. This means managing your own emotions. This is one of the keystones of emotional intelligence. If you don’t do this effectively, one of the prime results will be stress.
Of all of the areas of emotional intelligence, perhaps that of managing relationships is the most important. There are a lot of ideas around this subject that people will give you. For me, using emotional intelligence to manage relationships means two things:
- Consider what the emotional reaction may be to everything you do.
- Don’t Display Negative Emotions
You can make negative decisions, say negative things, think negative thoughts, or have negative emotions but if you refrain from displaying those negative emotions, you’ll go a long way to creating a harmonious work environment.
More on Emotional Intelligence
If you like reading things instead of watching videos I’ve written up a short summary of what we were trying to get at in these videos. Check it out if you want a bit more depth on the subject.