It’s important to have emotional intelligence in the workplace, but do you know how important?
Well, remember the days when, if you only knew, you could have become a millionaire just by becoming a programmer? Or if you had bought some Amazon stock way back in 2008?
It’s kinda like that.
Will emotional intelligence make you rich? Maybe.
Let me explain.
I believe that emotional intelligence is going to be the next big thing in the workplace – a set of skills so sought after that companies will hire for them, fire for the lack of them, and pay a premium to those who possess them in abundance.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
What is emotional intelligence exactly, and how do you use emotional intelligence in the workplace?
How do you demonstrate emotional intelligence to those who might hire you for it?
Emotional intelligence is defined as:
the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.
Some of the key factors of emotional intelligence at work (or anywhere) are:
Being Your Best Emotional Self
Not being afraid to be your best emotional self, especially in tough situations. It’s about holding yourself to standards of excellence, integrity and emotional honesty.
Emotionally intelligent people are aware of all of their feelings – good and bad. If you are, you’ll be much more likely to be able to manage them for yourself and also for the benefit of the team and your goals.
Emotionally intelligent people maintain a good mental attitude and don’t get stuck in denial, blame, excuses or anxiety. Being open to feedback, rather than shutting down and becoming defensive is a key to emotional intelligence.
Emotionally intelligent people don’t run from conflict. Generally, people avoid conflict in several ways – by running from it, putting on a false self (think tough guy), or being defensive. It’s also easy to come up with excuses about why things didn’t work. Instead, being open and transparent is important when handling conflict with emotional intelligence.
Emotionally intelligent people are able to see and manage the feelings of those around them without shutting others down or manipulating them.
Emotional Intelligence In The Workplace Is Sought After
Emotional intelligence in the workplace is sought after. Don’t believe me? Well, I didn’t make it up. Check out this study by human resources officers from global companies who were asked what they see as the top 10 job skills required for top workers by 2020.
My guess is, in addition to emotional intelligence, you probably have all or most of the 9 other skills needed by 2020 as well.
What does that mean for you?
It means that you are in high demand in the marketplace.
You have reached an exact moment in time when your skills as a creative, emotionally intelligent, people-person with the skills to solve problems, make the right decisions and think about things in new ways is exactly the person needed for the job.
Machines are replacing the data crunchers, analysts and linear thinkers, and people who do routine jobs, because machines can do that better than humans can.
But the other skills, the human skills, are needed to thrive in the workplace now – and you have them.
If your job is data driven and routine, don’t worry. Because of forces in the market, you have reached the top of the heap in terms of your skills.
Takeaway: If you’re thinking about leaving your job there’s no better time.
Routine and linear jobs might get replaced, but you will be in demand for jobs that only people with your types of skills can do.
How To Convince Employers To Hire You For Your Emotional Intelligence
If you’re looking to make a job or career change, you might be excited to think that you can rely on some of your innate skills like emotional intelligence to land a big position.
But how can you convince employers to hire you for a position like this?
Here are a few tips:
Target Jobs Hiring for “Soft Skills”
When looking for a new job or career, consider positions that rely heavily on the “soft” skills that you already possess, including emotional intelligence. Don’t just focus on “hard skills.” Your first step is to look for these positions. Where are you likely to find a position that is at the intersection of your current hard and soft skills?
Consider Emotional Intelligence Training
While you may be naturally very emotionally intelligent, being emotionally intelligent at work and proving that you are may require training or a credential. Consider going through a program that you can point to like this one from Lynda.com.
Be Able To Discuss Your Emotional Intelligence
During interviews, hiring managers want to hear about experiences you’ve had with others on your team, with customers and with higher-ups. They are listening for how you handled those situations, and they know that how you handled things in the past is how you’ll handle them now, unless you’re discussing how you learned and grew from a situation. Be sure that you can convey stories that portray you in the best light in terms of your emotional intelligence.
Demonstrate Your Emotional Intelligence At Work
During informational interviews, regular interviews, networking – anywhere – be aware that you are demonstrating your skills. You are likely emotionally intelligent without thinking about it, but like any skill, the more you work at it the better you get at it. Working at self-awareness, empathy, managing conflict and other skills related to emotional intelligence will improve them, so feel free to practice. It’s not just the level of emotional intelligence that you have, but a skill you can reach higher levels of.
Emotional Intelligence Makes Work Work For You
Make your emotional intelligence a skill that is a cornerstone of your next move in your career. Research shows that it is a lucrative skill on the market today and it is only becoming more valuable. Don’t undervalue this skill or other “soft” skills because they are soft. It is these skills that will give you the advantage in the job market of tomorrow. In fact, emotional intelligence at work and other soft skills are going to be the next big thing.