2020 has created an interesting landscape for everyone, especially when it comes to working, finding work or hiring someone to work for you. Each of those areas has always required a high level of people interaction, but this year that interaction has changed. Many of us are still working remotely and interacting mainly through video, phone, instant messengers and email. Therefore, it has become increasingly important to create meaningful human connections despite our virtual world. How? Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is key.
Whether it is adapting to remote work, finding new career opportunities in a virtual setting, identifying quality talent to help grow your business, or finding unique ways to maintain engagement with your teams, a strong EQ helps individuals achieve professional success in these challenging circumstances.
What is EQ?
Daniel Goleman defines emotional intelligence as, “The capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships.”* This can be broken down into being self-aware, maintaining your own emotions and being socially aware, while focusing on how you interact with others.
Becoming More Emotionally Intelligent
Self awareness starts with an accurate self-assessment. Understanding your own traits, motivators and behaviors gives you insights into your strengths and assets, as well as your limitations or areas of improvement. From there, you can begin to recognize patterns in yourself and learn how to regulate the way you feel and express your emotions.
Once you’ve learned to govern your own emotions effectively, you’ll need to scale your skills to better understand and empathize with others. Those who are socially aware have their finger on the pulse of those they interact with and are able to consider others’ perspectives. Social awareness helps create social skills that can build rapport and connection. At Medix, we like to say, “Use the Platinum Rule: treat others the way THEY want to be treated.” When you can build networks and manage relationships that are tailored to the people you are interacting with, you will build lasting bonds and trust.
It’s true that some people are just born with more emotional intelligence than others, but everyone can build their competencies to cultivate connections. Research from the last two decades suggests possessing and applying emotional intelligence competencies has a positive impact on job performance and relationships. As you recognize what makes you unique and the value you bring to the table, you will naturally learn how to improve your own professional skills, like leadership, team collaboration and communication. As you interact with others, focus on how those interactions can be more “pure.” People who are strong in EQ have proven to build up others, be seen as a leader that others want to follow, have higher productivity and helped increased organizational performance.
All-in-all, with our virtual and socially distant society, EQ is needed now more than ever! Embrace EQ in your day-to-day interactions, even though they’re on video or through the phone. Focus on how you can work through your own stress and changes, and be more meaningful in the connections you build with others. Extra efforts here will pay off in your overall success, happiness and engagement at work in this trying time!
*Goleman, Daniel. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than Iq. New York: Bantam Books, 1995. Print.
About Regina Dunning
Regina is Medix’s Director of Client Experience. She is one of our experts about innovation in staffing, soft skills and how to use today’s resources to match the right candidates with the right companies.