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Emotional intelligence calls for the acquisition of certain emotional skills. Managers have to learn these skills to be star performers and achieve success in their professional life. What are these emotional skills? The three dimensions of emotional intelligence; emotional sensitivity, emotional maturity and emotional competency, represent these skills. Acquiring emotional competence may not mean having intellectual grasp over the concepts involved, although this may be one of the easiest approaches. Intellectual understanding is only a threshold process that is necessary for learning, but not sufficient for lasting improvement. Deeper changes require the retooling of ingrained habits of thought and emotion that managers will have to practice. Our emotional intelligence is what determines our potential to learn practical skills. Our emotional competence shows how much of this potential is translated into on-the-job capabilities. For instance, being good at serving customers is an emotional competence based on empathy. Similarly, trustworthiness is a competence based on self-regulation. Both customer service and trustworthiness are competencies that can make people outstanding in their area of work. However, just being high in emotional intelligence does not necessarily guarantee that a person will have learned the emotional competencies that matter; it only means that he or she has excellent potential to learn these. For example, a person might be highly empathic, yet may not have learned the skills based on empathy that translate themselves into superior customer service, or the ability to coach or monitor staff, or the ability to bring together a diverse work team. The parallel in music would be, say, someone with a perfect pitch, and with the necessary training, becomes a maestro. An inevitable fact is that emotional life is difficult to handle. Everyone experiences highs and lows. Balance is the key, and by using emotional intelligence you can escape moods that create problems. Can you activate yourself when you are down? Can you calm down when you are over activated? We all have emotions, but we can exercise some measure of control over how long these emotions last, and how we act on them. An emotionally intelligent manager will require these skills in varied measures. Some of the skills that can help in managing emotions in your personal life as well as in the workplace are listed below:

Learn to recognise your emotions

Recognising and identifying emotions is a prerequisite for developing emotional intelligence. There is a major difference between experiencing emotions and recognising them. We all experience emotions but only a few among us can actually recognise them. Recognising your emotions is the ability to use the analytical capabilities of your brain. People who can identify and recognise their emotions have higher levels of emotional intelligence. Being clear about your emotions is necessary for living with a purpose. In the process, you will learn how to improve your EQ by con- trolling a particular emotion. How do you recognise your emotions? A senior executive was heard saying, ‘He does not know when he gets angry. It ’s only after he has released his pent-up feelings that he realises he was angry.’ On another occasion, a subordinate complained that he does not know how to identify and recognise the emotions of his boss. ‘By the time I realise what he wants, it ’s all over,’ he says. In order to accurately recognise your emotions, you need higher EQ competencies. 

Learn to empathise with others

Empathy is the ability to sense how other people feel. It is the key to success in your career, in friendships, in love and marriage and in child rearing. Being able to read non-verbal cues that contradict spoken words, help you to know what is really going on in a situation. Some people can instantly empathise with others while others cannot. In the corporate world, small gestures like saying ‘thank you’, supporting employees’ viewpoints, avoiding criticism of others or acknowledging employees’ strengths, are the ingredients for fostering empathy among employees. 

Develop High Self-Esteem

How you feel about yourself is the most tangible indication of self-esteem. Though high self-esteem primarily depends on your feelings about yourself, it is often bolstered by others also; people you share your feelings with. Feelings such as confidence, respect, being wanted and cared for, result in high self-esteem, which not only gives you realistic confidence in yourself but also in your ability to handle adversities in life. It leads to success at work and in personal relationships. It enables you to handle conflict, face challenges and perceive difficulties as learning opportunities. As a result, you are constantly growing and improving. On the other hand, low self- esteem leads to feelings of failure, and hence you are always either giving up or trying to prove yourself. There is a tendency to avoid confronting problems among persons with low EQ because they do not really believe that they can solve them. Consequently, other outlets, such as alcohol, work, exercise, academics, religion, self- righteousness, parenting, relationships or even drugs, are sought which provide a distraction and allow them to avoid facing difficult issues. A sense of high self-esteem is one of the greatest gifts an organisation can give its employees, or parents can give their children. Yet most organisations are ill equipped to offer such a gift. They may offer high salaries, attractive perks, but not self- esteem. 

manage emotional upsets

An emotionally upset person’s performance at work will suffer; hence, being able to deal with both professional and personal upsets will help him or her achieve full productivity. It will also impact his or her perseverance, which is a vital skill in today’s fast changing society. For instance, if you are a manager or a supervisor or providing customer service, you are often faced with other people’s emotions. Being adept at handling your own emotion makes it less stressful for you to deal with other people. The ability to deal with emotional upsets is a powerful asset in building and/ or maintaining your self-confidence. This enables you to believe in your own abilities and your own approach to tasks and problems. It also helps you to accept challenging tasks that other people tend to avoid. If you can deal with upsets easily and effortlessly, then you will become more comfortably aware of your feelings on a moment-to-moment basis. You have to learn to be an emotional winner by learning the art of influencing people and managing stress, conflict and anger. 

other related areas

And finally, the development of EQ forcefully impacts your professional life in many ways. EQ requires the development of certain specific emotional skills. Some of the management areas where emotional skills can be developed to have gainful outcomes are:

  • Corporate Culture: Creating an environment where employees feel safe, trusted, special, needed, included, important, cooperative, focused, productive, motivated, respected and valued.
  • Hiring: Selecting employees who are relatively high in emotional intelligence, that is, emotionally sensitive, aware, optimistic, resilient, positive and responsible.
  • Customer Service: Develop EQ to help your customers feel heard, understood, helped, served, respected, valued and important.
  • High Technology Management: Helping technical experts in improving their emotional and people skills, that is, creating a high-tech, high-touch workplace.
  • Turnover: Realising turnover reduction by helping employees feel appreciated, recognised, supported, challenged, re- warded and respected.
  • Training: Raising EQ at all levels of the business through emotional literacy and EQ awareness workshops.
  • Productivity: Enhancing intrinsic motivation, increasing employee commitment, cooperation and cohesion. Reducing time spent on conflicts, turf battles, defensiveness and insecurity.
  • Goal Setting: Setting goals based on feelings. For example, setting customer satisfaction as a goal and setting similar goals for employees, seeking feedback on feelings and measuring and tracking performance.
  • Emotional Support: Mitigating negative emotions such as fear, worry, anxiety and stress. These negative emotions lower the functioning of the immune system, increase blood pressure, increase the risk of heart attacks and cancer, prolong recovery times and cause migraine headaches. On the other hand, it has been seen that providing emotional support leads to tangible health benefits.
  • Leadership: A leader with high EQ is emotionally aware. Such a leader is also able to read universalised emotions in others, is emotionally literate in the sense that he or she is able to concisely articulate emotions; and has a broad vocabulary of feeling words. Thus, such a leader does not easily become defensive or angered. Apart from acknowledging fears and encouraging others to do likewise, the leader is empathic and accepts others and shows compassion, instead of being demanding and intolerant. Not only does the leader treat all feelings with respect, but is also inspiring and motivating.
  • (Top business functionaries, corporates and businesses may like to go through THE EQ TEST to know more about themselves and their employees) Further, you may, like to read the popular book EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AT WORK by Dr. Dalip Singh, published by SAGE PUBLICATIONS at https://in.sagepub.com/en- in/sas/author/dalip-singh. You may like to consult another insightful book by Prof NK Chadha, COUNSELLING SKILLS- Knowing the Self and Others, published by THE READERS Paradise, 2018.

Do you want To know your emotional health and its impact on physical health? then Take the Test.

  • The reasons for losing customers and clients are 70% EQ-related (e.g., didn’t like that company’s customer service).
  • 50% of time wasted in business is due to lack of trust.
  • In one year, the US Airforce invested less than $10,000 for emotional competence testing and saved $2,760,000 in recruitment.
  • In a multinational consulting firm, partners who showed high emotional intelligence (EQ) competencies earned 139% more than the lower EQ partners.
  • American Express tested emotional competence training on Financial Advisors; trained advisors increased business 18.1% compared to 16.2%, and nearly 90% of those who took the training reported significant improvements in their sales performance. Now all incoming advisors receive four days of emotional competence training.
  • After training in emotional competencies, lost-time accidents were reduced significantly, formal grievances were reduced to a large extent, and the productivity goals were surpassed.
  • Top performing sales clerks are 12 times more productive than those at the bottom and 85 percent more productive than an average performer. About one-third of this difference is due to technical skill and cognitive ability while two-thirds is due to emotional competence.
  • Research indicates that only 7% of leadership success is attributable to intellect; 93% of success comes from trust, integrity, authenticity, honesty, creativity, presence, and resilience.
  • At L’Oreal, sales agents selected on the basis of certain emotional competencies significantly outsold salespeople selected using the company’s old selection procedure by $91,370, for a net revenue increase of $2,558,360. Salespeople selected on the basis of emotional competence also had 63% less turnover during the first.
    10. The most effective leaders are warmer, more outgoing, emotionally expressive, dramatic, and sociable.
  • Workers with high work pressures and poor time management skills are twice as likely to miss work; employees who have strong self-management skills cope better with work pressures.