The Importance of Emotional Intelligence
Soft skills aren’t fluffy. The cost of underdeveloped people skills is wastefulness and lost productivity. Conversely, the upside is boosted productivity, engagement and often satisfaction. Are you as productive as you could be? Do you know the capabilities of your emotional intelligence? Read on to find out the importance of emotional intelligence and how my services can help you.
Self-awareness and cynicism.
I believe in the power of self-awareness and conscious choice, to grow an individual both professionally and personally. I work with an individual on a one-on-one basis, that is where I really love to do my executive coaching. And I especially love working with people who are very cynical.
Cynical people get so much more out of coaching because cynicism is always fear and trauma-based and founded on other similar negative experiences and emotions.
A large percentage of my coaching is within corporate, and especially with men. Usually, those in the corporate field, and in particular men, are intelligent and smart. Their skillset is technically excellent, but they perhaps need to bring up their soft skills or emotional intellect. Do you have soft skills? Or have you thought of them as being ‘fluffy’?
What are Soft Skills and Emotional Intelligence?
Soft skills have their roots in Emotional Intelligence or EQ (sometimes called EI). EQ is the overarching term to describe four concepts: the ability to know one’s emotions, manage one’s emotions, understand the emotions of other people, and manage relationships with others. The concept was popularized in the 1996 book Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, still a great reference to this day.
The four areas of EQ are:
- Self-Awareness; knowing one’s emotions
- Self-Management; Managing one’s emotions and motivating oneself
- Social Awareness; Recognising the emotions in others
- Social Management: Handling relationships, interactions with others
Why is Emotional Intelligence Important When Leading a Team?
Soft skills and emotional intelligence within management and corporate is extremely important to have, especially now more important than ever. During times of stress, people can become very unconscious in their fear patterns and fight or flight patterns. It is during these times that it is extremely vital to become much more self-aware of emotions and to be able to manage them.
This isn’t just important for the person themselves, but also for their teams and the people they work for. The rise of remote working means we have to work even harder to really be able to tune into what’s underneath the surface for people and to be empathic of their feelings. That is why emotional intelligence is crucial.
My program helps you to balance your head-smart strengths and cognitive intelligence through simple tools, frameworks and exercises. These will challenge you to become more emotionally intelligent for the benefit of your organisation, those you support and yourself.
Why Are Soft Skills Often Lacking?
Because of the ways we are brought up societal views on emotion. My background is one of a military background. I was brought up to not have emotions or be emotional. In the military emotions serve no purpose, so you have to close yourself off to that. I believe that’s why as a coach I have more men as clients because my upbringing in the military background is very similar to the way a lot of men are brought up. They haven’t been given the chance to develop their emotional side.
The clients that come needing my services are incredibly intelligent, practical and very process-driven people. They are in the technical spaces: insurance, finance, engineering. Their whole work revolves around and focuses on processes and getting tasks done.
During executive coaching, these incredibly intelligent individuals are able to work on their emotional intelligence. The result is phenomenal because the combination of intelligence and practical skills with emotional intelligence creates amazing leadership.
Regardless of your gender, there’s a lot of societal pressure on how you think you should behave, look, speak or act. If you’ve got a very senior role, you feel that pressure and it can get quite lonely at the top. Women may find themselves suppressing their emotions and ceasing them from coming to the surface.
How Can Emotional Intelligence Improve Your Leadership Skills?
We are all operating according to how we have been ‘conditioned’ ie. the rules of life we follow in order to belong, to be loved, in our families and in the culture we are brought up in. We’re told what we can do, can’t do, how we need to behave, be like, act like, and a lot of the time, that is to not be emotional, not to show any emotions we may have, this often equates to weakness. If you do, you can often get called sensitive, which isn’t said in a good way, it’s not seen as a good thing. With executive coaching, each and every client is different and have different circumstances. Everyone is an individual, however, there are recurring themes. In terms of leadership work, the two common areas that are recurring are:
- The dreadful work/life balance. These individuals are stressed to the max, which is exacerbated now due to blurred boundaries. There is a lack of actual boundaries to stop working. They have a poor work/life balance, high levels of anxiety, high levels of stress, and are not able to switch off and be present with their families. Even if they are physical with their families, they aren’t present in their minds.
- The lack of emotional intelligence skills and soft skills. This means the individual struggles with conflict, being able to be around other people's emotions, being able to hold people in, and also being aware of what their own emotions are. This can lead to poor feedback, conflict management and ultimately not being able to engage and inspire others to follow them as a leader.
How we work with Emotional Intelligence
I am an Accredited Emotional Intelligence Coach and work alongside my work partner Anne Taylor – an Executive Coach of 13 years and EQ Leadership Author.
We believe that when emotionally intelligent people manage and lead organisations, especially through times of change and challenge, they have the capacity to outperform financially and ‘humanly’, with empathy. Our programmes are interactive and experiential, so participants are able to learn, practice and embed new beliefs and behaviours.
Are You Ready to Boost Your Soft Skills and Emotional Intelligence?
I often refer to Anne’s book, ‘Soft Skills Hard Results: A Practical Guide to People Skills for Analytical Leaders’ within my one to one coaching, and also in our co-designed group training. You can purchase her book on Amazon as a great introduction to EQ and how you can apply it immediately in your own leadership.
If you are interested in our programmes, then we offer:
- EQ Leadership Toolbox Programme
- EQ Management Skills Toolbox Programme
- Bespoke EQ-based group leadership programmes to increase self-insight, influence and impact.
Get in touch today to find out more: firstname.lastname@example.org / 07931 996854
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