There has always been a general tendency to equate academic excellence with success. Due to this, if you are doing well academically, then relationship skills, manners and other aspects related to your emotional growth are often given less importance. This skewed interest in academic excellence means the emotional growth of the child is ignored; in other words emotional intelligence is on the decline. But in our changing world, this skill has been recognised as one which can help you survive and thrive, probably much more than others.
Take for instance this case of a senior manager in charge of workers of the production line. He was well qualified and working for a big reputed firm. One day due to the negligence of a particular worker something went wrong with the production line. While pulling up the worker in charge the manager flew into a rage and used abusive language. The issue blew out of control and led to a lockout since the union took strong offence to the way the situation was handled by the manager.
This is an example where a technically competent person with a high IQ was unable to handle a life situation appropriately, because he was low on emotional intelligence. His people skills were not very good and he was unable to control his emotions when required, and thus lost out in a situation that could have been smoothly handled.
Companies abroad and some companies in India are realizing that candidates need to be emotionally intelligent. Apart from the basic technical qualifications; they look for employees who will be balanced, are in control of their emotions, can handle relationships well, are able to cope in stressful situations, are able to work in teams, and handle conflicts well.
Going back to the earlier example, assuming the manager had a high EQ he would have realized that he was feeling worried and anxious since he was responsible for his production line. He would have pulled up the worker, so that the worker realized his fault instead of getting defensive and aggressive. In the end, he would have got the worker to get back to work and rectify the fault rather than leading the situation to a lockout.
Similarly, developing our Emotional Intelligence helps us express ourselves in a healthy manner, build strong and fruitful relationships and resolve conflicts effectively. It can be a boon to us at work, home and everywhere else! Especially now when remote working has made connecting with team members and colleagues a little more difficult.
So what does it mean to have emotional intelligence?
Basically emotional intelligence involves four skills that an individual must have:
Self-Awareness: you understand your emotions and know your strengths and weaknesses.
Self-Management: you effectively manage your motives and regulate your behaviour accordingly.
Social Awareness: you understand what others are saying and feeling and why they feel and act as they do.
People Skills: you act in a way that gets you desired results from others.
Since people with high EQ are in control of their emotions they are able to respond to situations that come up in an appropriate manner. Their emotions do not colour their thoughts and behaviours. How they behave or what they say in those situations is well balanced and clearly thought out. They use emotional understanding to guide their thoughts and behaviour. They make intelligent use of their emotions. Even though it might be difficult, it is not impossible and never too late to build on our Emotional Intelligence.