The carrot for learning about emotional intelligence is it is something you can improve upon (unlike your IQ) and has a tangible reward – “every point increase in EQ adds $1,300 to an annual salary”. In the book Emotional Intelligence 2.0, Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves define emotional intelligence and provide strategies to improve your score – something they argue will improve work performance not matter what your profession. They breakdown emotional intelligence into four areas: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.
Self-awareness is the cornerstone of emotional intelligence; all of the other areas depend on it. Being self-aware means you understand your emotions at any given time, and your tendencies in situations. You manage your emotions and do not let them manage you and remain calm during stressful situations. Soft skills which require self-awareness include leadership, empathy, and communications.
Self-management is how you act or behave in a given situation and the strength is in being able to delay needs, show flexibility, and continually manage your tendencies. You can be patient and communicate with a group of people. Soft skills that require self-management include presentational speaking, social skills, flexibility, and customer service.
Social awareness is tuning into others’ emotions and truly understanding the ambiance around you. Soft skills related to social awareness include team building, relationship building, and customer service.
Relationship management is “your ability to use your awareness of your own emotions and those of others to manage interactions successfully.” To demonstrate strength in this area, you make strong bonds with others and are capable of building relationships in stressful situations.
I read the book and look forward to practice the various strategies to improve my emotional intelligence. The strategies are straightforward. And I am convinced that if I learn to practice them in my everyday experiences, I will improve my soft skills that relate with working with others!
I recommend reading the book: “Emotional Intelligence 2.0”, TalentSmart, 2009.