Emotional intelligence is gathering prominence in the working environment today. It is becoming the center focus of a number of programs and activities used by employers to provision everything from applied training and leadership development through to candidate selection for open positions. But it is a big topic and it can be difficult to understand how practicing emotional intelligence can help your professional, personal and organizational endeavors.
I first became aware of emotional intelligence through the ground breaking book “Working with Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman (1998). This book was assumption-shattering as it demonstrated why IQ wasn’t enough to provide a meaningful and satisfying work experience. Yet (at the time) IQ was lauded by high school guidance counselors and universities alike as almost the sole indicator of educational and (by extension) professional success. As someone who had the “smarts” to graduate university and enter the working world I was stymied when I realized my degree wasn’t enough; there was a more nuanced element to working and career that I hadn’t been taught at school. I had no idea what it was until I read the Goleman book many years into my working life.
I’m not the only one who has been enthralled with the concept of emotional intelligence as an indicator of how well one can operate in the complex environment of personal and professional endeavors. Daniel Goleman’s book made an already scientifically quantified and well-researched academic topic accessible to the multitudes and the field has grown from there. However, there is still the complex process of taking this well documented topic from the page to practical application – and that is where I come in.
Emotional intelligence or EQ (unlike IQ which is set for us by the age of 15) is something we have the ability to develop - but this requires a degree of self-awareness, an open mind and the motivation to seek change in ourselves (and our organizations). With these three things anything is possible; applying even a small measure of emotional intelligence to your professional life will bring positive results. But how does one start? How do you build that awareness and get your head around the large topic of emotional intelligence, breaking it into manageable and sustained increases to your performance and potential?
This blog is a place to start to familiarize yourself with the possibilities of emotional intelligence and what it can bring to your career or to your organization. For both novices and those who are already applying EI principles this blog is about the practical application of emotional intelligence in today’s workplace. If I had to sum up the opportunities available to anyone considering EI as a way forward it would be to perceptibly remove the unseen barriers you feel have been plaguing you professionally but you cannot quantify, releasing your full potential while increasing your professional well being. At least that is what it has done for me and what I now practice in my own career – helping others to do the same. I have spent my career practicing the complex field of human resources and seen first hand the difference between those individuals who thrive in their profession and those who don’t (and the difference their contributions make to an organization). Now, in addition to practicing HR, I also work with emotional intelligence as an EQ-i 2.0 Practitioner to help individuals and organizations learn how to reach beyond those unseen barriers and thrive.