In the World Economic Forum (WEF) report ‘The Future of Jobs’, emotional intelligence was listed as one of the most important job skills that employees must possess to become competitive in the global digital economy.
A term that was popularised in the 1990s, emotional intelligence can be described as our ability to discern, comprehend, and manage our own emotions as well as that of others, and then apply this emotional information accordingly.
For instance, emotionally intelligent individuals are capable of handling their own emotions when under duress, or resolving conflicts among subordinates in a group project.
Emotional intelligence, according to American psychologist Daniel Goleman, comprised of five key characteristics: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.
Self-awareness requires us to be insightful of our own emotions, strengths and weaknesses; whereas self-regulation involves having control of our emotions and impulses; and motivation drives us to initiate and commit to our long-term achievements internally.
Empathy allows us to identify, interpret and understand the feelings of others, including their needs, wants and points-of-view, while social skills enable us to engage, establish and maintain relationships with them.
Although technical skills such as coding and big data analytics are vital in the digital economy, surveys have shown that many employers tend to hire candidates who are emotionally intelligent.
This is due to the candidates’ capability to handle stress, collaborate with others, be receptive to feedback, make better decisions, and other emotional intelligence related skills, which are necessary for an organisation to succeed.
For ourselves, having a high emotional intelligence empowers us in our studies or career and a fulfilling life simultaneously; maintains our physical and mental wellbeing; and ensures strong relationships with people professionally and personally.
Learning and developing our emotional intelligence can take place any time, given that we are bound to face challenges that confront our own beliefs or our social connections with other people.
Thus, we should treat these challenges as learning opportunities rather than threats, because they allow us to build the discipline and patience to approach challenges proactively.
When there isn’t any conflict, we can widen our perspectives on ideas, concepts and cultures by travelling to places where we can encounter people of different values, or by exposing ourselves to various artistic media such as films, books, photography, and architecture.
We can also assess ourselves on a regular basis by keeping a journal, talking to people who understand us better, or taking self-assessment tests that are available online.
Do remember that developing greater emotional intelligence involves frequent practice and being comfortable with yourself as an individual, but in time you’ll accomplish wonders with those around you and especially within yourself.
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This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2F7lCax