What is emotional intelligence and why is it becoming ‘a must-have skill’ at work? – Michmutters

What is emotional intelligence and why is it becoming ‘a must-have skill’ at work?

Daniel Goleman has a blunt warning for jobseekers in 2022 and beyond: It’s no longer enough just to be smart.

Dr Goleman, an American author and psychologist, has spent decades touting the importance of ’emotional intelligence’ in the workplace and other areas of life.

And it appears companies and organizations have caught up with him.

“[In the mid-1990s] someone said to me, ‘you know, you can’t use the word emotion in a business context’. Today, it’s very, very different,” he tells ABC RN’s Future Tense.

But what exactly is emotional intelligence or EI? And is it just more work-speak or ‘a must-have skill’ of the future?

What is emotional intelligence?

There are several definitions of emotional intelligence, but it boils down to understanding your emotions, understanding the emotions of those around you, and acting accordingly.

Dr Goleman, who put the term on the map with his 1995 book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, says it has four main components.

An older man with gray hair, a gray beard and glasses smiles at the camera.
Dr Daniel Goleman says we can all work on our emotional intelligence. (Getty Images: Daniel Zuchnik)

first-up, self awareness. Or as Dr Goleman puts it: “Knowing what you’re feeling, why you feel it, how it makes you think and want to act, how it shapes your perceptions.” So, for example, being able to label an emotion like anger and know the causes behind it.

The second part is “using that information to manage your emotions, in a positive way. To stay motivated, to stay focused, to be adaptable and agile, instead of rigid and locked in.”

The third part involves connecting with other people’s emotions — practicing empathy. It’s “understanding how someone else feels without them telling you in words, because people don’t tell us in words, they tell us in tone of voice and facial expressions, and so on”.

And finally— relationship management or “putting that all together to have effective relationships.”

Dr Goleman also makes a key point: It’s not simply about being nice.

“There’s a difference between being nice and being kind. And it’s really important to understand. You might be nice just not to create waves and get along — but that doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily helping.”

Why does it matter?

Amol Khadikar is a program manager at the Capgemini Research Institute and is based in India.

“[Emotional intelligence] is increasingly seen as a very valuable thing, and its importance has only increased in the last couple of years,” Mr Khadikar says.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *