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Emotional Quotient; The term used to refer to an individual’s level of emotional intelligence. For an individual seeking to move up the career ladder, your level of emotional intelligence is taken into consideration and often given as much or even more importance than some of your more technical skills.

The Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary defines intelligence as the ability to learn, understand and think in a logical way about things.The common belief is that intelligence is limited to the technical skills a person possesses. This means that a person’s level of ‘intelligence’ is measured by factors such as analytical reasoning, verbal skills, and ability to memorize facts and produce them upon request. While these variables are definitely important in establishing a successful career, they are not the sole determinants of career success. We also have to consider what are known as ‘soft skills’, those non-quantitative skills that govern our interaction with other people and our immediate environments.

Emotional Intelligence

‘Your attitude determines your altitude’ is a statement often quoted while talking about the requirements for success and advancement, especially in the workplace. As simple as this statement appears, it covers a wide range of skills that are essential to attaining success in the work place and in your career generally.

Emotional intelligence is concerned with issues such as understanding others, our relationships with other people, as well as our ability to adapt and cope with our immediate surroundings and ourselves.

The Five Dimensions of Emotional Intelligence

  1. Self-Awareness:This is the ability to understand your moods, emotions, feelings, and drives. People who possess a high degree of self-awareness have the ability to understand how their moods, feelings, and emotions affect them, their work, as well as other people. Self-awareness also extends to a person’s understanding of their values and goals. This means that you know where you are heading and why.
  1. Self-regulation: This is the ability to control or redirect destructive or disruptive impulses and moods. One thing you need to bear in mind is that emotions, feelings and moods are driven by certain chemical and biological forces at work within our bodies. The body secretes some chemicals that trigger certain emotions. While these biological changes cannot be done away with, we can manage them. Self-regulation can also be regarded as self-control and it is an important attribute to develop in the workplace. A person with a high degree of self-control over their emotions will not be driven to act based on feelings, but rather based on rational, well-thought out decisions.
  1. Motivation: This drives a person to do what he or she does. In the context of emotional intelligence, motivation is the force that drives you to work for rewards other than for money or status. Highly motivated people are driven by internal rewards, such as satisfaction, as opposed to external factors, such as money. They are driven to achieve a goal for the sake of achievement and they place importance on other intrinsic factors. They thrive on challenges and seek challenging situations that force them to go beyond their current level.
  1. Empathy: This is the ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people. This means that you are aware of other people’s moods, feelings and emotions, as well as those factors that might make them act the way they do. This skill is important in the work place as you will be working with people from different backgrounds and with different viewpoints and you must be able to understand them in order to create a more harmonious work environment.
  1. Social skills: Social skills refer to your ability to connect with people and form meaningful relationships. For instance, being able to form a close bond with a co-worker or other team members so that you can easily share the workload. People with high social skills can form acquaintances easily and have the ability to connect with people of different backgrounds.

It is just as important to focus on the above as it is to focus on getting that MBA that you just enrolled for. Remember, employers look out for these soft skills with just as much fervour as they do other skills.

 

Photo credit: CorbisCorporation

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