*Elaine is a professional who holds a MBA from one of the top business schools in the country, she speaks two languages and is meticulous in her work. However, today she was passed over for promotion for the third time in the last eighteen months. As she drives home she clinches her steering wheel and unleashes a trail of obscenities through tears as she tries to make sense of why her supervisor would say “your inability to work effectively with peers continues to be an issue.”
Technical competencies play an integral role in climbing the proverbial corporate ladder or expanding your business. However, according to Daniel Goleman a Harvard psychologist, it is our ability to manage our emotions that will ultimately determine our success in the workplace and ability to deliver on the financial bottom line. Emotional Intelligence the ability to manage our emotions and identify the emotions of others is a soft skill that empowers you to address the hard issues in the workplace.
Like Elaine, many individuals have stellar technical skills while their ability to recognize their anxiety level, express their thoughts in a non-confrontational manner, identify the strengths of team members or experience empathy in the workplace are non-existent. These may seem unimportant, but the reality is that many a deal has been loss in corporate America because an individual was not made to feel important or felt that their needs were not being met by the representative of the company negotiating with them.
Here are some strategies to win in the business zone by developing your emotional intelligence:
Have you ever been in a meeting and suddenly found yourself frowning, tapping your fingers or making a comment and then wishing you had rephrased your words? Chances are someone or something triggered an emotion in you. Self-awareness is key in moving forward in both personal and professional relationships. Take time to know what pushes your emotional triggers before you are front and center in a business meeting or professional setting. Practice on your response, ask yourself if the triggered emotion is a real or are you reacting to internal fears.
Talk Back To Yourself: When irrational thoughts or fears taunt you regarding your abilities or the comments and actions of others take over your thoughts; talk back to yourself. Tell yourself that you are skilled and also be willing to process the comments of others to see if there is any validity in their observations. Take that information process and then coach yourself to use the information to enhance your performance. Remind yourself that you are good at what you do and that you are willing to learn from every interaction you have in the course of your day. Also tell yourself that there is no failure only feedback.
Become A Tourist In Your Company: Take some time on a daily or weekly basis to visit with staff or departments within your company to see people at work in their element. Ask yourself and them what is important about their work, what are their daily triumphs and struggles; what excites them about their role. Being effective with people means learning about what motivates and demotivates them and developing trust. Take time to know your team and what is important to them and allow them to know what is important to you.
Be Willing To Have Crucial Conversations: When you know yourself and know your triggers, are able to rationalize your irrational thoughts and have established relationships with your team the next step is willingness to engage in crucial conversations versus letting issues go unresolved in the workplace. Set a time to meet with your colleague or subordinate, agree to disagree, allow the other person to give their point of view without interruption, next give your point of view and then attempt to find common ground and agree to work collaboratively on the outcome together as a team. The most important part of the conversation is learning to hear each other out and to respect each other’s diverse point of view and ultimately what is best for the bottom line of the business.
Start today working on your soft skills and addressing the hard issues in the workplace that will result in bottom line results and put you in the zone for expanded business.