Are You Emotionally Intelligent?

Do you put your work in your heart and your heart in your work?

Jay Kulkarni specialises in the education of Emotional Intelligence and recently wrote this great article on the subject.

To be highly engaged at work is good for your heart. UK study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine noted that people who were engaged at work were 30% less likely to suffer from coronary heart disease than those who were disengaged at work.

There are three types of people: engaged at work, not engaged at work and actively disengaged at work. Those who are engaged have a strong connection to their job and the company. They are constantly looking to improve their performance and do their job better each day, are enthusiastic at work and boost the company culture.

The not engaged employees are the walking deads: they do their job but don't have any enthusiasm, energy or passion for their work. The actively disengaged are toxic to the company, they undermine the company and engaged workers, they have quit but haven't had the decency to resign.

You need to supplement your skills and knowledge with an important ingredient if you want to become and consistently stay highly engaged: Emotional Intelligence. Emotional Intelligence (EI) is ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions.

EI does not mean being “merely nice”; sometimes you should not be nice. EI does not mean giving free reign to feelings; you need to manage feelings so that they are expressed appropriately and effectively.

Managers as leaders need different strategies to deal with three groups of employees mentioned above.

To evaluate your EI, reflect on the following:

1. Am I in charge of life or is my life in charge of me? Am I absent from present? What brings me to life?
2. Do I stay in the “zone”? Does my job create enough challenges for me to fully use my skills?
3. Do I have empathy as well as insight when I deal with my staff or am I emotionally tone deaf?

No matter which industry you work in, there will be challenges. There will be times when your EI will be tested. Here is a set of simple little tools which can help in restoring sanity when you notice it is likely to slip:

• Stop, calm down and think before you act
• State the problem and how you feel; set a positive goal; think ahead, think of solutions
• Go ahead and try the best plan
• Remind yourself: we cannot change the event yet we can change our thinking. There is an important bridge between activating event and consequence (emotional as well as behavioural): our belief. We are what we believe we are. If we want to change the consequence, we should change our beliefs.
• Use detoxifying self-talk.

Teams with high EI are self-motivated, eager to take responsibility over and above their job, can build consensus easily, promote cooperation while acknowledging conflict, see things from others’ perspective.

We can help you evaluate your own EI, your team’s EI and your company’s EI and recommend strategies to build on these. Please contact our office for more information.