Listen to Plato. He was a smart, crafty guy who said, “All learning has an emotional base.” He figured out an important skill, one gaining more and more traction in the modern career marketplace, ages before us fancy, savvy moderns dubbed it “Emotional Intelligence.”
In typical fashion, researchers suggest that emotional intelligence can be learned and strengthened, while others claim it is an inborn characteristic. Regardless of this conflicting data, students and young adults need to be aware of and embrace the growing importance of this ever more popular, sought after skill.
Ironing out semantic wrinkles, time to clipboard emotional intelligence:
1. Perceiving emotions.
Students and young adults new to the workforce need to exhibit this important skill. They must learn to understand the difference between colleagues’ emotions, such as anger, sarcasm, humor, seriousness, etc., in order to know how to respond appropriately. This is a critical skill for both the networking world, as well as the workplace. They must be able to read verbal and nonverbal language or queues. Mastering this factor makes it possible to accomplish the remaining three.
2. Reasoning with emotions.
This EI trait means being able to understand important skills like problem solving, creativity and analytical thinking. Candidates possessing this skill can adapt to situations that require said skills. Especially for students and young adults with a shortage of solid job-related skills, showing and putting these abilities to use is vital.
3. Understanding emotions.
This trait means being able to distinguish between what’s in your control and what’s out of your control. It involves possessing the ability to realize that people display a variety of emotions and for a variety of reasons. Students and young adults must be able to see the reality behind certain workplace situations. For example, a co-worker, boss, or friend may be acting angry because they’re upset with you for some reason, but they also may simply be having a bad day… or are perhaps upset because they forgot to record last night’s episode of The Voice.
4. Managing emotions.
This is the ability for simple self-control and controlling your emotional response in reaction to the emotions of others around you. A good example would be not reacting negatively to a colleague or a customer who is upset or not taking their complaints personally, rather simply dealing with the conflict. A student or young worker who can achieve this will always be a valuable part of the workforce by possessing a knack for getting people to join his or her team.
The above list may seem like obvious, common sense knowledge when one lists it all out like this. It may seem more like sense than skill, but then you have to stop and ask yourself: When was the last time you were in conflict with another human being, personal or professional, because you perhaps didn’t pay such close attention to one of those four skills?
Chances are you won’t have to search your memory much farther than within the past few days to get an answer to that question.
Do yourself a personal and professional favor and pay a little closer attention to yourself, looking for new opportunities at home or at work to brush up on and put some of your emotional intelligence skills to use.
Being able to better understand the people you most often connect with is such a personal, marketable skill that it will always be in demand. In any job. In any relationship.
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Article penned by Bret Hoveskeland
Writer/Editor with Education Career Services
Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs
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