Emotional intelligence has become a top skill that recruiters look out for when hiring. How emotionally intelligent are you, and how can you improve?
Modern work trends and rapid technological advancements both point very strongly to one skill becoming vitally important for workers: emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence has always been important in the workplace in one way or another. Relationships matter both within the workplace and without. Intuitively, we all understand that being able to endear ourselves to those around us makes our lives a lot easier.
The difference now, however, is that HR professionals frequently list soft skills as one of the top skills they look for during the candidate selection process.
Amid anxiety about how the AI revolution may impact employability, it is in the interest of jobseekers to nurture soft skills, because they are (currently) difficult to automate.
It’s easy to think that soft skills are immutable traits granted at birth that cannot be improved upon. It’s also easy to resign yourself to the fact that soft skills are difficult to quantify and therefore you can neither get a definitive read on your level of emotional intelligence nor can you ever hope to improve it.
Fortunately, none of these things are true. You can, and will, be able to gauge and improve how emotionally intelligent you are.
NetCredit has created this nifty infographic to help you determine how intelligent you are emotionally, and how to develop those skills.
It breaks down emotional intelligence into three subheadings: how you use emotions, how you manage emotions and how you understand emotions.
If you find yourself unable to determine what kind of emotions another person might be feeling – or even if you find your own emotions hard to name – you can combat this with practice. Set aside a few minutes a day for introspection, such as by keeping a journal or just letting yourself meditate on how you’re feeling, and why you may be feeling it.
You can also give yourself an ‘empathy workout’, so to speak, by quizzing yourself on how you think the people around you might be feeling. It doesn’t have to be people you know – you could create a narrative for someone while people-watching and think about what it would be like to be in their shoes.
If emotional regulation is an issue for you, try giving yourself some distance from an emotional trigger before reacting. You can use sensory stimulation such as a splash of cold water or the smell of lavender to reduce your anxiety levels.
Maybe you want to learn to harness your emotions better. You can try using a notebook to identify emotional triggers and reinterpret them.
For example, if someone you’re chatting to frowns or looks at their watch, you may be inclined to think they are bored by your presence. Ask yourself if there is another reason they could be behaving like this. Perhaps their mind is clouded with stress unrelated to you, or maybe they’re worried about missing an appointment and hence, they’re checking the time frequently.
For some more tips, as well as a flowchart to help you identify where you could improve, check out the infographic below.