Emotional Intelligence and Your Job Search

Using emotional intelligence really can help you succeed in your job search.

But what is emotional intelligence, and why is it that success in life sometimes seems unrelated to intelligence and how hard you are prepared to work?

It has been said that your IQ can land you a job but your lack of EQ (Emotional Intelligence) can get you fired. However, demonstrating emotional and social intelligence is becoming more and more important in your job search.

Many more recruiters and employers now appreciate that emotional intelligence and social intelligence are great determinants of the success you are likely to achieve at work.  A study from Virginia Commonwealth University  has shown that “high emotional intelligence does have a relationship to strong job performance  — in short, emotionally intelligent people make better workers.”  As a result, companies like Microsoft and Deutsche Bank now use EQ tests in their recruitment processes.

Derren Thompson, Manager, Diversity Recruiting for Sodexo, one of the largest services companies in the world reminds readers in their  blog that the “businesses that will succeed in the 21st century will be the ones that allow employees to bring the whole of their intelligence into the work force – their emotional and intellectual self. Not only does this impact morale, but productivity increases, too.”

Recognizing the significance of this, means you can use emotional intelligence to help you succeed in your job search.

But what is emotional intelligence?

In 1996 Daniel Goleman wrote his groundbreaking book “Emotional Intelligence“. His exhaustive research had confirmed that success in life is based more on our ability to manage our emotions than on our intellectual capability or our physical strength.

According to Howard Gardner, the influential Harvard theorist, “Your EQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient) is the level of your ability to understand other people, what motivates them and how to work cooperatively with them,”

Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, assess, and manage your own emotions, the emotions of others and also group emotions. It can also be a way of engaging with others that draws them to you.

EQ requires four capabilities;

  1. Self-awareness,
  2. Self-management,
  3. Social awareness
  4. Relationship management.

But EQ can do more for you in your job search than just impress a potential employer, it can help you decide what kind of role to go for.

One way to begin is to ask yourself two questions:

  • First, when do you feel excited or curious? This will help you be clear about your interests and passions.
  • Second,  work out what makes you upset, depressed and angry, and why? This helps you identify your core values and that often makes the difference in whether a job or career will be the right fit for you.

Understanding your emotions can also help you maintain your optimism and cope with stress during a long job search – it can help you stay positive while you find the right role for you.

If you would like to know more about emotional intelligence and how it can help you at work as a manager and leader, go to our sister site WiseWolf Talking– Leadership, Management, Career and Personal Development.  If you would like to know what emotional intelligence might mean for you in your life outside work then please visit WiseWolf’s Your Happiness Factor.

If you would like to read Dr Goleman’s book click on the picture link below and if you would like to try out an EQ test try this link http://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/3038

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career. You can email her atwendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com or ring ++44(0)2084610114 

 

 

Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

Robert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions

Using emotional intelligence can help you succeed as a leader. But what is emotional intelligence, and why is it that success in life sometimes seems unrelated to intelligence and how hard you are prepared to work?

In 1996 Daniel Goleman wrote his groundbreaking book “Emotional Intelligence“. His exhaustive research had confirmed that success in life is based more on our ability to manage our emotions than on our intellectual capability or our physical strength.

Dr Goleman describes five main elements of emotional intelligence:

  1. Self-awareness.
  2. Self-regulation.
  3. Motivation.
  4. Empathy.
  5. Social skills.

The ability to call on these five qualities can help you to succeed as a leader.

  1. Self-awareness means you are in touch with your own feelings and emotions. You understand how they affect your behaviour and how they influence those around you.  You can strengthen your self-awareness by keeping a daily journal where you record how you feel each day and then reflect on what you have written.  Take time during the day to monitor yourself, your feelings and how you are reacting to things.
  2. Self-regulation means you don’t let fly with negative emotions or make rushed judgments about things or people.  Successful leaders stay in control of themselves and they are prepared to be flexible while being accountable. To help you do this, you need know your values and where you are not prepared to compromise. Spend some time thinking about what really matters to you.  Make a commitment to be accountable for what you do and practice staying calm. A relaxation technique can help – try this technique on our sister site WiseWolf’s Your Happiness Factor.
  3. Motivated leaders have a clear vision and work consistently towards their goals. Do you have that clear vision and is it still appropriate to you and your organization?  Find out more about developing the right vision at this link. If you get to the point where you are responding to events, rather than being proactive, then take action because your lack of motivation could put your organization at risk.
  4. For leaders, having empathy is critical to managing a successful organization or a successful team.  Empathy means you can put yourself in someone else’s situation. Leaders with empathy help develop their teams as they develop themselves. They make sure that people are treated fairly, and they listen.  As a result they earn respect and loyalty. Practice imagining yourself in someone else’s shoes – put yourself in their position.  Listen carefully to what people say and pay attention to body language – respond to feelings!
  5. Leaders with social skills are good communicators – they communicate well and often. They’re just as open to hearing bad news as good news!  Leaders who have good social skills have the confidence to resolve conflicts before they threaten the team or the organization. Learn to talk to your team and if necessary do some formal training in communication skills and conflict resolution.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage both your own emotions, and those of the people you lead.   Having a high EQ means  knowing what you are feeling, what this means, and how your emotions can affect other people. For leaders, having emotional intelligence is essential for success. Take time to work on self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.  They will certainly help ensure that you succeed as a leader.

If you would like to know more about emotional intelligence and how it can help you in job search go to our sister site WiseWolf Leaving the Public Sector.  If you would like to know what emotional intelligence might mean for you in your life outside work then please visit WiseWolf’s Your Happiness Factor.

If you would like to read Dr Goleman’s book click on the picture link below

You can try out an EQ test at this link http://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/3038

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career. You can email her atwendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com or ring ++44(0)2084610114 

LEADERSHIP – KNOW YOURSELF

According to “The 80 Minute MBA” successful leaders know who they are!  They understand their strengths but are humble enough and, dare I say it, confident enough to admit their own weaknesses.  Understanding what they lack, they can then go on to select a rounded group of individuals who can work together in a strong team. According to researchers Robert Hogan, Gordon Curphy and Joyce Hogan, a realistic assessment of personal performance marks out leadership potential.  Leaders whose self appraisal matched the assessment made by those working for them were the ones most likely to succeed.  But finding out that assessment requires strength in personal relationships within a team that  can be hard to achieve.    So, of course, successful leaders are usually those with strong social skills as well – they can communicate and be communicated with.

The chances are that if you are humble and confident enough, and have the social skills necessary, to deal with asking others to give you an honest view of your performance, you will have done so long before you reach the top slot.  It is a very good habit to cultivate as you develop your career.  Make sure you take on a range of views and be prepared to listen to some difficult messages and to adjust.  But don’t make changes based on just one view.  If you hear something challenging from one direction, test it out in another.  Bear in mind that each person you ask will have their own perspective e g your family members will probably see you differently from your boss.  But there will be some recurrent themes and these are things to take on board and work with.  Beware of asking a one dimensional questions – don’t just ask what you are poor at!  Try to get a balanced view!  Ask the people who like you but be brave enough to ask those who may have reservations – they might be biased but they will give you a new perspective.

This is probably not a task best tackled when you are feeling down or have just had some other confidence-challenging knock back.  Go for it when things are going reasonably well and you were just about to become complacent.  Dealing with the answers could just give that incentive to raise your game again and  give you the edge.  And remember you are not meant to be perfect or to have all the answers.  Building a winning team is about recognising your own gaps!

GETTING ON WITH OTHER PEOPLE – 8 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR SOCIAL SKILLS

Probably the greatest gift you can have in life is the ability to get one with other people.  We have already written about emotional intelligence and you can follow that up at the link. But this is simply a piece about  getting on with others – simple but very important.  Some of us are born with the gift;  for other our parents teach us how to do it.  Unfortunately, some people just slip through the net and they can’t understand why they don’t get on with others.  Going through change ,as in life, social skills are invaluable.  Happily even later in life you can learn some techniques to help.

1. Relax

You need to be able to concentrate on some one else and in order to do that you need to be relaxed enough to forget yourself.  We have provided a simple relaxation technique at the link which you might like to practice for 15 minutes before any really challenging social situation.  If you don’t have that much time, then take yourself to a quiet place, take some gentle deep breaths and just think of your favorite place in the world for a few seconds – one more deep breath!   Now you are ready for an adventure! Remember when you meet someone that you really do have lots of things in common already.  We all share the common human condition.  Most of us worry about our health, having enough money our families and what other people think of us.  The Dalai Lama thinks of everyone as an old fiend – that way he can relax and be warm towards them!  Try it – its very useful skill  and well worth practicing.

2. Concentrate on them

Here is this other person, with all their life history, before you!  They are an unopened book!  There are very few people who don’t like talking about themselves and their interests, if you give them the opportunity.  Don’t get too personal too quickly and its a good idea to relate your question to the even.  |You can always ask – have they been here before, why have they come, what is their special interest?  Parties you can always ask who they know?  Concentrate on them, listen to them and then ask a follow up question based on what they just told you – keep them talking!  Focus on them not you!

3. Use your listening Skills

We’ve already written on listening skills – more at the link.  But briefly – let the other person know you are listening   by making ‘I’m listening’ noises – ‘Uh-huh’, ‘really?’, ‘oh yes?’ Feed back what you’ve heard – “So he went to the dentist? What happened?” !  Refering back to others’ comments later on – “You know how you were saying earlier”.   Pay attention!

4. Empathise

Take an interest in what they saying – try to keep still,  make eye contact (but don’t stare) and smile (if they are telling you something neutral or nice and don’t if they are telling you something sad).   A fascination (even if forced at first) with another’s conversation, not only increases your comfort levels, it makes them feel interesting. Remember what I said about sharing the human condition – they are interesting – they have a whole life to tell you about!

5.Build Rapport

Rapport is a state of understanding or connection that occurs in a good social interaction. It says basically “I am like you, we understand each other“. Rapport occurs on an unconscious level, and when it happens, the language, speech patterns, body movement and posture, and other aspects of communication can synchronize down to incredibly fine levels. Rapport is an unconscious process, but it can be encouraged by conscious efforts.

  • Body posture ‘mirroring’, or movement ‘matching’  – stand or sit the way they stand or sit etc!  For example – if they cross their arms, cross yours.  But not obviously!
  • Reflecting back language and speech –  use the same words – if they are talking quietly – you do too.  If they are talking quickly speed up etc
  • Feeding back what you have heard, as in 3) above

6. Self Disclosure

You need to think about how much to talk about yourself and when.  Talking about yourself too much and too early can be a major turn-off for the other person.  Initially don’t tell them your family secrets, your politics, your religion, the details of your medical complaints or your divorce.  Keep those things for when you know each other a little better.  You can talk about the weather (in UK), television, films, the theatre, – ask them what books they are reading.  Keep it balanced and in the neutral space – let them take it on to more personal things when they are ready.   As conversations and relationships progress, disclosing personal facts (small, non-emotional ones first!) leads to a feeling of getting to know each other.

7. Appropriate eye contact
If you don’t look at someone when you are talking or listening to them, they will get the idea that: you are ignoring them or you are untrustworthy or you just don’t like them.  This doesn’t mean you have to stare at them – staring at someone while talking to them can give them the feeling you are angry with them. Keeping your eyes on them while you are listening, of course, is only polite and smile when its appropriate.  But note rules vary and  eye contact in particular varies between culture.

8. Practice

Remember this is a skill and you have to practice.  Do it consciously and do it often.  You will find you lose yourself in it and become really interested in the other person and therefore interesting to them.  It will become second nature and you will begin to wonder what the fuss was about.  Above enjoy your practice and begin to enjoy meeting people.

Good Luck –I would love to hear how you get on!