You may think I’m exaggerating but it’s true. The #1 reason professionals stumble in their career advancement is because of their lack of social and emotional intelligence. They may have all the knowledge, skills and even years of experience but they have earned a reputation for not being able to get along with their colleagues, direct reports or even their bosses. In short, their own self-awareness; empathy for others and ability to manage their own emotions is limited or nonexistent.
These folks (are we talking about you?) are just known for being difficult – they don’t listen, are confrontational, unpredictable and even arrogant in their beliefs. They may be in a supervisory or middle management position because they have been with the company for so long but now their career is on thin ice and they wonder why. But others know why . . .
So what exactly is “social and emotional intelligence”? Here is a excellent working defination from the Institute for Social & Emotional Intelligence (ISEI), Denver, Colorado.
- “Social and emotional intelligence is the ability to be aware of our own emotions and those of others, in the moment, and to use that information to manage ourselves and manage our relationships”.
I’ve been giving workshops on emotional intelligence (EQ) for years – it’s truly my favorite topic because it impacts every aspect of our working and personal lives. I’m delighted now to be in an intensive coach certification course (October – November) through ISEI with my Australian coaching colleagues to learn even more. I’ve already started to pull new ideas and tools into my training courses and with my individual coaching clients.
So let’s remember that 80 – 85% of our career success at the upper levels depends on our ability to connect, communicate and collaborate with others. Our own personal work experiences confirm that research. We have all known industry leaders who have those qualities – they inspire, motivate and engage their teams and employees resulting in people working harder with energy, creativity and greater flexibility. The result? Less employee turnover; higher productivity and greater profits for the company.
This is emotional intelligence competencies in action. Let’s be known as one of those leaders!