What makes someone great at their job? Having knowledge, smarts and vision, to be sure. But what really distinguishes the world’s most successful leaders is the ability to identify and monitor emotions (of their own and of others). It is called emotional intelligence.
What most PR and business people fail to realize, is that mastering emotional intelligence doesn’t come naturally. You have to seek it and grow. The following 6 tips will help you grow your emotional intelligence.
Self-awareness is the capacity to tune into your own emotions. It allows you to know what you are feeling and why, as well as how those feelings help or hurt what you’re trying to do.
Emotional self-awareness is when you understand your own strengths and limitations; you operate from competence and know when to rely on someone else on the team. You also have clarity on your values and sense of purpose, which allows you to be more decisive when setting a course of action.
Self-management is the ability to keep disruptive emotions and impulses under control. This is a powerful skill for leaders, especially during a crisis — because people will look to them for reassurance, and if their leader is calm, they can be, too.
Adaptability shows up as agility in the face of change and uncertainty. You’re able to find new ways of dealing with fast-morphing challenges and can balance multiple demands at once.
For public relations consultants and business professional, changes and challenges are components of their business practices. Adaptability is a must-have emotional intelligence trait.
- Social awareness
Social awareness indicates accuracy in reading and interpreting other people’s emotions, often through non-verbal cues. Socially aware leaders are able to relate to many different types of people, listen attentively and communicate effectively.
First and foremost, social awareness requires good listening skills. Do not talk over someone else or try to hijack the agenda. Ask questions and invite others to do the same.
Challenging your prejudices and discovering commonalities is also key. Practice putting yourself in other people’s shoes. When we do this, we are often more sensitive to what that person is experiencing and are less likely to tease, judge or bully them. This is also an important PR trait.
- Relationship management
Relationship management is an interpersonal skill set that allows one to act in ways that motivate, inspire and harmonize with others, while also maintaining important relationships.
Empathy is an essential component of emotionally intelligence of and describes the ability to identify and understand how another person is feeling and imagine yourself in that person’s situation. In addition, empathy entails acting on this information. For example, when you hear that a co-worker lost a beloved pet, you would think back to how you felt when you lost your childhood dog and would offer consolation based on what helped you when experiencing that situation.
Empathetic people make an effort to make someone feel better. They are open to viewpoints beyond their own and avoid making judgments.
Individuals high in empathy understand the dynamics of social situations and are skilled in navigating the nuances of workplace business relationships.
Emotionally intelligent individuals have a firm sense of the intrinsic motivation that drives their decisions. They are motivated by internal rewards like a sense of purpose or accomplishment, and they understand this about themselves and others. They thrive when pushing themselves to do something they didn’t think they could do, like run a marathon.
Think of entrepreneurs launching a business. A founder will dedicate all of their free time to pursuing a dream that may never materialize, yet they are propelled in their endeavor by a sense of passion and belief in what they are doing.
Biodun Shobanjo, Atedo Peterside and John Momoh are just a few examples of entrepreneurs who founded their companies in highly motivational atmospheres.