The world is changing and, as people start rethinking their priorities amidst this global pandemic, the workplace is changing, too. Evermore companies are focusing on what's important — providing value to their consumers and retaining and promoting top talent who keep operations chugging along, despite the novel challenges.
This means that soft skills are more important than ever before. And a high level of emotional intelligence, a game-changing soft skill, could be what gets you promoted in the new year.
Your emotional intelligence (EQ) refers to your ability to understand, manage and leverage your emotions and empathize with others' emotions in healthy, constructive ways. When you can do this, you manage stress better, communicate more effectively, and overcome challenges more easily. This is all because you know your strengths and weaknesses — and where and how to ask for help — and you know how to work with all different types of people.
Basically, your EQ can be broken down in two sub-types of emotionally-charged intelligence:
In his book on emotional intelligence, Emotional Intelligence : Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, Daniel Goleman spells out the five necessary attributes of emotionally intelligent leaders:
In 2021, as we're all navigating this new normal amidst-pandemic or, hopefully, post-pandemic, being self-aware of how all of these changes affect you, what motivates you as your priorities shift and how to manage yourself are key. Being able to empathize with others who are surviving the same pandemic but aren't necessarily living the same reality (everybody is being affected differently and reacting in their own valid ways) will help you be a truly valuable team player and leader who cares about others' career concerns and goals. Of course, you'll need the social skills to establish rapport with your team and communicate effectively so you can all work together to achieve personal goals while accomplishing one shared vision.
Because many companies are rebudgeting in the new year, now is as good a time as ever to start practicing some self-awareness. Take some time to reevaluate your your goals for the new year and create a to-do list of how you plan to achieve them. Taking charge and then holding yourself accountable to those goals is self-managing in and of itself.
Once you have a deeper understanding of all of that, you'll have a clearer mind to hold space for others. You can focus on meeting with your team and talking more candidly about individual interests and how, together, you can leverage everyone's strengths to reach common goals. Taking charge in this way shows that you are not only someone who cares about your people and the company, but also that you're a leader. And companies need leaders in these times of change and uncertainty.
Exhibiting emotional intelligence in these ways will surely put you on your company's radar as they start considering promotions.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a multimedia journalist and an adventure aficionado with a keen cultural curiosity and an affinity for solo travel. She's an editor by day and a travel blogger at HerReport.org by night.
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