Emotional Intelligence in Action
There now is a considerable body of research suggesting that a person’s ability to perceive, identify, and manage emotion provides the basis for the kinds of social and emotional competencies that are important for success in almost any job.
This probably comes as no surprise to anyone involved in corporate training and development. Often it's soft skills training that managers and executives need the most.
Leaders, in particular, need high EQ because they represent the organization to the public, they interact with the highest number of people inside and outside the organization and they set the tone for employee morale.
Leaders with empathy are able to understand their employees' needs and provide them with constructive feedback. Those who are adept at managing their emotions are better equipped to project a consistent message to their teams and guide their companies through complex issues.
Success in sales requires the empathic ability to gauge a customer's mood and the interpersonal skill to decide when to pitch a product and when to keep quiet.
By comparison, success as a self-employed professional requires a more individual form of self-discipline and motivation.
Customer service representatives who are emotionally resilient, avoid over-personalizing negative interactions, and tend to keep their focus on solving the problem together with the customer.
The ability to manage feelings and handle stress is another aspect of emotional intelligence that has been found to be important for success. A study of store managers in a retail chain found that the ability to handle stress predicted net profits, sales per square foot, sales per employee, and per dollar of inventory investment.
More recently, a survey of retail sales buyers found that apparel sales reps were valued primarily for their empathy. The buyers reported that they wanted reps who could listen well and really understand what they wanted and what their concerns were.
As the pace of change increases and the world of work makes ever greater demands on a person’s cognitive, emotional, and physical resources, this particular set of abilities will become increasingly important.
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