Emotional intelligence is an important factor for success, both professionally and personally, and a great asset when it comes to engaging, managing, and leading others.
Contrary to popular belief, degrees and intelligence quotient do not predict success. Among the factors on which the notion of success in life depends, the intelligence quotient represents at best 20%, according to psychologist Daniel Goleman. In his bestseller, Daniel Goleman defends that success depends less on the intelligence quotient than on our ability to understand, control, and cultivate the emotions that are in us.
But what exactly is emotional intelligence?
Emotional Intelligence is a set of skills, verbal and non-verbal, allowing an individual to generate, recognize, express, understand and evaluate their own emotions and those of others, so as to direct their thoughts and actions in order to face the demands and pressures of the environment. It can be understood as a four-dimensional construct comprising one’s ability to (1) understand one’s emotions, (2) understand others’ emotions, (3) regulate one’s emotions, and (4) use one’s emotions to improve oneself.
Do you know your EI?
- Know yourself well
The first component, and according to many, the most important, is self-awareness. Why? Simply because the one who is deaf to what he feels remains at the mercy of his feelings.
Understanding the emotions that inhabit us is an essential condition so as not to let them rule us, both in our personal and our professional life.
Is that you?
- Are you aware of your strengths and weaknesses, your potential, and your personal limits?
- Are you responsive when it comes to talking about your shortcomings (cultivate humility, and put aside arrogance and pretense, and you’ll be surprised what you reap in return!)
- Do you look for feedback (without depending on it!)?
- Do you make it your story to learn from mistakes?
Are you open to criticism (without being too critical of yourself)?
This is the ability to govern one’s emotions and impulses and to know how to adapt them to different situations.
People with good self-control do not allow themselves, for example, to get too angry, they do not make impulsive decisions but think before they act.
What are the characteristics of individuals with good self-control? They are considerate, comfortable with changes, with integrity, they know how to say no, and have the ability to focus on long-term success rather than immediate results.
Would your colleagues say this about you?
The motivation of an individual encompasses the emotional skills to achieve his goals: effort, commitment to oneself, to the objectives of a group or a company, the ability to demonstrate initiative, to seize opportunities, to pursue goals tenaciously, despite obstacles, and to be optimistic.
4. The one and only… Empathy
Empathy is the art of knowing others, of understanding their feelings, of perceiving their points of view, of having a sincere interest in their concerns, and thus, being able to maintain harmonious relations with a wide variety of individuals.
And lastly, our social skills
It is usually so easy to talk to and like people with good social skills… (which is another sign of emotional intelligence).
People with strong social skills are usually team players. Rather than focusing on their own success as a priority, they help others develop and shine to their full potential. They know how to communicate, know how to manage conflicts, and are masters in the art of developing and maintaining good human relations.
But how can you, as an MSL, develop your emotional intelligence?
Obviously, coaching and training (optimal conflict management, motivation, and mobilization, active listening, self-control, self-knowledge, optimization of human relations, etc.) are very appropriate tools, but I would like to offer you a self-reflection tool to help you in your journey: Leadership Journaling
A simple tool you can use to ask yourself relevant questions, to help you get to know yourself a little better, to understand how you interact with others, and also how to put yourself in other people’s shoes.
# 1 -Observe yourself in all honesty
Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses and validate it with trusted people who know you well. The important thing is to accept our imperfections and to understand that there is always room for improvement. It is only by assuming them that solutions can be found.
# 2 – Reflect on how you react to others
And take notes. This will help you observe recurring elements. Are you noting that you are quick to make judgments without having all the facts? Do you use stereotypes, bias? Are you looking for acceptance and/or attention from others?
# 4 – Can you put yourself in other people’s shoes?
Be open and receptive to different perspectives. Pick one or two situations from last month and reflect on how you think the other person felt in the chosen context. How do you think you contributed to this dynamic? Make 2 rows: what does it look like from your perspective; and his/her point of view? What was your intention? Can you find a positive intention for the other person? (Often hard to find but when you get there, suddenly the perspective changes!).
These are simple questions that often broaden horizons, break down tensions, and avoid conflict.
# 5 – Understand the personality of the other (you can check the Insights Discovery: https://www.insights.com
And the complementarity that unites us!
By the same token, learn to listen and develop active listening; to be available and attentive, to avoid jumping to conclusions, to ask open questions, to tame silences, to be attentive to non-verbal language, and to create a rapport
# 6 – Analyze your motivations
Are you engaged? Do you show optimism and initiative? If not, try to understand why and identify the bottlenecks and the actions and choices you can take to improve it.
# 7 – Reflect on how you react to stressful situations.
Are you disturbed when there is a delay or something unexpected? Are you very sensitive to rejection and criticism? Do you tend to blame others even when the fault is not theirs? Are you sometimes too preoccupied with what others may think? Are you too demanding of yourself and others? Or maybe too preoccupied with getting results quickly?
The ability to stay in control of one’s emotions is an important aspect and essential quality of leadership. It is therefore important to find ways to relieve stress in order to develop emotional intelligence.
Last but not least…
# 8 – Stop and take responsibility for your actions
Take responsibility and be accountable when your behaviors hurt or impact negatively others. This aspect goes hand in hand with self-knowledge and acceptance and is of utmost importance in order to optimize human relationships.
In the end, to help you develop your emotional intelligence, a nodal aspect of professional and personal success and an essential condition for leadership, all you have to do is embark on a journey of self-awareness, understand your emotions, and those of others, and learn to manage your emotions. It is that easy!
Danielle is a creative, results-driven, international pediatric nurse, with 25 years of Global Pharmaceutical experience, project management, and scientific learning capability, and leadership building. She has extensive qualifications in all facets of drug development, scientific learning, and onboarding program within matrix organizations. Danielle possesses strong strategic planning skills, from performing need analysis through implementation and evaluation of the impact on business. Excellent problem-solving skills and a strong orientation in customer satisfaction. Some of her key achievements: Designed, implemented, and delivered a new approach to leadership Training for Field Medical Managers Lead cross-disciplinary scientific and leadership learning for 1,000 field associates globally;
- A key contributor to effecting change:
- moving the organization towards a team-based culture and empowering and encouraging scientific challenge and debate through the design of workshops, contextualized training, and other development opportunities.
- management initiatives and facilitated Medical Affairs business transformational activities to align and improve the effectiveness and delivery of scientific engagement with external stakeholder across
Danielle has more than 15 years of experience in Capability and Leadership Building in the project team and individual leadership skills. Coached, mentored, facilitated expertise for the pharmaceutical industry.
Have an opinion on this article? Send a message to the editor.