A must-have skill for Business Managers
I attended some sessions on Emotional Intelligence as part of the preparatory courses for the MBA program. It was a course that I considered to be less critical but after the first session, I realized just how important the course was to MBA students.
At the core of emotional intelligence is the individual; humans are the only creatures that exhibit emotions. Hence I can regard myself as emotionally intelligent if I can recognize the emotions I exhibit and can manage them properly. We exhibit different kinds of emotions such as happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise, and disgust. I learned from the class that these are the six (6) basic emotions that all human beings exhibit.
Emotional intelligence as a skill goes beyond my ability to recognize and manage my emotions. It also involves recognizing and managing the emotions of other individuals but it starts from me.
I learned from the faculty that emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, analyze, regulate and manage one’s emotions and that of others to promote emotional and intellectual stability and growth. The keywords in this definition are:
Perceive: to know the emotions I exhibit
Analyze: to know why I am exhibiting the emotions and how they affect other people.
Regulate: apply regulatory measures to ensure that I
Manage: manage my emotions and that of others so that everyone will be productive.
From the sessions on Emotional Intelligence, I realized that my knowledge of Emotional intelligence is not only useful to me as an MBA student as I will be relating regularly with fellow students in my cohort as well as the faculty; my knowledge of Emotional intelligence is also useful to me as an employee with subordinates and superiors. Suffice it to say that the purpose of the entire MBA training is to make us become better business managers and leaders and emotional intelligence is one of the many skills a business manager should possess.
Business leaders are often faced with challenges in the workplace and a true test of one’s leadership is the ability to handle challenges. I learned that there is no leadership without challenges. The faculty also went on to say that I get paid to handle the challenges from my superiors and subordinates; the higher I go, the tougher the challenges I face. Emotional intelligence in this scenario, therefore, is my ability to take control of my emotions even in challenges. A major takeaway from the session is that I must never lose my cool under pressure.
I also learned from the class that emotional intelligence can be grouped into two competencies. These are personal competency and social competency. Personal competency involves skills that address how I identify and manage my emotions; social competency involves skills that address how I identify and manage the emotions of others.
The skills in Personal competency are self-awareness and self-management; the skills in social competency are social awareness and relationship management. Self-awareness is the most important of the four skills and serves as a foundation for the development of the other skills.
Why is Emotional Intelligence important to the Business Manager?
As a manager directly responsible for a team with bright and qualified people, resources, and a clear mission, failure is anticipated if I lack emotional intelligence. A team’s performance is a combination of members’ abilities, resources, motivation, and emotional intelligence. As shown in the formula:
Performance = (ability + resources + motivation) x Emotional intelligence.
In the workplace, the climate that leaders create determines the level of engagement and productivity of employees. Hence emotionally intelligent leaders strive to create a climate that would drive productivity. Emotionally intelligent leaders are true leaders and good communicators. They have a high tendency to bring about achievements from teams as well as organizational growth.
As a supervisor in my workplace, I desire to see my team succeed and I want them to be happy with and fully engaged in their work. From the sessions on Emotional intelligence, I have learned that I can achieve this if I create an environment that would elicit positive emotions from my team members. When my team members elicit positive emotions, engagement will increase; the more positive emotions are elicited, the better their engagement and productivity. This is the work of Emotional Intelligence!