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March 3, 2015

Harnessing the power of emotional intelligence

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If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far” – Daniel Goleman

I recently discovered Daniel Goleman’s work when his name came up at a course I attended with the Global PA Training Academy. The course itself was based on seven key skills that are required to be a sh*t hot personal assistant. It’s perhaps unsurprising that one of these key skills is based on using the power of emotional intelligence.

Several days after the course, the idea of emotional intelligence was still very much on my mind. The dictionary definition tells us that it is having ‘the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically’. To make the term more digestible, it can be broken down into the following four core skills: self-awareness, social awareness, self-management and relationship management.

There is no known connection between IQ and emotional intelligence, nor can it be gauged by how intelligent someone is. With that said, emotional intelligence is now recognised as being as important as IQ within business, just as much as it is within relationships and life. A study conducted by Forbes showed that 90% of top performers are leading in this field as a result of high emotional intelligence.

The first step to applying emotional intelligence to both our personal and professional lives is by understanding varied behaviors and personalities, as well as having compassion towards the different ways in which we act. We can do this by recognising emotions and their values in others by reviewing the impact of head, heart and guts.

Whether personal or professional, next time we find ourselves in a difficult situation we should ask ourselves what we’re currently feeling, but also what the other person is feeling. Taking the time out to consider how we want to feel and how we want the other person to feel, might just set us all on the path to harnessing emotional intelligence as a tool for every day life.

03.03.15, Jamie Scoular, PA at Livity