We are in a highly competitive job market. A market that demands near perfection from everyone at all times. Many of us pride ourselves on our IQ and refining our hard skills so that we can continue to succeed. But hard skills are not the end all be all – we need to be mindful of our soft skills and the ways we communicate in the workplace. Enter: EQ.
Emotional intelligence (or EQ) is our ability to acknowledge, understand and manage not only our emotions but also better interpret the emotions of those around us.
It’s our way to have our emotions align with our intentions, rather than against them. When meeting with coworkers or business partners, it’s imperative to listen to their words and recognize their body language. Being able to hear what they are saying and connect social cues allows us to better interpret the overall picture.
Often, we hear one thing and instantly retreat to a default reaction. Perhaps someone gives you a direct answer that feels like criticism. You may try to defend yourself, make excuses, or sidestep the issue. When in reality, acknowledging their feedback—even negative criticisms—help us grow professionally and understand how others perceive our work or us individually. Being able to take a moment to analyze our interactions helps us better read the situation as a whole and not jump to negative behaviors. After all, you need to be able to work peacefully with your staff and business partners in order to keep the ball rolling, successes coming, and profits rising.
We need to be prepared for negative feedback.
In fact, I’d go even further and say that we need to welcome it. While it would be great if we could always be on high alert and plan for emotional triggers in conversations – we can’t. Rather, more often than not, we hear criticism, react, and later regret the way we handled ourselves. We need to train ourselves to sort through our thoughts and feelings so we can understand why we feel the need to react a certain way—and how we can respond differently in the future.
Your EQ needs as much finessing as your IQ. You need to spend time to craft and perfect the way you handle situations. Don’t see negative interactions with others as a bad thing. Rather, think about these interactions as ways to build the relationship up and learn from your mistakes.
After presenting at a work function or meeting with a business partner, say, “your honest feedback is much appreciated.” Open the door for people to criticize. If you can train yourself to take their feedback as constructive you will react with a mature and refined disposition.
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Derek Rundell, is a successful business leader, operator, and serial entrepreneur. Derek has founded, managed and sold businesses in the technology, media and finance industries. He sits on several boards and serves as an advisor/investor to numerous established businesses and startups. Startups are Derek’s real passion, and in addition to building his own portfolio of technology, media and financial ventures, he invests in and mentors startups and entrepreneurs. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge and helping other businesses succeed.