Emotions have never been completely welcome in our work-lives. Most of us have traditionally been conditioned to leave emotions “at home”, believing that, to be effective, we need to base all our team strategies and decisions only upon cold, logical, “intelligence”. We know that emotions are a fundamental part of who we are, and of working with others. They can’t be left out of the picture. If done so, suppressed emotions flare, causing increased conflict impacting climate and morale. If we view emotions as “intelligence”, beyond reason and logic, an intelligence that could become nothing short of a touchstone to greater collaboration, a higher level of influence with others, more productivity and effectiveness. Such intelligence exists –it’s “Emotional Intelligence”.
But what is Emotional Intelligence? And haven’t we always had it? In reality, human beings have evolved into emotional beings for some very good, practical reasons. In fact, as a wide range of psychologists, performance specialists and organizational consultants have proven conclusively, emotions have immense practical value in helping us to be flexible and adaptable just as our work-lives have come to require flexibility and adaptability in large proportions!
As the pace of workplace change increases, and our work makes even greater demands on our cognitive, emotional, and physical resources, Emotional Intelligence will continue to emerge, not as something “nice” to have, but as an increasingly important set of “must-have” skills. It has been said that the farthest distance known is the distance from the mind to the heart. By learning and utilizing EI, you will be able to shorten that distance, and create teams of astonishing capacity and effectiveness.