Many business leaders and workers falsely believe that acting “professional” at work means shutting off all your emotions and remaining completely analytical and unemotional, at all times. Try as we may to do this, it is an impossible task. When we think we are shutting off our emotions – what we are really doing is ignoring and/or denying them, refusing to believe they are factoring into any business decision we are making, after all, that wouldn’t be “professional.” In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Denying the fact that we make business decisions based not only upon cognitive information but upon how we feel about this information as well will lead to less than ideal decisions.
What we feel plays a major role in how we work and what we think – whether we want to believe it or not! Feelings and emotions powerfully influence our decision-making process, behavior, ability to manage to stress and the overall quality of our relationships, personal and professional. How we think about a situation also directly impacts our perception of it, i.e., whether we perceive a situation as good or bad, to our advantage or disadvantage, etc. It is the interpretation of a situation that decides its meaning for us, and hence our response to it.
Responding in an emotionally intelligent way to any given situation requires some self-awareness. Recognizing how we feel about our self influences how we perceive a specific situation.
Limiting or failing to acknowledge our feelings within any context, personal or professional, limits our ability to feel empathy and stifles our adaptability to change, often leading to a mismanagement of these feelings – often creating a failure of leadership. High Emotional Intelligence prevents this from occurring because it allows us to create an environment where we are not afraid to connect to others with true passion and authenticity – and your colleagues and subordinates will feel this from you. Workers and others who feel you truly care about them and their feelings will create loyalty in all your relationships, with people voluntarily going the extra mile to get the job done.
In today’s global economy, emotional intelligence is critical for your success because it will allow you to connect, in an authentic manner with your employees, your clients and your customers.
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