Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wow Wednesday - EI

I wanted to talk about EI or emotional intelligence. This is something that I think a subject which creeps up in the business school, and psychology school, but not so much in the technical world. I had this topic once in an MBA module. Personally, I think it is important to bring awareness to people that there is such thing as emotion. Most people just ignore the existance of emotion in life and thinking by surpressing the emotion, means that you handled it well.

So what is emotion. From my understanding and in my own word, emotion is the reaction and behavior based on what happened inside yourself (be it in thinking, memory, hormanal, experiences) and what happened around you (such as chaos, death, winning, sunny days, rainy days). You can be happy, joy, hopeful, grateful in one day and be sad, angry, miscontent in another day. Don't be afraid of emotion. You have the power in you, and it is important to be able to manage these emotions. This is what I call emotional intelligence (EI).

The main objective in EI is manage your emotions. As a project manager, when I talk about manage, that means it goes from identify, assess, analyse, maintain, control, re-assess, improve and understand the emotions.

If you are happy, assess as why you are happy. If it is good, then how you can transfer it to your environment: family, friends, colleagues, team members. If you are under stress and under pressure, then assess as to why it happened. How can you tell people that you are under pressure, how to NOT transfer an anger to your environment.

In my opinion, a good leader must possess emotional intelligence. Unfortunately, in life there are people who are chosen to be a leader due to this trait, but there are also people who became leaders/managers by chance or default. The problem with the latter is that most probably they have zero emotional intelligence and provide unstable environment. A manager who is one day is very happy because he/she wokeup at the good side of bed and the next day falls apart because being put under pressure, will provide an uncertainty amongst those who he/she manages.

I took Goleman EI model because it summarizes the emotional intelligence well.
(Source: Wikipedia)
Goleman's model outlines four main EI constructs:
1.Self-awareness – the ability to read one's emotions and recognize their impact while using gut feelings to guide decisions.
2.Self-management – involves controlling one's emotions and impulses and adapting to changing circumstances.
3.Social awareness – the ability to sense, understand, and react to others' emotions while comprehending social networks.
4.Relationship management – the ability to inspire, influence, and develop others while managing conflict.

First point - As I mentioned earlier, it is important to be aware of emotions. That we have emotions be it positive or negative. Once you acknowledge that you are capable of being happy, joyous or angry, sad, then it will be easier for you to manage these emotions.

Second point - Once you've recognized what is that you are feeling at certain point of time, you can quickly react and manage these emotions. In life, change is constant. So it is important to adapt to yourself as well as to those around you. Remember, we are not alone and never be alone in this world.

Third point - Developing for the last sentence above, please consider other people around you. If you have emotions, other people have emotions too. A good leader will never be inconsiderate to team members. Respect, and being considerate are the keys here. When people recognize that you are aware of their emotions, then they will respect you and recognize your emotions in return.

Fourth point - A good leadership is the one that motivates and coaches the others. You do not need to have a manager or team leader title below your name. It is important to create an honest and trustworthy relationship with whomever you work with and mostly to the people who see everyday (yes, even the mailman!).

Enough said, no one is perfect in this world; but we make way with respecting other people and in return, we shall be respected.

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