Emotional Intelligence

In this article we would like to touch upon the most highly rated topic, the topic that gave rise to the most questions and to more than a hundred positive comments in our conference Business Practice 2017 which was held in June in Almaty. This topic is emotional intelligence.

Пайсина Мария, руководитель отдела маркетинга Интеркомп
Mariya Paysina
Head of Marketing Department

Theory

For a long time, it was believed that expressing emotions in the workplace was unprofessional. But there are today more and more published works suggesting that the capability of individuals to recognize and control their own and other people’s emotions is one of the most important factors for solving practical problems, whether professional or personal. Decades of research have shown that developed emotional intelligence is the key factor that distinguishes the greatest individuals, the true stars in their field.

In this article, we present the basic concepts of emotional intelligence, which, perhaps, will help you understand how they can be applied in your personal life and at work and could serve as a beginning for a deeper study of the issue.

The term of “emotional intelligence” as well as the method for its measurement (EQ) were put forward already back in 1990 by psychologists from Yale University, Peter Salovey, John Mayer and David Caruso. It was then that emotional intelligence became a subject of psychological research, and this subject has continued to be studied since then and until now.

Daniel Goleman is an American psychologist and a recognized expert in the field of emotional intelligence. In his studies, Daniel wonders about the difference between an outstanding and a good manager and concludes that high intelligence and professional skills are not sufficient. For top success, emotional intelligence is also necessary and consists of five skills which allow managers to achieve great performance not only for themselves, but also for their team. Studies have shown that when the top management of a company has the required level of emotional intelligence, the annual profit figures of all divisions are 20% higher than planned.

Five key elements to emotional intelligence in business

Definition Signs
Self-awareness Ability to recognize and understand one’s mood, emotions and motivations, as well as recognize their impact on other people Self-confidence. Realistic self-esteem. Ability to laugh at oneself
Self-regulation Ability to control or productively channel destructive impulses and emotions. Propensity to reason rationally: think first before doing anything Reliability and honesty. Calm even in the face of uncertainty. Openness to everything that is new
Motivation Passion for work, desire to work not subject solely to considerations of high earnings or status. Desire to persistently and vigorously achieve set goals Striving for achievements. Optimism even in the face of failures . Commitment to the values of the organization
Empathy Ability to understand other people’s emotional state in view of their emotional reactions Ability to nurture talents and retain good employees. Respectful attitude to different cultures. Courteous dealings with clients
Social skills Ability to manage human relationships and nurture relationships. Ability to implement new developments effectively Ability to find common grounds and reach mutual understanding Persuasiveness. Team building and management skills

Self-awareness

Self-awareness is the ability to recognize and understand one’s own emotions. It is only by recognizing and understanding our emotions that we can understand how our actions and emotions affect other people’s mood and emotions.

What is necessary to develop self-awareness? To develop self-awareness, it is necessary to recognize and identify each specific emotion.

Self-aware people see the relationship between their feelings and actions and are able to determine their strengths and limits. They are open to new information and experience.

Self-regulation

Once emotions are recognized, it is necessary to learn how to manage them. Managing emotions does not mean conceal and suppress feelings. Managing emotions means showing emotions at the right time and place and expressing them in a manner appropriate to the situation. Such skill allows managing conflict situations and resolving complex issues.

Motivation

People should not be driven by external factors and incentives alone (money, recognition, praise, promotion, etc.) Internal motivation plays an important role in the development of emotional intelligence. Self-motivated people have this irrepressible desire to realize their own goals and fulfill their needs. They are satisfied only when they achieve their personal best. Maximum motivation is thus achieved together with a desire to find all possible ways to work better and faster.

Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand other people’s emotions. Furthermore, it is important not only to understand, but also to react appropriately to displays of emotions. In business, this is particularly important to nurture talents and retain the best employees, as well as when dealing with customers and partners.

Social skills

Once we recognize our and other people’s emotions, it is also necessary to learn how to use this information skillfully in daily interactions with others so that we can establish and build good communications.

Important social skills: active listening, verbal and non-verbal communication skills, leadership and persuasiveness.

Practice

Although the topic of emotional intelligence is still in Russia going through a theoretical and experimental phase, it is becoming more and more popular, and commercial companies are also showing increased interest in this subject matter.

For example, Sberbank is today actively engaged in the development of emotional intelligence. Sberbank’s management considers that emotional intelligence is one of the “skills of the future” and intends to invest considerable funds in its development in the long term.

Top, middle, line management and all managers and employees of the company are trained in emotional intelligence following methods specially devised for each individual group.

Sberbank does not, however, stop at emotional intelligence development within its company. In July 2016, the educational center Sirius with the support of Sberbank charitable foundation Contribution to the Future opened Ego, an emotional intelligence polygon.

A pilot project consisting in the implementation of the educational program Children’s Socio-emotional Development was introduced in Tyumen in spring 2017. This is a joint project between Sberbank charitable foundation Contribution to the Future and the Department of Education and Science of the Tyumen Region.

The head of Sberbank, German Gref, strongly believes that emotional intelligence skills should be taught to children already in high school and stated so in December 2016 at Innovative Practice: Science and Business Congress.

The following – rather disappointing – statistics can be found in his book Emotional Intelligence. Russian Practice: 67% of employees consider that their management team has a “negative” effect on the team’s emotional well-being, 22% consider this effect “rather negative”, 8% responded that their manager “always positively affects the team bringing drive and energy”, and only 3% of the respondents said that their boss is “brilliant”.

What can be done to develop emotional intelligence?

Advice

The topic of emotional intelligence is becoming so popular that in addition to numerous courses and trainings, master-classes, studies and books, professional associations including managers from all over the world who successfully practice emotional intelligence have been set up to share their advice and observations.

We have selected from practicing experts what we consider to be the 5 best pieces of advice.

“Acknowledge emotions, not as good or bad, right or wrong, but as a source of information that help you gain self-awareness”.

 Tang Weng Liang


“When I find myself reacting to a situation, I take a moment and name the emotion”.

Nicole Tervalon

“Train yourself to sense your emotions via sensations in your body”.

Shabbir Latif

“Be an observer of yourself. Pay attention to what you feel and how those feelings contribute, distract, enhance, or challenge you”.

Dawn Karner

“Sit silently for 15 minutes every day and do self-introspection. The reflection is a first step towards practicing EQ”.

Avtar Saksena