The One Skill Successful Execs Wish They Had Learned Sooner

When people reach Exec level, they start to appreciate how the skills they previously disregarded and labelled ‘pink fluffy stuff’ actually have a major influence on their career development.

When Execs refer to the ‘pink fluffy stuff’ they are often thinking of Emotional Intelligence and the softer skills associated with it.

Those that lack Ei skills are the bosses we complain about to our friends, the ones that cultivate a workplace where conflict is common, causing key staff to jump ship and join competitors.

Manager shouting at team - successful execsNo one wants work to in this kind of environment!

You don’t need to look much further than front page news or office politics to see examples of adults causing problems that could’ve been easily avoided if they knew basic emotional management techniques.

It’s Never Been IQ Vs EQ

Now, IQ absolutely plays a role in career success, however, if you’re applying for a high-level position, expect to be competing against people with similar technical skills. When you’re in this talent pool, it’s your interpersonal skills that set you apart from the competition.

Many of the execs we work with say the same thing after our training: “Damn, I could have saved so much time and money if I had known this earlier.”

It’s normal to think about past interactions that were difficult and how they could have gone better.

But, why would Ei have helped?

Well, execs who exhibit emotional intelligence have the less obvious skills necessary to succeed – conflict resolution, empathising with the needs of others and keeping their own emotions from overflowing and disrupting team dynamics.

Being aware of and empathising with the emotional state of the people in your team means you are in a strong position to find out what truly motivates them.

And when we’re talking about motivation as it relates to emotional intelligence, we don’t just mean getting up the energy to go to work. We’re talking about your staff’s inner drive to accomplish something important to them. That drive isn’t just some feel-good nonsense. It’s something that can directly relate to tangible results and feed your bottom line. Successful execs realise this:

“I used to think this was the pink fluffy stuff, now I realise its the important stuff” – Andy Gannon, General Manager, GPC (Global Procurement Company)

The implications of improving your Ei also extend further than the office. As Daniel Goleman explains, your social skills affect everything from your work performance to your romantic life.

Unfortunately, emotional intelligence isn’t an area where most people receive formal training and those that don’t understand its influence say “Well, you should just learn from interacting with others when you’re growing up.”

While that’s true – EQ continues (in most cases) to grow and peaks in the mid to late 50’s – learning because you accidentally observe someone else’s behaviour isn’t an effective way to learn and won’t build a foundation for you to develop a balanced set of Ei skills.

You’ll certainly pick up a few things, sure, but without any type of intentional education, you’re at the mercy of whatever the people around you do. A game of chance. What happens when the people you interact with aren’t good role models?

Thankfully, the process of training and improving your emotional intelligence can be sped up with appropriate coaching and life experiences.

Emotional Intelligence Training

Young people gravitate towards this type of training if they know that it exists. And if they have the freedom to test and tweak Ei skills before they are adults, they’ll get a lot of mileage out of simple lessons. That’s why we’ve partnered with Warwickshire College.

For every 10 places we book up, Warwickshire College will nominate one student to attend a free seminar in January 2019. We’re really proud to be helping these young people learn the skills successful execs say are fundamental to a successful career.  

You can find out more about our initiative – Pay It Forward – here:

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