Bhaiyya, how come the smartest people aren’t always successful?’ said Rinku.
‘Rinku, Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and expertise were considered critical for success earlier,’ said Rakesh. ‘However, emotions can hijack thinking capacity, affect decision-making and behaviour, and consequently, the results. You may be ‘smart’, and yet, if you cannot manage yourself and others, you’ll find it difficult to succeed. Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence says that two-thirds of competencies required for success pertain to Emotional Intelligence (EI). A person who can manage emotions intelligently has a clear advantage over ‘smarter’ peers.’
‘Wow,’ said Rahul. ‘How can I improve my EI, bhaiyya?’
‘EI comprises personal and social competencies,’ said Rakesh. ‘Self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation are personal, while empathy and social skills are social competencies. Anyone can practise these skills and improve their EI.’
‘What’re these competencies about?’ said Rinku.
‘Let’s look at our personal competencies first,’ said Rakesh. ‘Self-awareness is our ability to identify emotions as they arise and understand their effect on our behaviour. Self-regulation is our ability to manage our disruptive impulses, handling pressure and adapting. Motivation is our drive to achieve our goals.’
‘Interesting,’ said Rinku. ‘And social competency?’
‘Social competence is measured on empathy and social skills,’ said Rakesh. ‘Empathy, our ability to understand others’ feelings helps us build deep connections. Social skills are our ability to lead and influence others by understanding and managing group emotions and enabling cooperation to achieve common goals. However brilliant you are, you need others to succeed.’
‘So, our competencies help us manage our internal states and social competencies help us build and manage external relationships,’ said Rinku. ‘Together, they give us an advantage.’
‘Bhaiyya, what should I work on immediately?’ asked Rahul.
‘Initiative, empathy, adaptability and influence are considered key skills for success,’ said Rakesh. ‘Start there.’
‘I’ll begin with identifying emotions and managing my reactions,’ said Rinku. ‘How to go about it, bhaiyya?’
‘Try the stop lights technique,’ said Rakesh. ‘At red, when you sense emotion rising, stop and calm down. At yellow, verbalise the problem, set goals, think about options and consequences. At green, act on the best plan.’
‘Thanks, bhaiyya,’ said Rinku. ‘I can see how EI connects us to ourselves and the world, and improves our quality of life.’
‘Absolutely,’ said Rahul. ‘I’m sensing a desire for chai now.’
Pro Tip: EI is a key factor in your success. Work on personal and social-emotional competencies to gain an overall advantage.