The World Economic Forum has rated emotional intelligence as one of the top 10 most desirable skills needed for the workplace of the future. Big changes are coming to the world of work, according to a recent report published by the World Economic Forum entitled: The Future of Jobs. The report states that the forth industrial revolution is on our doorstep. It will cause widespread disruption to business models and labor markets over the next five years. An enormous change in the most desirable skills to thrive in the job market is predicted.
The scenario for 2020 dictates that complex problem solving skills will occupy the top slot. Critical thinking skills and creativity takes the second and third position with emotional intelligence coming in at number six. This places the neuroscience of learning and the intrapersonal-interpersonal competence framework for developing an emotionally intelligent workforce in the center of talent development and performance improvement.
More information is now available about how emotional, social and cognitive parts of the brain work together. Advances in brain science provide a better understanding of the role that emotions play in effective thought, action and performance. Thinking, learning and creativity involve cognitive ability. Without emotional intelligence these cognitive abilities suffer. Emotional intelligence is the foundation of cognitive ability, mental health and mental agility.
Brain research strongly suggests that emotional intelligence (EI), is one of the most important measures for human potential. Star performers stand out not only by personal achievement, but also by their capacity to work well in teams and synergize with others. The higher up the ladder of success an employee goes, the more vital all aspects of emotional intelligence become.
Emotional intelligence is fundamentally about developing interpersonal (social) and intrapersonal (personal) competence.
Intrapersonal competence means to be self-smart. This is your competence for managing your own emotional life well and functioning well independently. It is about having personal strength.
Interpersonal competence means to be people smart. It is your competence for perceiving and understanding other people’s moods, desires and willingness to interact. People with interpersonal competence interact well with other people and are usually seen as team players. They are skillful in relationships.
Dimensions of Emotional Intelligence
Research provide sufficient evidence that emotional intelligence now matters more than ever before. Personal qualities, such as optimism, resilience and motivation have become more important in recent years due to massive changes in the world of competitive business. Without these emotional intelligence competencies, cognitive abilities are inhibited. For instance, when an employee becomes stressed, their ability to process information effectively and make smart decisions diminishes. What distinguishes a worker’s performance from another’s is accurate self-awareness, self-management, self-motivation, social awareness and social skills. All these aspects are dimensions of emotional intelligence vital for success, wellbeing, improved performance and productivity.
Emotional Intelligence is multifaceted. Neuro-Link’s framework for developing intrapersonal and interpersonal competence consists of four broad dimensions of emotional intelligence: accurate self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and social skills. These dimensions are interdependent and to a certain extent sequential, starting with accurate self-awareness.
Self-awareness indicates how much you know about yourself. It answers the question of how well you know your internal states, motives, sense of purpose, preferences, strengths, talents, mind-sets, values and intuitions. Accurate self-awareness makes you become more grounded, authentic and realistic, being in touch with who you really are.
Self-management is accurate self-awareness in action. It is about managing what you understand about yourself. Self-management is your ability to manage your thoughts, internal states, talents, impulses and emotions to facilitate reaching goals and objectives, despite your circumstances.
Social awareness is your ability to be accurately aware of other people’s feelings, needs, concerns and perspectives. It includes your ability to notice others, be considerate, thoughtful and empathic. Social awareness is truly about putting yourself in the shoes of another and understanding their truth, regardless of your own.
Nelson Mandela: Inspirational Example of an Emotionally Intelligent Leader
Nelson Mandela is one of the best examples of how the above intrapersonal-interpersonal framework improves the performance of emotionally intelligent leaders.
Mandela was one of the most remarkable servant leaders the world has ever seen. His life story is an epic of struggle, learning and growing. It tells of a man whose idealism and hope have inspired a world prone to cynicism and pessimism. The question however remains: Was Nelson Mandela in the right place at the right time, or did he have competencies that most leaders do not have?
The answer undoubtedly is: Nelson Mandela developed skills that molded him into the resilient and inspiring leader he was. To serve, inspire and influence people in constructive ways as his life story illustrates, required tremendous intrapersonal and interpersonal competence.
Mandela influenced people to look in the same direction and inspired them to reconcile. He inspired people through the example he set and was willing to become the change he wanted others to be! He served the people of South Africa by anticipating, recognizing and meeting their need for liberation and freedom.
Throughout his life he was always very aware of his motives, values, emotions and life purpose. To guide South Africa through political turmoil towards reconciliation, Mandela also displayed powerful self-management skills like self-control, resilience, adaptability and self-motivation. One of the greatest traits of Nelson Mandela was the fact that his strong intrapersonal competencies did not inflate his ego and he never put his needs before the needs of those whom he served.
Mandela was a servant leader who had great interpersonal skills to establish strong social bonds with others, especially those who had a different opinion, belief, political affiliation, sexual orientation, culture and race than he had. He displayed powerful communication, negotiation and conflict resolution skills to lead South Africa to Democracy. Perhaps his greatest gift was creating social cohesion and synergy amongst people, getting them to work and live together in harmony despite their differences.
The good news about the above framework and Nelson Mandela’s inspirational example is that all people have the potential to be great in their own respect if they embrace this framework and develop these emotional intelligence skills.
For some further reading click here to read Advanced Systems blog article: “EQ And The Future Of Work” by Pierce Ivory.