Employers are becoming more and more interested in the Emotional Intelligence levels of their potential hires. In fact, per a recent study, 71% of surveyed hiring managers said that EQ was more important than IQ.
According to Six Seconds (a nonprofit organization with a goal of one billion people practicing Emotional Intelligence) EQ is a strong indicator of personal effectiveness, quality of relationships, well being, and overall quality of life.
So what does EQ look like in the work force, and particularly what does it look like for our millenniums transitioning into the workplace?
I asked one senior leader from a Chicago-based media company what advice he would give this group of individuals. He came back with these 7 mindful perspectives to navigate the workplace.
1. Run a Marathon
When you start off in your career, don’t look at it as a sprint and seek out instant gratification. Look at your career and your life as a marathon. Slow down. Get some experience, look around, and pace yourself. Be aware of the big picture and where you are heading.
EQ Competency: Pursue Noble Goals. Align yourself so that your daily choices connect to your overall sense of purpose.
If you treat your career like a job, your career will treat you the same way back. Don’t just punch a clock and put in your eight hours. Employers are looking for spark! They want to know that you are there for more than just a job. Work in an area that fuels your passion.
EQ Competency: Engage Intrinsic Motivation. Know what drives you. What are your personal values? Where are you driven to make a difference?
3. Be Like Curious George
Curiosity is a powerful trait. Be curious. Ask questions, and don’t be afraid to be engaged and make suggestions.
EQ Competency: Apply Consequential Thinking. Ask what if questions and consider different view points and perspectives.
Before your first day, make a decision about who you want to be. Do you want to be known as a complainer, self-focused, and rogue? Or do you want to be known as someone who collaborates, thinks of others, and considers what is best for the team?
EQ Competency: Increase Emotional Literacy, Recognize Patterns, Navigate Emotion.Learn to identify the feelings you are experiencing. Feelings are data and they provide important information about yourself and the situation. Naming your feelings increase your self-awareness, and helps you to recognize patterns of behavior you may have around that feeling. Next, learn to navigate the emotion so that you have a positive result. For example, feeling frustrated sends you a message that you don’t like the way something is going. Your pattern may be to sit in the frustration and let it fester. If you learn to navigate the emotion you can begin to see it as an opportunity to promote change.
5. Prepare for a Roller Coaster Ride
The process of getting a job offer, and preparing for your first day is fun and exciting. But know this. You are going to have good days and bad days. Be prepared for both. And be confident that the whole ride will be exhilarating.
EQ Competency: Exercise Optimism.When the days are hard and challenging, learn to be proactive. Things are not always black and white. Look for the shades of grey and the possibilities in the situation.
6. See the Forest Through the Tree
Picture yourself standing in a forest with a great big giant elm tree in front of you. All you can see is the trunk of the tree. You have no sight of the entire big forest and the part the big tree plays in it.
When you start your career, you will be given a job that requires you to focus on the tree. Use your passion about your field, and ask questions, read, seek out expert opinions, and anything else you can do to get perspective on the big picture. Employers want you to excel at your job, while keeping your eye on the big picture and the impact you can make on it.
EQ Competency: Exercise Optimism.Employers love optimistic thinking. It goes hand in hand with innovative thinking. As you better understand the forest, learn to take a proactive perspective of hope and consider the possibilities.
It’s pretty much a guarantee that you are going to experience some sort of change throughout your career. Be willing to get out of your comfort zone and experience new things. And while you are at, be willing to fail. Some of the best lessons and growth come from failure.
EQ Competency: Recognize Patterns and Navigate EmotionsPay attention to how you respond to change. What are your auto-pilot reactions to new ideas and concepts? What feelings are stirred up as you face change? What fears creep into the picture. Learn to navigate these emotions so that they motivate you versus stall you out.
If you would like to learn more about emotional intelligence, contact Kelli atwww.EQcoaching.net.
About Kelli Schulte
Kelli is a Chicago-based consultant and coach helping individuals and organizations grow in emotional intelligence. With a natural curiosity for how people think and feel, she enjoys helping others increase self-awareness, build greater connections, and experience a healthier sense of well-being, in order to take positive steps forward.
In addition to being a wife and a mom of two young adults, she is also a certified coach with the International Coach Federation (ICF), a Preferred Partner with Six Seconds, Certified EQ Assessor and Practitioner, an EQ Area Network Leader with Six Seconds, a Panelist with the Six Seconds EQ Community Forum, and a regular contributor with 30Seconds.com.
Her combined experience working as a consultant with Fortune 100 organizations, and working with students and adults in church ministry gives her a unique coaching platform.