Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have become an integral part of our lives now. It is highly likely that you are already using AI in one way or the other and you haven’t even given it a thought. But, if you have then I am sure that, more than once, we’ve all come across one question: whether or not our jobs will be taken over by machines? Will human resources be made redundant? To be fair, there are good reasons to worry. In reality, the fear of robots snagging jobs exists in almost all industries. Nonetheless, the answer to this anxiety is, a big ‘NO’ as our Emotional Intelligence (EI) will not be replaced by robots but instead might be the sole factor to save us.
“IQ will be begging for EQ to show up and take over” – Daniel Goleman.
The term “Emotional Intelligence” was first mentioned by Daniel Goleman, a Harvard researcher, in his best-selling book under the same name (1995). Daniel also argued that non-cognitive skills could be as vital as IQ for workplace performance and leadership effectiveness. It’s our ability to understand and positively control emotion to relieve stress, empathize with others and communicate efficiently make all the difference in any situation.
Emotional intelligence makes an individual conscious of his emotional states, even the frustrations and sadness, and able to identify and monitor them. In recent years, some companies have included emotional intelligence tests in their candidate assessment and interview processes as the candidate who scores high in emotional intelligence is more likely to become a better leader or coworker.
Going by that, let’s reflect on yourself and figure out which traits of Emotional Intelligence you’re lacking or good at to perform better at your job:
Self-awareness is the initial part of emotional intelligence. It refers to the ability of identifying your emotions and being aware of them, their triggers and influences. Every person has their own strength and weakness, thus to be cognizant of this and be able to clarify your sense of purpose will allow you to determine a proper course of action. There will be times of frustration but as long as you’re conscious of the situations, you will be able to hurdle over the fence. By mastering this skill, you could be aware of not only your own emotions but also of the ones from people around you.
Self-management skills help you to deal with procrastination and become more productive than before. The lockdown time might have provoked our sense of calmness and adaptation in the face of uncertainty. But self-management skills can come handy in such situations. In general, you don’t let an emotional status overwhelm your day but turn it into a stimulus for goal orientation or growth. Like myself, I have held a positive outlook from the first virtual onboarding day of my remote internship, I see the good in the community, my team and the work that builds our resilience.
Empathy is one of the core competencies of social awareness. You attempt to understand what the other people are saying and feeling by putting yourself in their shoes. It is actually about recognizing their emotions, being thoughtful of their feelings and making decisions that take those feelings into account. A recent study from Harvard Business Review has shown the evidence that leaders who are good listeners “are perceived as people leaders, generate more trust, instill higher job satisfaction, and increase their team’s creativity.” More importantly, when you respond to the needs and feelings of other people, they start to trust you.
This interpersonal skill is easily found in leaders, coaches, mentors who can motivate, inspire and nurture the relationship with others. In other words, this trait of influence enables the person to gather support from people, at the same time, show their ability to manage conflict and disagreement from multiple sides with ease. This is an important aspect that enables us to help other people to reach their full potential and work towards a shared goal. Our success in managing our relationship is directly correlated to your success in three areas above, given that it’s all about getting the work done through other people, some of whom you have no superior authority.
In closing, building up your Emotional Intelligence can profoundly impact your personal and work relationships in a very positive way. Even though the future of work must be designed around technology and robots might replace humans for many jobs, human resources will always be valuable in any economy. If you tick “yes” to all of the above mentioned traits of emotional intelligence, success is most likely around the corner! If not, no worries, there’s still time to work on it and stay relevant despite all the threats posed by technology.
By Michelle Tran – June 30, 2020