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How to Develop Your Emotional Intelligence to Improve Your Career Prospects

Emotional intelligence is a skill set being increasingly analysed by recruiting employers. It comprises many important qualities, such as recognizing your own and other’s emotions, and understanding their affect. Being a good listener, calm problem solver, managing your emotions, and reflecting on your performance critically are also key features of emotional intelligence.

Emotionally intelligent people are the ones who everyone wants on their team. They make others feel good, and jobs run smoothly. It is therefore a hugely employable quality that employers are increasingly searching for during their recruitment process. So how can you improve yours?


How do you define emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence was defined by American psychologist Daniel Goleman (in his book Emotional Intelligence – Why It Can Matter More Than IQ) as being composed of five elements:

1 – Self awareness – a willingness to look at their strengths and weaknesses, and work on them to improve their performance. This also leads to confidence, as a self aware person will trust in their own intuition, and not be cast down by criticism.

2 – Self regulation – this is the ability to control your emotions. People who can self regulate are less likely to make impulsive, rash decisions. They are more likely to be comfortable with change, hold integrity high, and think before they act. They will be able to say no when needed, and will not be swept away by negative emotions such as jealousy.

3 – Motivation – a motivated person can see the long term results of their actions, and is happy to work steadily towards that goal. They will not be phased by a challenge, but thrive on being highly productive and effective.

4 – Empathy – An empathetic person can sense the emotions and needs of those around them. This makes them a highly effective team member, and a great listener. These people are often in demand as they manage relationships so well, responding to other’s viewpoints and understanding the subtleties of emotional situations.

5 – Social skills – those with great social skills are easy to talk to. But rather than dominate a conversation, these people allow others to shine, facilitating interactions and managing disputes. Great team players, those with social skills are strong communicators who are adept at maintaining good relationships.


How to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence

Consider each of the elements above. Are these qualities you can recognise in yourself? Or, if you are really honest, are there areas you could work on?

Use these strategies to analyse your emotional intelligence level, and improve on it:

  • Think about how your actions affect others. Can you put yourself in their place? Does it feel ok? If not, perhaps reconsider your plans.
  • Are you fair in your reactions to others? Do you rush to judgement, gossip or stereotype?
  • Take responsibility for what you do. If an apology is needed, don’t ignore the issue or hide away. The emotionally mature action is to apologise directly, and try and correct your mistake where possible.
  • Do you compete for attention? No one enjoys attention seeking behaviour. Be clear that you are happy for others to take the spotlight, while remaining quietly confident in yourself and your achievements.
  • How often are you stressed, and how much do you put this stress on others? Do you raise your voice, or blame others for minor mistakes? The ability to remain calm and in control of the situation is a great life skill, both in and outside of the workplace.
  • Make an honest self evaluation. Which areas do you know you need to improve? Sometimes being open to criticism and change is the most important step in becoming more emotionally intelligent.

There are many reasons why employers are searching for job candidates with strong emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence has been shown to correlate clearly with increased job satisfaction, and makes for better communication amongst colleagues. Show that you are rich in emotionally intelligent qualities, and move another step towards your dream job.


Are You Looking For A Job In Ireland?

CareerWise is Ireland’s leading specialist recruitment firm, based in Cork, Shannon, Galway, Mayo and Dublin and we can help you to find your ideal new job in Ireland. We specialise in the Engineering, Supply Chain, Science/Pharma, IT and Accounting industries in Ireland, and we look forward to working with you. Contact us online now or call us on +353 (0) 21 206 1900 to arrange a consultation.



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CareerWise Recruitment. EastGate Village, EastGate, Little Island, Cork.

Phone: +353 (0) 21 206 1900