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Susan M. Heathfield

How to Develop Your Emotional Intelligence

By May 3, 2014

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Have you ever worked with a manager who seemed smart and capable but constantly missed the majority of information that would tell him about the reactions of employees and coworkers to his communication and behavior?

Not missing these cues on purpose, the manager never appears to be in sync with the emotional level of his work environment. This severely hampers his success as a manager.

Can managers and other employees develop this emotional intelligence? While some researchers believe that emotional intelligence is an inborn characteristic, others believe that emotional intelligence can be learned and strengthened. I belong to the can be learned and strengthened club because I have experienced many individuals who have enhanced their emotional intelligence when they put their minds to it.

You can develop your emotional intelligence, but it will take persistent focus and practice. Seek and use feedback to round out your own perceptions of your actions and behaviors.

Emotional intelligence is a hallmark of an effective manager or leader. They understand and appropriately react to both the content of a message and the underlying emotional and meaningful components that make a message live and breathe in an organization.

They are able to build sustainable relationships with peers and reporting staff. Without emotional intelligence, a leader is handicapped severely in his or her ability to perceive and react to the emotional component of communication and interaction with other employees. This inability will kill his effectiveness.

Find out how to develop your emotional intelligence.

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