What is emotional intelligence?
At its core, emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to effectively manage our feelings and relationships. Daniel Goleman and Richard E. Boyatzis have identified four broad “domains” of EI: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. There is a strong correlation between good social skills, business acumen and high EI. Our ability to understand and empathize with other people is essential to providing great service and responding genuinely to employee, partner and customer concerns.
As we continue to adapt to remote work scenarios, EI will be difficult to cultivate, but it is more important than ever. In a traditional brick-and-mortar workplace, a coffee shop or a meeting room, it’s a lot easier to be aware of your surroundings, observe how the people around you are reacting to you and each other, and adapt and respond accordingly.
Many of the subtle clues that inform our EI, like tone of voice and body language, however, are no longer operative in a virtual environment. It’s much harder to understand our clients and staff and to assess moods and morale.