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Why you need emotional intelligence

Achieving Woman
 Why you need emotional intelligence (Photo: Vikky Karuga)

She's also an architect and runs a company called Profiles International. She runs PR and communications for the Rotary Club of Karen and is in a Kenyan alternative rock band, Murfy’s fLaw where she plays drums, piano, the flute and sings

Let us talk intelligence...

I am pulled to emotional intelligence and spiritual intelligence. Intelligence supports the human being as he grows from the soul. We put a lot of emphasis on titles, say; “my doctorate...”, but how do we tell people there is this other side to the human being’s wholesomeness, which is equally important? All these things come together because we want to explain things to people in terms they can understand and relate to.

 That must need one to be in touch with themselves.

Being emotionally intelligent means you are culturally and socially aware, you are in touch with who you are and that is self-awareness, which is the gateway to emotional intelligence. You know what your soul needs and you start being aware of your emotional cues. It is covering the human aspect of interacting with people.

 Does that mean emotions affect our behaviour?

At the end of the day, emotions affect the decisions you make. They elicit behaviours in us and those behaviours affect how you engage with other people so performances are affected by emotions. Emotional intelligence and people’s skills can be said to be more or less the same thing. The differentiating factor is that emotional intelligence gives a reason. Another part of emotional intelligence, even after discovering the impact, is understanding how to manage because you should be able to express emotions effectively. You have to learn to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time. Otherwise, you will get into situations where you do more harm. At the end of the day it is important to have the bigger picture - what are you doing, where are you going and how is that helping you? As women, understanding how to effectively express your emotions is a good thing.

It is said people run away from bad bosses, they don’t quit jobs. Do bad bosses exist?

Yes, they do and they are unproductive and this could be in a temperamental or non-temperamental way. You could have a boss that yells at you or you could have one who never promotes you or says anything. You could have a boss who never develops you. All this means unproductiveness, it does not matter whether you are dealing with the one who is temperamental or the one whose mood just affects everyone.

 It must take self-management to thrive in such an environment...

Yes, and that is because you are self-managing yourself and do not want to behave in a particular way. Self-management is good births self-awareness but you need to understand the impact this has on other people. Self-management means that because you have made that intention, you want to be more productive with other people, and you are going to try to show up more often than not in ways that are likely to engage back. For example, if I know I am going to yell I will say; “Just give me space please...” or I will get myself out of a conversation. These are small things that we can do every day to better our well-being.

 How do you handle a temperamental boss?

Now that you are aware of how you react to him or her also be aware of how that reaction is aiding in his or her behaviour because when you turn away you are not giving feedback. Maybe you need to look for a mentor or take a coaching course and see how you give effective feedback. People love to be appreciated, to be told they have done something that has made a difference in other people’s lives.

 How do I employ wisdom when responding to touchy situations that recur?

You must avoid being reactional because this can make you emotional. Instead, be intentional. You have to think ahead since you know what is going to happen. Prepare your response and think of possible outcomes. You need to think of how to play the scenario out. Men do it all the time. I see my dad practicing his speech and he is only going to talk to one person.  This is because if you immediately react you are likely to lose your bargaining power. 

Is being emotionally intelligent weak?

Firstly, being emotionally clever is a very intelligent thing to embrace. Secondly, emotional intelligence does not equate to being nice. It is equal to engaging with people more effectively in whatever you do, whether in an office setting or with your husband and children.

 What is the one habit that spells emotional intelligence?

Listening and paying attention. That is a big challenge for many people. I remember someone saying this about Barack Obama, and it is the only thing I remember about him. “When you were with him in the room you felt like there was no one else because he paid attention to you.” This is something we can all borrow from the former US President. 

-  Story extracted from interview on Her Standards, KTN Home, by Queenter Mbori 

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