We recently conducted an Emotional Intelligence (E.I.) survey with 90 graduate students to evaluate if there is a gap in this soft skill area and to discuss possible solutions.
It’s been almost 30 years since the term ‘emotional intelligence’ first appeared in literature. It’s a desirable attribute in any career, but nevertheless, is lacking in many people. E.I. soft skills including; communication, collaboration and organizational attributes. Many people may have excellent technical or ‘hard skills’ that allows them to progress well in the early stages of their careers, but if they lack adequate soft skills, their careers can typically stall later on. By finding out your E.I. as early as possible, you can identify and therefore improve your E.I. to excel in any career.
E.I. is the ability to control ones’ emotions and assess other peoples’ emotions in all kinds of situations. Reuven Bar-On describes E.I. as an array of noncognitive (emotional and social) capabilities and competencies.
From ‘Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace. By Claudia S. P. Fernandez’; emotional intelligence attributes can be defined in 5 main characteristics:
- Self-actualization. To understand your own capabilities and your own potential in your career.
- Optimism. To deal with adversity and challenges.
- Stress Tolerance. To not let adverse events and stress overwhelm you.
- Happiness. To feel satisfied with your life and show enthusiasm.
- Assertiveness. Includes 3 major aspects; standing up for yourself in a non-destructive way; express your feelings openly; and standing up for your personal rights & not letting people take advantage of you.
Self-awareness of your E.I. is the first step into becoming an emotionally intelligent individual. We have created an ‘Emotional Intelligence Test’, which is available on the Skillfluence online resource library and can be used to self-assess your E.I. By completing this, you can identify actions you can take to improve your E.I.
The responses of the survey from graduate students were collected and conclusions have been made from the results. It should be taken into consideration that there may be a degree of exaggeration when members completed this survey and should be taken as an estimation on the levels of E.I. in graduates.
Key Survey Data
- 1 in 6 people rarely or never consider their emotions or mood when making decisions
- 1 in 4 people sometimes, rarely or never deliver negative feedback constructively
- Only 54% of members said they always or usually control their thoughts and not let emotions affect their reactions
- 1 in 4 people don’t stay motivated to reach their end goal if there’s immediate results beforehand
- 31% sometimes or rarely take a moment to think before they speak/act
Implications & Actions
From the results gathered, it shows there’s a potential gap in graduates’ E.I.
- Graduates should consider how their emotions can affect their decisions
- They should be trained better in giving constructive feedback rather than negative (delivering negative feedback simply points out the faults, whereas constructive feedback offers improvements)
- Graduates must remain focussed on self-set end-goals regardless of the immediate rewards
- More resources should be made available to control emotions to be able to make efficient decisions
There are gaps in E.I. at the graduate level and therefore graduates and employers would benefit from additional training and resources to help strengthen graduates’ E.I. A high E.I. is a useful skill to have as it covers a wide range of soft skills. To improve overall performance and workplace productivity, there are many resources online to learn more about E.I. such as; ’13 Signs of High Emotional Intelligence. By Justin Bariso.’
To learn more about our programmes for soft skills development, contact us via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.