Emotional intelligence: Your key to a more successful workplace

Jan. 24, 2018

This piece is presented by the USD executive education program at the Beacom School of Business.

Some leaders know exactly how to motivate. Others struggle to influence others. Some people’s work relationships lead to success for them and the organization. Others’ inability to build relationships hinders everyone.

The difference likely is emotional intelligence, which research has shown can be even more important than technical expertise in achieving superior performance.

A one-day USD executive education course, Inspiring Leadership Through Emotional Intelligence, can provide a quick set of tools for improvement.

It’s taught by Mark Yockey, the chair of the innovation and entrepreneurship, management and marketing department in the Beacom School of Business. He teaches courses in organizational behavior, leadership and strategy at a variety of levels, including courses for specific companies or government agencies.

His course will be offered from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 22 at the University Center in Sioux Falls. To learn more and register, click here.

Here, Yockey offers insight into emotional intelligence and how it can be learned.

Let’s just put it out there for those who aren’t sure: How exactly do you define emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and manage our own emotions as well as recognize and respond appropriately to the emotions of others.

Why does this matter in the workplace? And is it something that’s increasingly required for success?

Whether we like it or not, emotions are an inherent part of being human. Even self-proclaimed “logical” people experience strong emotions. Pretending that emotions don’t exist or that they don’t belong in the workplace is not only unrealistic, it is counterproductive. Ignoring our emotions or the emotions of others leads to unproductive conflict, dysfunctional employee behavior, turnover and lost productivity. Acknowledging and responding appropriately to emotions builds a more productive work environment. Most importantly, it builds integrity-based trust for the leader. Trust is an essential resource for effective leadership.

How do you teach emotional intelligence? Are there ways, even in a day, to improve at it?

While some people are more naturally adept at it than others, everyone can improve their emotional intelligence. You will not, however, walk out of any emotional intelligence seminar or course and instantly be an expert. You will undoubtedly pick up a few quick tips that lead to some improvement right away, but, as with any other skill, improvement takes effort and practice over a sustained period of time. We will provide you with practical steps and exercises that you can do on your own to continue to improve long after the seminar is over.

Who should consider attending your course?

Virtually everyone can benefit from improving their emotional intelligence. This seminar is applicable to everyone regardless of their age, role in the organization, etc. To be perfectly honest though, the person who really needs to attend is the one who thinks they don’t need to attend. People who think emotional intelligence is a bunch of mumbo jumbo or that emotions are silly, counterproductive or a sign of weakness are the ones that can benefit most from this seminar.

What’s the biggest takeaway you think people will have for the day?

I hope for two main takeaways. First, I want people to understand what emotions are and how they improve our lives. We have selective bias when it comes to emotions. We only remember situations where negative emotions have interfered. The truth is that positive emotions are much more common and they lead to increased productivity and a higher quality of life. The second takeaway is for everyone to have a few practice tools that they can utilize to improve their emotional intelligence.

To learn more and register for the course, click here.

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Emotional intelligence: Your key to a more successful workplace

Ever wonder why some people succeed at getting things done at work while others struggle? Or why some motivate and others can’t? Emotional intelligence likely is a key — and it can be learned. Here’s one upcoming opportunity.

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