Everybody needs some degree of so-called “soft skills” in order to navigate the modern professional world. But how do you know whether you’re actually engaging in the self-awareness and empathy necessary for optimum collaboration with colleagues and clients?
Over at the Harvard Business Review, career coach Muriel Maignan Wilkins has a breakdown of the signs that somebody needs to work on boosting his or her “emotional intelligence”:
- “You often feel like others don’t get the point and it makes you impatient and frustrated.
- “You’re surprised when others are sensitive to your comments or jokes and you think they’re overreacting.
- “You think being liked at work is overrated.
- “You weigh in early with your assertions and defend them with rigor.
- “You hold others to the same high expectations you hold for yourself.
- “You find others are to blame for most of the issues on your team.
- “You find it annoying when others expect you to know how they feel.”
Wilkins has four recommendations for anyone who finds they check off too many items on the above list: Get feedback from those around you about your behavior (“try to understand it, and own it”); pay more attention to how your words and actions are perceived by others; pause rather than surrender to a knee-jerk reaction; and try to develop a greater sense of empathy by understanding others’ agendas and needs.
There’s much more within the article, which could make good reading for anyone interested in increasing their emotional intelligence along with their other skill sets.