Learn to recognize your emotions so you can achieve professional success
“True leadership is in self-leadership”. We spoke with the psychopedagogue and teacher Manel Fernández about the importance of emotional intelligence on the road to success.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage one’s own emotions as well as those of others. It is a set of skills that allows us to understand how we feel and how our emotions affect our behavior.
We know that emotional intelligence is important for success in one’s personal and professional life, that emotionally intelligent people are better able to manage stress, resolve conflicts, build positive relationships, and achieve their objectives. In short: emotional intelligence is an essential skill for success in life. But how do we develop it? How should we make it part of our daily lives?
Why should we develop emotional intelligence?
We spoke with Manel Fernández, renowned Mentor and Coach specializing in the field of Emotional Intelligence for Leadership and Team Cohesion, as well as a lecturer at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) in the area of People Management. With him, we explored various crucial aspects of emotional intelligence and its importance in everyday life.
Manel Fernández underlines the fundamental importance of understanding the language of emotions in our daily interactions.
“Biologically, we’re emotional beings- most of our decisions and actions are emotional, so we need to know this internal language that helps us to communicate better with ourselves and with others,” Professor Fernández tells us.
This understanding benefits us in three important ways:
- It helps us to understand and recognize how we feel in different situations.
- It allows us to make more informed decisions by being aware of our emotions.
- It improves our ability to understand others on a deeper level.
In short, these aspects contribute to establishing more authentic and meaningful relationships in all areas of life, whether at home, at work, or in one’s friend circle.
Emotional intelligence is fundamental to being a good leader
Manel Fernández argues that leaders with a more empathetic and emotional approach are needed, as this type of leadership generates more positive and productive work environments. It allows leaders to build trusting relationships with their employees by demonstrating genuine concern for their well-being and understanding of their concerns.
This approach also relates to improving employee engagement. Empathetic leaders are able to recognize individual needs and motivations within their teams, allowing them to adapt their leadership style to align with organizational goals. As a result, it fosters greater commitment and loyalty among workers who feel that their contributions are appreciated and recognized.
Manel Fernández also highlights how emotional leadership promotes collaboration and effective communication in the workplace. Empathy facilitates more open and honest communication, creating an environment where collaboration and creativity flourish. Leaders who demonstrate this quality are more likely to establish a safe environment in which people feel comfortable expressing their opinions.
How can companies promote emotional intelligence?
Fernández believes that companies can be drivers of a change in values in a number of ways, for the benefit of society as a whole. In this respect, he highlights the following points that can help companies become drivers of a shift in values:
- The adoption of sustainable practices that reduce or minimize environmental impact and promote the conservation of natural resources.
- Inclusion and diversity to foster inclusive and diverse work environments that promote equal opportunities and social equity.
- Participation in the community by being actively involved in the places they operate in. The direct contribution to the well-being of society.
- Transparency about their practices and performance, in economic as well as social and environmental terms. Disclosure of sustainability reporting and engagement will demonstrate their commitment to positive impact values.
- Partnerships and collaborations to join forces with other organizations, including NGOs, government entities, and other companies, to address large-scale social and environmental challenges.
- Education and awareness for the community they serve, workers, customers, suppliers, etc.
A before and after in emotional well-being
The confinement we experienced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic has brought significant challenges in all areas of the workplace, but it has also generated an increased focus on employee well-being and safety on the part of organizations. Although the future is uncertain, this crisis highlighted the importance of addressing people’s needs in the workplace.
What tools can we use to improve our emotional intelligence?
Manel explains that, in order to increase emotional intelligence, he works with a map of 5 key points that should be strengthened according to each person’s profile.
- Emotional self-awareness: recognizing your predominant emotions, thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors.
- Emotional regulation: regulating, directing, and learning to manage your emotions in order to feel more empowered to act.
- Self-motivation: enriching your daily life by defining your purpose, values, virtues, and mission.
- Empathy: developing the ability to understand others, through active listening and persuasion.
- Connection: creating close connections with others by improving social skills.
“In contemporary society, we are constantly exposed to messages that promote the idea of pursuing happiness, chasing our dreams, and getting out of our comfort zone. While it is important to have aspirations and objectives in life, it is also necessary to keep in mind that happiness is not a constant state, and that it is normal to face challenges and difficult moments,” says the renowned coach.
For him, the pursuit of happiness is a personal and unique journey for each individual. He therefore stresses that it is essential to find a balance between pursuing goals and happiness, but also accepting and embracing the experiences and emotions that life presents us with.
Those of us at MAPFRE work every day as a company to pursue our firm commitment to promoting the well-being of employees and society.