As an emotional intelligence practitioner, it excites me to see the recognition that emotional intelligence has received over the last few years. However, as a society, we have a long way to go before we fully understand the immense value and urgency of this skill in the here and now.
Headlines rave about EI being “the skill of the future.” However, the future is now. The crux of today’s people-problems is that we have ignored these essential skills for generations. But now, we are hitting our breaking point. All the facades, workarounds, and band-aid approaches are crumbling in front of our eyes. Things aren’t necessarily getting worse as much as they are being revealed.
For example, in the past, a leader who belittled their employees was “just doing their job” and “showing them who’s boss.” The effects were still the same. The employee’s self-esteem was likely impacted. They were probably less productive and, in some cases, used others as an outlet for the strong feelings they could not express to their boss without losing their job and potentially ruining their carrier. This may have looked like humiliating their co-worker, spouse, or children. All of which were taboo to speak about.
Emotional Intelligence is not a nice to have or something that is in vogue now and out tomorrow. It is a must-have in repairing the centuries of damage and trauma that have ensued due to its absence.
Why Tomorrow May Be too Late
The longer we hold out on acting and developing our EI, the more challenging it will be for us to reverse the damage.
No different than a burning building, the longer we watch it burn in front of our eyes, the less chance we have of salvaging it. It would be ludicrous for a firefighter to say, I need to see flames before I act. Smoke is all it takes for them to know there is a fire somewhere. Gone unaddressed, it will consume everything.
Metaphorically, society and many organizations are not only smoking but visibly on fire while we all stand and watch.
Rebuilding after a fire takes considerable time, energy, money, and resources. Correcting for an EQ deficiency requires the same.
If we start now, we could see substantial results in as little as six months. However, realistically it will take eight months to a year to see a noticeable difference in how we operate, interact with one another, and shift our patterns of thinking and feeling.
Why HOW We Train for EI Is Critical
Not all essential skills (“soft skills”) trainings are created equal. Unfortunately, many out there will not yield the results you are looking for due to their lack of integration, which is critical, or because the program or facilitator—certified or otherwise—fails to understand or consider the complexity of human behavior.
If you are genuinely committed to taking action to solve the people-problems you are facing in your organization, I encourage you to check out CONVOshop, which helps individuals and leaders solve their people-problems by developing organic wisdom through introspection, collaboration, and compassionate communication. It’s not a program that tells people what to do or how they should think but sparks curiosity and fosters a safe environment to explore themselves. Learn more about how CONVOshop can revolutionize how you lead.