Emotional Intelligence: Your Competetive Advantage in Uncertain Times

Sure, companies might be chock-full of brilliant Harvard MBAs and seasoned executives who can produce impressive forecasts for market share and revenue. But the truth is, we never know in advance precisely what's going to happen -- with the marketplace, our customers or our competition. So which organizations tend to be the most successful at coping with this economic uncertainty? Inevitably, the winners are companies led by people who know how to improvise, adapt and overcome challenges as they occur. These leaders can think quickly to resolve conflict, strengthen their teams and inspire their colleagues, even when things aren't going according to plan. The common denominator among these leaders is a high level of emotional intelligence.

I have seen firsthand that more companies are recognizing the inherent value of emotional intelligence and taking steps to help their employees develop and enhance these skills. Likewise, professionals seeking to boost their careers and increase their marketability are capitalizing on their ability to anticipate change and respond to unexpected conditions as key differentiators. Today, the most successful leaders don't necessarily have prestigious degrees and professional certifications. Instead, they tend to have real-world experience or "street smarts." They have self-awareness and excel under ever-changing conditions. People who are well-rounded and emotionally savvy have the skill set required to efficiently lead groups toward a common goal, despite adversity and a full gamut of unexpected events.

The bottom line? Emotional Intelligence is the fuel that accelerates good leaders into great leaders who are prepared to successfully cope with the harsh climate of constant change. Is your company helping its employees increase their emotional intelligence to weather the unavoidable economic storms? Have you made efforts individually to raise your emotional IQ? Feel free to share your challenges and results! I'd love to hear about your experiences.