May 22, 2013 Leave a comment
Last night I demonstrated a lack of emotional intelligence. What was the circumstance, you may wonder? I read a blog post by someone which was well thought out and nicely written. (I literally mean “someone” because the author hid her identity.)
Instead of focusing on the content of her post in my comment, I berated her for using a pseudonym and displaying a bio that is self-degrading. I accused her of not taking ownership of her excellent thoughts on the struggles of the job search. I called her immature.
According to About.com Psychology, emotional intelligence (IE) comprises of four factors: perceiving emotions, reasoning with emotions, understanding emotions, and managing emotions (Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer). It is safe to assume I fell flat on at least one of the four factors of IE.
Afterwards I tried to reason with myself for writing the scathing comment to this promising writer. I went back and forth between feeling justified and regretting my words. While I feel like a heal for being so harsh, I hope she gets my message that EI plays a critical role in the workplace, especially for young adults.
This is not to say older workers need to demonstrate EI in the job search and at work–ergo my outburst–but young adults lack the extensive job-related experience (IQ) that older workers possess. So to say employers look more heavily into this when evaluating young adults is accurate.
This is why every aspect of young workers’ branding matters as they put themselves out there, including taking ownership of what they post on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and their blog. And if they disclose their identity, everything they print will be scrutinized by potential employers.
A perfect example of being scrutinized is when I read a LinkedIn profile of a young worker which included a link to her blog. She was employed at a company and was the face of the social media effort of the company, so I was a bit surprised to see that the content of her blog was stereotypical of that of a college student. In a roundabout way I suggested she remove the link from her profile, which she did reluctantly.
Young adults need to make a decision before posting content for the world to see. Do they want to demonstrate EI that employers need to see, for lack of job-related experience? Below is what the four factors of EI mean.
- Perceiving emotions means they can understand the difference between their colleagues’ emotions like anger, sarcasm, humor, seriousness, etc. They can read verbal and nonverbal language or communication. Mastering this factor makes it possible to accomplish the remaining three.
- Reasoning with emotions means being able to understand important skills like problem solving, creativity and analytical thinking. The person can adapt to situations that require said skills. For lack of job-related skills, it’s important they demonstrate these abilities.
- Understanding emotions means deciphering between what’s in your control and what’s out of your control. Having the ability to realize that people display a variety of emotions and for a variety of reasons. Your colleague could be mad at you or simply having a bad day.
- Managing emotions properly requires self-control and controlling the emotions of others. An example would be not reacting to a colleague or customers who outwardly contemptuous; rather properly dealing with conflicts. A young worker who can do this is a valuable member of the workplace.
I reacted poorly when I finished reading an excellent post on career-searching personalities because I felt the author demonstrated a lack of EI, when in fact I also demonstrated a lack of EI. My point is that young adults–as well as mature workers–must keep this important skill in mind when presenting themselves online, in the job search, and at work. But for young adults EI might be their strongest suit.