In my original post in this series ( http://bit.ly/2v8mXJm ), I listed the 10 skills critical to your success as a Freelancer in the growing upheaval of the worldwide job market. Today I’m going to discuss Emotional Intelligence, #6 in the series.
Emotional Intelligence is Important Because?
It is one of the essentials of leadership (there’s that word again). Yes, as a future Freelancer, you are expected to be a good leader. Part of your job will be the bringing together of disparate groups who need to get along if your projects are going to succeed. In order to do this, you need to develop your Emotional Intelligence skills.
Emotional Intelligence (also referred to as EI in this post) is linked to your own success. Studies show 90% of top performers are high in EI.
Emotional Intelligence also leads to personal happiness and achievement.
4 Core Skills Comprise EI
Self Awareness is defined as the ability to perceive our own emotions and your reactions in given situations.
What gets you excited? What angers or frustrates you? How and when do you show your emotions? How does showing your emotions affect others? In what ways?
Knowing how you react emotionally in any given situation and staying aware of those emotions as they happen is the key here.
Here is the best definition of self-management I have found. It’s the first two lines of Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem “If”. “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you.”
Self-management is the ability to stay calm, cool, and collected. Not allowing others to derail, distract, or disrupt your leadership in any given situation.
Social awareness is the ability to pick up on how other people feel and why they feel that way.
It’s also developing a high sense of empathy which is the ability to understand the other person’s situation. Add to this, the ability to meet the needs of clients and customers.
Relationship management is bringing it all together. It’s the ability to listen to all sides, using your awareness of your own and others emotions to reach agreement. It’s applying creativity to a collaborative decision so that decisions are made from the bottom up. It’s also using clear communication to resolve conflict and build lasting bonds.
Relationships develop over time by frequency and depth of contact with others. The idea here is to build networks of individuals you can use to further your Freelancing practice, and better serve your clients.
Where Can I Learn About Improving My EI?
If you’ve been following my blogs, you’ll know the first place I always start is with books. Start with Amazon, your local bookstore, or your local library. One excellent book on the subject I found is Ian Tuhovsky’s Emotional Intelligence. It’s an excellent guide to understanding and improving your EI. There are also some nice freebies at the end. I’ve included a link below if you’d like to order this book. (Full disclosure, I am an Amazon Affiliate.)
Check online for courses. If you Google “Courses in Emotional Intelligence”, you’ll find everything from University Courses leading to leadership certification to seminars to free online training.
When Should I Start?
Today! The upheaval in the world job market is already underway. Software technology and robots are replacing people at an ever increasing pace. Forbes estimates 50% of the labor force will be Freelancers by 2020 ( http://bit.ly/2tfLsjq ). This is good news for you, but only if you act now so you are ready to take advantage of the shift.
One more thing. If you’d like to read the full text of Rudyard Kipling’s Poem IF, click here ( http://bit.ly/2irfa3X ). Ladies I apologize in advance for the poem’s tilt toward the male gender. Kipling wrote it in 1895 when social norms were far different