Do you feel like you have strong communication and interpersonal communication skills? Communication, leadership, and teamwork have always been important in business, and soft skills are in demand now more than ever.
In modern, dynamic workplaces, interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence are essential qualities — particularly for leaders and executives. If you’re looking to advance your career or enter a new sector, cultivating these skills is critical.
Need of the hour: soft and social skills for leadership
For a while now, the business and corporate world has been transitioning from Ford-like production lines to a human-focused model. In this new model, soft skills such as communication, leadership, and empathy have taken centre stage. Organisations are realising that these soft skills are just as important for executives and leaders as technical knowledge and experience, if not more important.
A different kind of work culture is rapidly developing, thanks to a variety of shifts, such as the rise of user focus, agile methodology, and innovation in the tech sector. In this context, soft skills are becoming increasingly valued. Having the ability to interact and work well with others, adapt to different situations, and resolve conflicts helps to encourage a positive and more productive environment in the workplace.
Organisations are now looking for executives and leaders in particular who have strong soft skills. Companies look for managers who can inspire and motivate others, and establish a human connection with their team to get the best results.
This means that aspiring professionals need to adapt to and embrace this new culture if they want to work for modern, dynamic companies. Companies are looking for well-rounded individuals that not only have the right experience and qualifications but also excel when it comes to soft skills.
Interpersonal Skills & Emotional Intelligence
“While interpersonal skills are more about your ability to interact, communicate, and socialise, emotional intelligence is a broader approach.”
When we talk about soft skills, one term that comes up a lot is “emotional intelligence”. But what does this mean exactly? Sometimes this term is used interchangeably with “interpersonal skills”, but these two are not really the same.
While interpersonal skills are more about your ability to interact, communicate, and socialise, emotional intelligence is a broader approach. Emotional intelligence encompasses a wider range of skills, from being able to adapt communication styles to active listening or conflict management, as well as the ability to identify and regulate your emotions.
Here are some ways you can demonstrate strong interpersonal skills as a leader:
- Listening: Give your complete attention to your team members and try to fully understand what they’re saying.
- Negotiation: Try to solve challenging situations by considering multiple perspectives to come to mutually beneficial outcomes.
- Observation: Closely observe others in order to better understand them.
- Empathy: Try to relate to your team members’ feelings to connect with them and support them.
- Positive Attitude: Keep your energy high and always have a positive mindset. This also includes being friendly and encouraging with your team.
How to Cultivate Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is a harmonious blend of self-awareness and emotional regulation while identifying and addressing the needs and feelings of others.
Let’s take a look at what emotional intelligence looks like:
- Self-awareness: Identify and understand your emotions, needs, and desires to gain self-confidence.
- Self-management: Regulate your feelings so that you convert negative thoughts into positive energy by aligning them with your goals.
- Social awareness: Pay attention to those around you so you can better understand them.
- Relationship management: Build and maintain strong workplace relationships for better and more productive results.
How to Be Emotionally Intelligent
Emotional intelligence requires spending time on introspection to develop a deep understanding of how we function in order to understand the effect we have on others. Developing the broad range of skills involved in emotional intelligence is not easy, nor does it happen instantly.
A great way to increase emotional intelligence is to work with a coach. An external professional can guide you in this personal work and help you understand how to apply it to your behaviour with others. The expert will also help you learn how you can understand others’ requirements and better practice empathy. Overall, working with a coach will aid you to hone your all-round soft skills.
EDHEC can help you to achieve this, through our focus on coaching and mentoring, paired with a human-focused approach. Additionally, our courses offer high diversity and the opportunity to connect with a worldwide network to help you to develop your emotional intelligence.
At EDHEC Online, students are given both group and individual coaching. This is highly valuable for understanding, practicing and implementing interpersonal skills in a professional context and cultivating emotional intelligence.
Ready to Take Your Interpersonal Skills to the Next Level?
In today’s work culture, organisations want managers and executives with strong soft skills. Companies know that good interpersonal skills can significantly boost employee motivation and performance. This, in turn, leads to the overall growth of the business. Happy and supported employees perform better and ensure company growth.
If you’re looking to advance your career, don’t overlook developing your interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence!
To learn more about how you can develop your interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence with EDHEC Online, check out our course catalogue.