According to Travis Bradberry, author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, there are four competencies to assess one’s emotional intelligence quotient (EIQ). These four competencies, categorized under personal competence and social competence, are: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. In his Ted Talk, Bradberry shared that 90 percent of top performers at work are high in EI.
In the competitive industry of public relations, where professionalism, trustworthiness and social understanding are imperative, how important is proficiency in social and personal competence?
My own answer to this question was influenced by Susan Balcom Walton’s article “EQ is the new IQ: The vital role of emotional intelligence in public relations” written for PRSA. In the article, Walton explains emotional intelligence is a vital trait for PR professionals because it better equips us to be counselors. Not only do PR professionals inhabit the role of counselors, but also have continuous interaction with people. These people may be the CEOs of our companies, the members of our teams or the individuals in our communities.
As professionals who work with people all the time, understanding one’s behaviors by being aware of their emotions is an indispensable skill. Furthermore, if we are able to understand how an individual’s emotions drive their behaviors, we can learn to influence certain emotions to change behavior.
So yes. High emotional intelligence is imperative for PR professionals. We are communicators who must understand the dynamics of the community around us. As Bradberry notes, “Emotions are the primary driver of our behavior.”
Join in the discussion: do you believe your colleagues with a higher emotional intelligence make better team members?