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In nowadays business world leaders and common employees are being judged now only by the level of their smartness or by working and living experiences and expertise but also by the ability to handle themselves in emotional plan and how this effects the surrounding. This methodic is applied in our company to hiring and firing staff. However, not only behavioral aspects play the vital role but the emotional intelligence starts to take the leading positions. But what is emotional intelligence and how it can influence not only interpersonal relations but the performance of every single business?
According to Goleman, emotional intelligence can be observed as the individual’s ability to identify, assess and control one’s emotions, the emotions of others and that of groups. It can also be added that emotional intelligence should recognize, observe, understand and affect the emotions of others who are involved into the process. In his book “Working with Emotional Intelligence”, Daniel Goleman was observing the emotional intelligence from the point of having the ability to influence the emotional competence and incompetence. Emotional competence can be described as the process of dealing with emotions, detailing how to identify, understand, signify and control not only the individual’s emotions but also respond to the emotions and interactions of the surrounding. Emotional competence can be observed from 2 sides – intrapersonal which describes the inside feelings and emotions of an individual and interpersonal which involves observing the relationships communication based on emotional level. According to Goleman, emotional competences can be subdivided into categories according to personal or social competences.
Talking about personal competences we should pay attention to self-awareness, self-regulation and motivation which in combination lead to success in business. At my work, personal competence play the vital role. In the process of hiring new employees, I should be self-confidence, especially when there is a lack of professional teachers while the number of clients is increasing dramatically. While interviewing the new staff, I rely on my inner intuitions and internal states while not paying that much attention on preferences between the age, culture or working and education background. For example, just some days ago I have interviewed two new staff who were of totally different backgrounds, social statuses and countries but, paying attention to emotional awareness and accurate self-assessment, I have chosen the one who doesn’t have the PhD degree in languages but who is eager to work, who is emotionally balanced, having the perfect tactics and great experience of tutoring the students of all age categories as she will bring new wave into our team.
Talking about self-regulation, I have introduced some innovative technique into the learning process, such as combined classes with 2-3 different students. Being conscious about the situation that, e. g. sometimes our teachers are bored to teach the basic grammar to our newcomers, I initiated the process, when, e. g. the same basic knowledge is given to different students on different “voice-conferences” and while, for example, one is doing the assessment test, another is being explained the rules and vice versa. It helped to develop the motivation competencies, both in me and in our teachers as they receive double price per hour and for me it became an achievement drive to increase the number of students, thus, increasing the revenue of the company, which, in its turn, motivated me to involve more innovative resources, such as implementing the system of promotion of our employees.
Talking about social competencies, especially empathy, which are one of the most essential in my work, as I communicate with employees, new customers, I am the communication link between many departments and the stakeholders, I am aware of the surrenders’ feelings, needs and concerns. Just today’s situation best describes how I am trying to satisfy not only the customers but also our employees. In the morning I received a whatsapp message from one of our teachers, telling that the customer doesn’t want to study, that she is shouting and wants to come to the totally new subject which she had to start the following week as agreed with me. The teacher also was very frustrated and angry because of the client. I immediately called the client and listened to the description of the situation from her point of view. The client was pissed off with the topic the teacher has offered her to talk about. And the topic was discussed with me, so I felt to be one of the reasons the client wasn’t satisfied with. I offered the client that she chooses the topic she would like to talk about but the client’s mood was not the best because of troubles at work, as a result. So, she just needed someone who could have listened to her problems and suggested her the ways out of the situation. Even I had the class with a student myself, I understood that the client needs my help, so I asked that teacher to snap up my student and I spent 2 hours talking to the customer and trying to solve her difficult situation with her boss, trying to develop her. Finally, we managed to develop a strategy of behavior for the client and she was really pleased to have such an attention from our company. The teacher got the hour paid for that customer and the customer had apologized for her incorrect behavior towards our staff.
Another example of social competence is, for example, the situations when I am trying to develop the team capabilities, influencing both our staff and customers to communicate in best possible ways, trying to avoid conflict situations while, being the leader of the team, I am building bonds, cooperating with both sides and change the catalyst. The example of conflict managing happened last week. Out company is in the process of searching for the new employees all the time while in order to satisfy the growing amount of customers and their needs and wants, it is quite hard to find a highly qualified professional in our sphere. So, one of our teachers gave the contacts of the person who wanted to work with us. I made the interview date in my busy schedule but the candidate just didn’t appear without warning. I thought that maybe there were some critical circumstances and appointed the new date. That time the candidate appeared and while having interview via Skype, I straightly understood that the candidate is lying about her experience background and her professional achievements as the level of language was intermediate but the candidate described it as advanced. While answering the questions about the teaching methods she uses, she was telling about some silly games for those who are preparing for IELTS, which doesn’t correspond with our methods of teaching. At the end of the interview I told her that her level is insufficient to become our team member after which I heard that she started to “pour out dirt” into our company, staff, especially the one who recommended her. In order to avoid further conflict development I offered her to try to contact another company which works in the same sphere but who are oriented on children teaching as her approach will be the best for them. She apologized for being rude and thanked for help. Since then we are implementing more control during the candidate searching procedures. Talking about 5 everyday mostly used competencies I can point out empathy competencies, such as understanding the feelings and emotions both of employees and customers in order to provide the best, high professional services and to avoid conflict situations as far as possible.
Another competency which is a must-have for me as a team leader is motivation which is supported with achievement drive as the aim of our company is strongly connected not only with providing customers’ satisfaction but also with staff who are compatible in almost all spheres, being the leader to achieve goals. The next competency that I can point out is being able to solve conflict situations as, working in the sphere of communication, it is essential to know all the strategies of conflict management in order to support both customers and staff and prevent situations which can influence the image of our company on the market.
The fourth competency is innovation, as working in the 21st century, the IT technologies are developing extremely fast, that’s why being open to novel ideas, approaches and new information is vital in my sphere. Moreover, implementing new, high-tech, innovative teaching methods, using the IT supplements and collecting new information from our market niche will help our company to strengthen our position among the top leaders on the market, providing the top quality of education, reaching 100% customer satisfaction. An the last but not the least competence is leveraging diversity by cultivating opportunities through diverse people which means that I am trying to create the team of high professionals who have different backgrounds, diverse experience in varied spheres and I am giving them the opportunity to develop further, providing the best learning materials in different spheres which broadens their horizons of knowledge and practice.
Among the competencies which I use the least are political awareness as political and social currents don’t affect our organization that much and, being the worldwide organization, we have customers and staff from every parts of the world without any political sanctions. The second competence is commitment or embracing the company’s and team’s vision and goals as we stick to them since the first day and remind them to employees only on big meetings. The 3rd competence is being self-confidence as sometimes there are situations where even I, being the leader, need some look from the inside and support from my team and my surrenders. The 4th competence is accurate self-assessment as sometimes there is no time to pay attention to learning from experience and valuing my personal strengths and limits. And the last competence is being initiative and optimistic as sometimes I am waiting for initiatives from my team members and in some critical situations there can be lack of optimistic views from my side as I am more rational and “down-to-earth”.
I have created a survey monkey and have sent it to 3 most reliable people who know me the best – my boyfriend, my boss and my team member. They ranked me among the 10 competences which I described above and the results were almost the same among them and were as I have thought they should be. The competence of understanding the feelings and emotions was ranked by all of them as 5 as they see me to be very “into people”, trying to create the best “atmosphere” in feelings and emotions of customers and staff. The competence of motivation was rated with 5 with my boss, 4 with the team member and 3 with my boyfriend. Team member would like to have more motivation feedback and my boyfriend would like that motivation will be spread not only on work but also on our life, explaining that I have to provide him more motivational background in critical situations instead of trying to solve it together. Competence of conflict management was rate 5 with my boyfriend and 4 by boss and team member as they would like to see more conflict avoiding then confronting situations which can be produced by further conflict avoidance methods of running projects and choosing criteria of customers and employees. The competence of innovation were ranked 4 by boss and team member as they are waiting for our IT department’s new high-tech solutions and implementation into day-to-day business. My boyfriend has ranked it 2 while it’s not that important in our relations. The last everyday competence of leveraging diversity was ranked with 5 by boss and team member and 4 by my boyfriend as he would like me to concentrate on more diverse circle of acquaintances.
Observing the ratings of least used everyday competences, political awareness got 3 5 ratings as all of them think I am 100% political aware and pay attention to all political changes happening everyday which even may not touch our company. The next competence of commitment or embracing the company’s and team’s vision and goals was ranked 4 by boss and 3 by my team member and boyfriend. All of them think I need to put more attention to the goals and vision of the company in order to create the best scenario of actions and to find best suitable team members to provide 100% customer satisfaction. The competence of being self-confident was ranked 5 by boss and team member and 3 by boyfriend as at work I am seen as totally self-confident, controlling every single detail person, but at home sometimes I can ask for help, for advice, talk over some critical situations in life and I am expecting to receive support.
The next competence of accurate self-assessment was ranked 5 by everyone as all of them see how I am working over the past experiences and valuing my strengths by taking new projects and establishing my personal limits in work and private life.
And ranking the last competence of being initiative and optimistic was ranked 5 by boss and team member and 3 by boyfriend as I am totally 2 different people at work and at home while home is the place where you can show all spectrum of your emotions and being led while at work, being the team leader, I should present all my experiences, knowledge to create better communication and satisfy both customers and employees.
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