Your emotional intelligence will be the most important skill in the workforce of the future. With AI becoming more and more a part of the workplace, humans will become more valuable for what makes them distinctively human. Your ability to work with other people will be what sets you apart from machines—and from other humans.
If you are not able to help people become better than they are now, then you may need to think through how you can increase your emotional intelligence. An executive coach may be exactly what you need.
A good executive coach will challenge you to think differently. The thinking that has brought you to where you are now is not the thinking that will bring you to where you want to go. You must be willing to shore up your emotional intelligence in order adapt to the new situations you will encounter in the workplace of the future.
Here are three ways an executive coach can help you grow your emotional intelligence.
1. Leading teams
Your team leadership will be one of the primary ways you will showcase your emotional intelligence. Your ability to lead others to become better will be key in the future economy. But you cannot give what you do not have. You can only teach others what you already know.
An executive coach can help you see situations with new eyes so that you know better how to respond when the time comes. A good coach will ask you questions and make you think more deeply. A good coach will push you into uncomfortable situations that will make you grow. And a good coach will help you with your Self-Leadership so that you know how to lead others with your Active Leadership.
Becoming a good leader starts with realizing that you don’t know what you don’t know. If you are not willing to be challenged now, then you will likely not develop your emotional intelligence to what it needs to be.
2. Managing conflict
Different people handle conflict in different ways. Some people run from it. Other people go out of their way to instigate it. But people who have high emotional intelligence understand how to handle it.
Conflict is not always a bad thing. In fact, it can be helpful to have good conflict in your workplace. But the key is to understand how to manage conflict so that it is productive and not destructive.
An executive coach can help you develop a comfort level with conflict—and to help you understand how to use it to bring out the best in people and the best in the organization. Conflict that is not addressed will simmer and cause resentment, ultimately creating a breakdown in the workplace culture. But honest, respectful conflict will allow everyone to say what needs to be said in a way that honors everyone.
If you are not comfortable in handling conflict, then you may be limiting your career growth. Increasing your comfort level with conflict will also increase your emotional intelligence.
3. Navigating change
As the old adage goes, the only constant is change. And the pace of that change continues at a breathtaking pace. Many people will have difficulty handling change. But someone who has the emotional intelligence to help others process change appropriately will go far in their careers. But you must first be able to process change appropriately yourself.
People who are going through change struggle with the fear of the unknown. It is important to be empathetic with others in that environment. Some people have difficulty understanding how others may be feeling at a given moment—especially in times of stress. If you have the self-awareness to know how it feels to struggle with fear, then you can help others see the situation clearly.
If you don’t have that level of self-awareness, then an executive coach can help you develop it. But only if you are willing to be pushed out of your comfort zone.
The future is here now. The ability to lead teams, manage conflict, and navigate change is at a premium now, and it will only become more valuable. Whatever you do now to strengthen your emotional intelligence will pay you dividends in the future. An executive coach can help you think the way that you need to think to increase your value in the workplace of the future.
I am an experienced coach. I can help you identify your blind spots to move forward as a leader. Click the button to start the conversation.
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Robert McFarland is the author of the bestsellers, Dear Boss: What Your Employees Wish You Knew and Dear Employee: What Your Boss Wishes You Knew. Robert is also President of Transformational Impact LLC, a leadership development consultancy helping companies improve their employee cultures to make the companies healthier, more productive, and more profitable.