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The Four Key Elements of Emotional Intelligence

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Emotional intelligence encompasses four main points: self awareness, self management, social awareness, and relationship management. Self awareness is “being aware of the internal aspects of one’s nature, such as personality traits, beliefs, emotions, attitudes, and perceptions, and appreciating how your patterns affect people” (Cengage). This is important as a manager because they rely on this skill in order to effectively and productively manage their employees. Without self awareness, managers would not know how they react under pressure, in charge, or with others. A large part of self awareness is how one interacts with others as well as how well one knows themselves, their abilities, and their weak points. Two ways to enhance self awareness is evaluations and feedback from peers and those around as well as self reflection to gain insight on oneself.

Self management encompasses three important components: clarity of mind, clarity of objectives, and an organized system. In order to properly self manage, one needs to put into perspective all three parts. Clarity of mind is when one has emotional wellbeing and can function properly in the workplace. Clarity of objectives is when one knows clearly what goals and intentions that they try to work towards in a company. Lastly, an organized system is when one has all their priorities and tasks in order.

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Social awareness is the consciousness of others surrounding one in and outside of the workplace. A socially aware manager is conscious of the problems within the business and has ideas of how to help solve them. Social awareness is important to management because of the necessity to always know what is going on internally and externally in the company in order to properly manage and delegate employees.

Relationship management is the networking between managers, employees, and customers. Relationship management brings all people working under a business together in order to enhance communication and efficiency. Managing relationships within the company is a positive tool for managers in order to network and interact with everyone in the company, not just those who they directly manage or connect with on a daily basis.

Authentic leadership is essentially when leaders know who they are and understand themselves, their abilities, and their shortcomings. They also act with higher ethical values based on their peers, rarely falter in their beliefs and values, have high rates of trust and commitment among employees, respect all viewpoints in the workplace, encourage teamwork and communication among employees and managers, and help those around them learn and grow as leaders (Cengage). Authentic leadership is important for managers because authentic leaders inspire greatness in a business. Using a strong moral code and charismatic inspiration, authentic leaders are the most successful in leading their employees and helping the company succeed. Because of their knowledge of themselves and their surroundings, they lead others without fear-based tactics, using their personalities as a catalyst for work well done. Authentic leaders also connect with many others, lead with both their heart and head, have a good sense of self discipline as well as self motivation, and intersperses passion as well as their purpose (Cengage).

Motivation is “the arousal of enthusiasm and persistence to pursue a course of action” (Cengage). There are two main forces that excel motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is when one does a task because they feel empowered or genuinely want to do the task for themselves. Extrinsic motivation is when one does a task for an external reward or motivation that comes from outside themselves. Motivation affects employee productivity, and depending on the type of motivation can affect the employee’s satisfaction within the company. A good manager instills the idea in employees that motivation comes from within and the accomplishment of goals and objectives is motivation to work through and complete them. There are many theories that support the idea of motivation in the workplace, including the ERG theory, two factor theory, goal-setting theory, equity theory, expectancy theory, and social learning theory.

The ERG theory states that three essentials need to be met before motivation can take place. The first is the existence needs, those that demand a physical well-being. Both physical and mental well-being is needed in order for the existence need to be met. The next is the relatedness needs, those that demand relationships with others in the workplace. To meet this need, one requires relationships with managers and other employees in the company. The last is growth needs, one that focuses on potential development and personal growth. This need could be fulfilled by a good manager who focuses on pushing boundaries and employees to their maximum potential. The failure to meet these basic needs leads to frustration and lowered job satisfaction.

Herzberg’s two-factor theory states that the areas of satisfaction and dissatisfaction are based on two factors: motivators and hygiene. One basic human need is that of a clean and secure workplace. Without the assurance of this, employee satisfaction would drop dramatically and retention rate for employees would be low. Some motivators that influence satisfaction are achievement, recognition, responsibility, work, and personal growth. With all of these needs fulfilled, employee satisfaction increases and so does productivity. A good manager can help assure these needs within their employees by instilling a sense of achievement, giving satisfying work, and challenging employees to become better and more efficient. Factors that lead to dissatisfaction are poor working conditions, low pay and security, corrupt company policies, unfair supervisors, and tainted workplace relationships.

The goal setting theory states that managers can increase motivation and employee performance by setting realistic goals and giving feedback in a timely manner. A few factors are encompassed in this theory, like goal specify, difficulty, acceptance, and feedback. Goals that are set need to be specific enough for the employee to know what they are trying to achieve, challenging yet practical, employee acceptance to work towards the goal, and feedback given back in a timely manner.

The equity theory deals with the employees’ perceptions of the goal’s fairness. Inequity happens when the factors that control input to output in the workplace do not align. Inequity in a company can be reduced by motivating employees to create more work effort, finding new outcomes to satisfy the inputs, changing the perception of work inside the business, and simply leaving the job altogether.

The expectancy theory deals with the employee’s perceptions of their goals, abilities, and performance in relation to achieving the goals set before them. Motivation behind goals could also be tied to a certain reward they will get for completing the task. There are three main components of this theory: e to p, p to o, and valence. E to P determines if the effort that is put into a task coincides with the performance that is desired. P to O determines if the performance of the task leads to the outcome that is desired. Valence deals with the desire to complete the task and complete it with the outcome that is wanted.

The last theory is the social learning theory where the employee’s motivation comes from those around them. This can be both negative or positive. If an employee sees those around them have a negative behavior centered around the goal they are supposed to be completing, the employee may follow that lead and have a negative outlook on the project. On the other hand, an employee may perceive positive reactions from those around them and view the task in a positive light, yielding higher performance. This theory incorporates vicarious learning, meaning that observation teaches employees what behaviors they should imitate and the rewards that come from completing certain tasks.


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