You need technical skills and experience to do your job. You also need a certain level of expertise and IQ to do your job well. After all, those are often the reasons you were hired in the first place.
But, as author and renowned executive coach Marshall Goldsmith pointed out,
“What got you here, won’t get you there.”
To excel in your career and position yourself for more challenging roles, you’ll need to stand out by leveraging much more than technical knowledge. To become exemplary, you’ll need to develop your emotional, relational and team intelligence (ERT-i).
Studies over the years have consistently proven that people skills and personality traits have a more significant influence on individual and organizational success than IQ alone.
For instance, research carried out by the Carnegie Institute of Technology revealed that 85 percent of your financial success is due to skills in “human engineering” – your personality and ability to communicate, negotiate and lead – while only 15 percent is due to technical knowledge (per Forbes.com).
[tweet “85% of your financial success is due to people skills. Only 15% is due to technical knowledge.”]
To put that into perspective, ERT-i is (simultaneously) one of the highest drivers of personal, financial, professional and organizational success. It’s what separates ordinary, from extraordinary. But, it is all too often forgotten.
The good news is that ERT-i is actually quite straight-forward. It’s naturally instinctive, always contemporary and with a bit of practice, it’s near-effortless to keep growing and developing.
Now, the question is, what exactly is emotional, relational and team intelligence?
Emotional Intelligence (E-i)
E-i, which is often referred to as EQ, is defined as the ability to recognize and manage one’s emotions, preferences, motives, and needs. When you understand how you’re wired, you can better position yourself to be successful in whatever you do. The professional world is wrought with challenges that can affect personal well-being. Having a clear approach to managing change and conflict can put you in a position to focus on your natural talents.
Some of the practices associated with E-i include:
Relational Intelligence (R-i)
R-i is the ability to manage human interactions with authenticity, empathy and tact. When you can identify with and understand how others feel, you can build stronger and more effective relationships. Your ability to communicate and relate to others is also necessary to create an environment where people feel empowered to focus on their natural talents.
Some of the practices associated with R-i include:
- Conflict management
- Active listening
Team Intelligence (T-i)
T-i is the ability to perceive and effectively react to team dynamics. Having a clear perception of how a team uniquely communicates and works together as a group, allows you to be proactive in helping them reach their goals while overcoming challenges. People become infinitely complex when they come together in groups. The ability to navigate diverse emotions, preferences, motives, and needs is paramount to creating a unified culture of trust—which allows an organization to thrive.
Some of the practices associated with T-i include:
- Social Awareness
- Collaboration and Team Building
Considering that all professions involve people, it’s easy to see how ERT-i and these types of people skills can profoundly influence your success.
Think about some of the best leaders you’ve worked with over the years. The ones that you especially admired and loved working with. They probably practiced most of the skills above. Most likely, they weren’t born with these abilities. They also probably didn’t learn them in a college course. And, more often than not, they weren’t bestowed upon them when they reached leadership.
No, these skills were cultivated by practicing self-awareness, continued-improvement and constant-application as they navigated through work and life.
These keys to success aren’t everything on their own. But, they are in everything that you own about yourself. We experience them every day whether we acknowledge them or not. Some have mastered the talk, some have even tried the walk, but for most, they’re just a set of complementary skills.
As we evolve the way we work through digitalization, globalization and dislocation, these human-centered people skills become more imperative for the way we want to work.