What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is the ability to manage your own emotions well and to communicate effectively with others, enabling good relations and minimising conflict. There are different opinions on how many elements are involved – ranging from 4 to 8 – but I like the 5 elements suggested by Daniel Goleman, the American psychologist:
- Social skills
Can you learn emotional intelligence?
The short answer is ‘Yes, you can learn emotional intelligence’. Why couldn’t you? Like all skills, some people are ahead of others in their development without even realising it – they’ve unconsciously developed many of the elements involved – but all of us can improve. We can all become more self-aware; we can learn to regulate our emotions better; we can explore what motivates us and maximise that; we can learn to listen better and empathise with people more often; and we are all capable of improving our social skills. The key, as always, is that we want to improve. What often happens is that by the time people are made aware of their lack of emotional intelligence, they think it’s too late to change. It is never too late if we are motivated to make changes.
Who should do emotional intelligence training?
When you consider that many of life’s problems are caused or exacerbated by poor communication, it’s reasonable to suggest that every one of us should seek to improve our emotional intelligence. Whether that improves our communication skills with others – the most obvious benefit within a business environment – or whether it gives us better control over our own state of mind, it’s easy to see that our quality of life can be improved through the development of our emotional intelligence.
Who provides emotional intelligence training?
There is a range of training companies and individuals from which to choose but I would like to fly the flag for sales training specialists like us. Hard-nosed salespeople delivering masterclasses in emotional intelligence – surely not? However, when you look at many of the modules covered in our sales training programmes – a few listed below – these represent the essence of emotional intelligence. I’ve always believed that good salespeople in most markets must have high levels of empathy and a good understanding of self so it’s no surprise to me but I recognise that sales training and emotional intelligence might not seem obvious bedfellows to many people.
Sales Training Modules or Emotional Intelligence Training?
- Our ‘why’ – the core purpose of a sales job: Helping people make good buying decisions
- Understanding how people make buying decisions both consciously and unconsciously
- The core ingredients of success in sales: how to understand and influence
- Structure: a step-by-step process for consistent, measurable communication success
- Starting conversations well with clarity, warmth and authority
- Exploring client needs through intelligent, interactive questioning
- Developing a range of persuasion skills to meet client needs compellingly
- Summarising needs and agreeing simple next steps to win client trust
- Process to proactively progress interested clients and leave uninterested parties in peace
- Developing a proactive client management process for strong long-term relationships
If you want to become a better communicator, improving your emotional intelligence is a great place to start. The benefit of learning through the medium of sales gives you the opportunity to put your new skills into practice quickly and to learn from people who only make a good living by doing this well every day! Knowing how to do something is one thing; the proven ability of doing it and the experience of living or dying by it for many years gives sales trainers the expertise to help anyone do this better.