Are your emotional coping skills preventing you from achieving career success?

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Do you think that you’re the smartest person in the room at work? Are you able to do work that you know your coworkers cannot match in terms of volume as well as quality? Is it evident to you that you are more qualified than anybody on your team? Is it also true that you’re not getting the kind of raises and promotions you feel you deserve? If any of this resonates with you, you might want to look at your emotional coping skills.

Understand that the modern workplace doesn’t just turn on intelligence. It would be so simple if all it takes to be promoted and to get a raise is to be smarter than the next guy.

If you’ve worked a day in corporate environments, you know that this isn’t the case. It’s not unusual for people who are obviously less intellectually-gifted than you to get promoted not just once, twice, but all the way to the top. What’s going on? Well, a lot of success may turn on intelligence scores. In fact, in study after study, IQs have been correlated to life success. IQ tests are almost universally accepted as a good indicator of overall life success. But this begs the question, how come people with high IQs don’t always become successful? In fact, if we’re talking about really spectacular levels of success, I’m talking about corner office CEO type of success, when factoring an IQ, it’s a wash.

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Now there are other factors. Maybe you’re related to the old boss, perhaps you are a part of the right group, or you came into the picture with all sorts of advantages. But if we were to account for all of that, there is one other factor that shines forth. It cannot be ignored. This is called emotional intelligence.

One essential part of your emotional intelligence is your skill in coping emotionally with certain social situations. This might be holding you back. If you have a tough time dealing with completion and you tend to say the wrong things to the wrong people at the wrong time, don’t be surprised if this all blows up in your face when it comes time for a promotion.

If you find yourself always locked into some sort of negative emotional feedback loop with certain types of personalities in your office, don’t be surprised if this harms your career trajectory. These situations impact your emotional coping skills.

How exactly do you deal with difficult people? How do you interact with people who seem to oppose you at every turn? How do you manage people who have obviously negative attitudes and corrosive personality? These problems are not going away, nor can they be explained away. You can’t just rely on your high IQ and magically make these difficult people disappear. It doesn’t work that way.

This is where emotional intelligence comes in. Your emotional coping skills, maybe preventing you from going up the corporate ladder as fast as you wish. This takes a lot of honesty because let’s face it, nobody likes to be wrong. Most people don’t like to feel that there’s something wrong with them. But if you want to make progress, you need to look at your emotional coping skills with curious eyes.

Am I handling certain situations in the best way I could?

Maybe I don’t have to react?

I don’t always have to pull rank?

I don’t need to dismiss people so quickly?

Perhaps there is some sort of win-win situation here?

Unfortunately, most people are ill-equipped to handle these questions, and that’s why we achieve success on a somewhat random basis. Sometimes we do well, sometimes we don’t.

Cheering you on,

-kw

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