February’s presentation by Pam Watson Korbel of SmartGrowth provided attendees with a deep dive into Emotional Intelligence (EI/EQ). Ms. Korbel, a certified coach and trainer through the Institute for Social and Emotional Intelligence, touched on ways to increase EI/EQ and improve professional success.

Social-Emotional Intelligence is a newer field of study, made visible in 1996 by New York Times reporter Dan Goleman’s book of the same name. Goleman’s book is based on the research of two psychologists, John Mayer and Peter Salovey, who were the first to define the concept of Emotional Intelligence.

Event Take-Aways:

Pam began by asking people to think of 3 characteristics of an admired mentor or business associate, to write each of the three qualities on a sticky note, and to put the sticky notes on a whiteboard under either the IQ or EQ category as appropriate. Most the of traits of mentors or admired associates were EQ traits, i.e. creativity, risk-taking, recognition of others, passion, etc.

Pam explained that EI/EQ is about “soft skills,” i.e. self-awareness, self-management, awareness of others, and relationship management, and showed, through numerous case study examples that success hinges on a person’s EQ rather than his/her IQ, i.e. knowledge on a topic, computational/ technical skills, etc. She also noted that where IQ levels off at 30, a person can continually develop his/her EQ throughout life.

Key points of Pam’s presentation included the fact that self-awareness is the building block, the starting point of Emotional Intelligence. She demonstrated, through a four-quadrant model, that a person’s ability to influence others and to effectively manage relationships starts with his/her self-awareness. She also pointed out that resilience – the ability to work effectively with your emotions - is a key term in EQ. She introduced the importance of asking questions, setting expectations, and genuine interest in interpersonal interactions.

As an exercise to practice EI/EQ, Pam walked small breakout groups through a series of case study situations in which marketers and BD professionals in the A/E/C industry might find themselves. She asked the groups to discuss how they would navigate each situation using Emotional Intelligence.

Through this Education Event, the group was introduced to the principles of EI/EQ. Where we consider resilient design in our A/E/C practice, we can now consider resiliency in our self-development of EI/EQ skills.

“Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your emotions as well as the emotions of others. Emotional intelligence can greatly impact your work life and career, so it’s critical to understand exactly what it is and why it is so important. Every workplace is comprised of people with different strengths, personalities and emotions, which can greatly affect the way they work.” – University of Florida, Executive Education

The Education Committee welcomes your feedback and questions.

Please contact: Chair: [email protected] Co-Chairs: [email protected] or [email protected]

This event was conceived by Education Committee Members: Emily Murphy, CPSM, [email protected], and Brett Rayer, [email protected]