For some lucky individuals, forming a connection with business professionals comes as easily as breathing. But for most, networking can be a stressful process, filled with intimidation and fear. But this does not have to be the case – emotional intelligence can help anyone overcome the challenges of networking.
Emotional intelligence is defined as an individual’s ability to perceive and understand both their own emotions and that of others. It’s a quality that proves vital for many scenarios, ranging from workplace interactions, job hunting, and networking. Unlike IQ or personality, emotional intelligence can be trained and developed, allowing anyone to take advantage of the benefits of this quality.
Here are several ways emotional intelligence can help you boost your network and build effective connections:
Before beginning a conversation, it’s vital that you understand what you’re going to say. Emotional intelligence gives networkers the tools they need in order to better understand their own emotions and how it influences their behavior. They’re able to understand beyond simple emotions such as sadness or happiness – instead, they can get a better sense of what drives their behavior and interactions. With an improved self-awareness, emotionally intelligent networkers are better prepared to make a solid connection with others.
2. Improved Initial Contact
The first impression can be the defining moment of a beginning connection; if done incorrectly, it can set the tone for the rest of the interaction. However, emotional intelligence equips the individual with the tools needed to make a favorable initial contact. They are able to restrain distracting emotions of their own, such as nervousness or discomfort. In addition, emotionally intelligent individuals are able to perceive the emotions and behaviors of others, getting a sense of where the other individual stands before the conversation starts.
3. Social Awareness
Without the ability to find references or build a network, finding the right connection can turn into a lengthy process. Luckily for emotionally intelligent individuals, social awareness is one of the key components of emotional intelligence. This skill allows networkers to understand what is really going on with others through the ability to understand their emotional state. Whether they’re in need of new talent or looking for someone to collaborate, emotional intelligence can help the networker place themselves in their view.
4. Follow Through
Many networkers forget this vital step, in which you take the time and energy to keep in touch with the individual. Emotional intelligence can help with this step, as it allows individuals to keep track of their various relationships and connections. In addition, emotionally intelligent networkers are able to develop reasons to reconnect with the individual in fresh ways while keeping their needs in mind.
If you feel as though you lack in emotional intelligence, there’s no need to worry. As mentioned before, emotional intelligence is not a stagnant quality and can be trained over time. With enough practice, any individual can hone their emotional intelligence and use these skills to become a networking champion.
Today’s post is written by Sara Fletcher. She loves to explore psychology, business, and sports in relation to her emotional intelligence.