April 29, 2019
Emotional intelligence is defined as the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. While this has become a buzzword being thrown around in the professional field, it is particularly important in PR, as we are constantly managing important connections.
From working with clients and co-workers to corresponding with key media contacts, being able to communicate and manage these various relationships effectively is the foundation of our careers. Furthermore, emotional intelligence plays a large role in our own internal relationships, dictating our success and how we present ourselves to others. Whether we’re aware of it or not, the five pillars of emotional intelligence – self-awareness, self-regulation, self-motivation, empathy, and people skills – play a large role throughout our day-to-day responsibilities as PR professionals.
While some naturally possess more emotional intelligence than others, many experts believe that unlike an individual’s IQ, EQ (or emotional quotient) can actually be developed with time. Familiarizing yourself with these pillars and how they might affect your job role is a great way to improve relationships and achieve maximum career success.
An emotionally intelligent person is generally very self-aware of their own strengths and weaknesses. In the world of PR, understanding and knowing how to leverage your strengths is key to truly thriving at what you excel in and handling constructive criticism in the areas where you might fall short. Through strong self-awareness, individuals can approach each situation with confidence and a true understanding of their capabilities and limitations.
It’s no secret that there are days in PR that can feel like a bit of a whirlwind. From demanding clients to tight deadlines, it can sometimes be difficult to keep your cool when the pressure is on. An important part of emotional intelligence is being able to recognize your emotions and express them in healthy and productive ways. Developing strong self-regulation will help keep you calm during chaos and allow you to effectively solve the problem at hand without becoming frazzled.
No matter what you do, self-motivation is arguably to biggest factor that contributes to a successful career. While it’s easy to be motivated when everything is going well, different obstacles are bound to challenge your mindset. Being truly self-motivated means persevering when things get tough, your pitches go un-answered, and your ideas get shot down. Individuals who are able to face challenges head on and motivate themselves to get up and find a new way to reach their goals are those who will ultimately be successful.
Inter-personal relationships are at the core of almost everything we do as PR professionals. From media relations to interactions with co-workers, being able to show empathy to others and see situations from another point of view is critical. Being able to shift your perspective will not only help you get through disagreements but will overall make you a more enjoyable person to work with. Furthermore, empathy also plays a key role in the way we communicate and approach our media contacts. For instance, a well though-out, authentic pitch that is considerate of a journalist’s needs and deadlines is much more likely to gain some interest.
In addition to showing empathy, the ability to build strong connections and communicate effectively with other individuals is crucial to a successful career in PR. While some may naturally be more extroverted and able to build relationships with minimal effort, it’s a skill that anyone can develop with time. By becoming genuinely interested in others and relating on a personal- level, connections are bound develop with ease.
The importance of emotional intelligence is just beginning to gain speed across the professional landscape and re-defining the skills needed for success. While anyone will greatly benefit from an understanding of this topic, it’s evident that careers centered around communications and relationship-building demand the above skills. As PR professionals, those who approach their day-to-day responsibilities with more awareness of themselves and interactions with others, will be more likely to reach their goals and ultimately succeed. Wanting to learn more about emotional intelligence and PR? Reach out to us today!