The Power of Emotional Intelligence: How to Succeed Without an MBA

10 minutes read


Meenu Bhatia, Published on Feb 27th, 2023
Co-Founder - YUGMA & VANS Skilling and Advisory| ACC Coach| HR Transformation Expert

The Power of Emotional Intelligence: How to Succeed Without an MBA

The Power of Emotional Intelligence: How to Succeed Without an MBA

That's a great approach! Whether you are an MBA or not, your academic scores may get you strong competition in any interview. In those testing times when you cross your fingers to get this particular job, what gets you the competitive edge is your Emotional Intelligence or Emotional Quotient.

The significance of EI at work can not be underestimated. Many successful business leaders have emphasized the importance of EI in their careers. A meta-analysis of 44 studies on EI and job performance found that EI is a strong predictor of job performance across a range of occupations and industries.

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a valuable skill set that can complement traditional business knowledge and enhance your leadership abilities. It is the ability to recognize and manage your own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. It involves empathy, self-awareness, social skills, and the ability to influence and inspire others. EI can help you connect with people and build strong relationships, nurture those relationships with trust, communicate effectively and inspire people and make better decisions. All these traits are quintessential for achieving long-term success.

In fact, several researches suggest that EI is a stronger predictor of success than IQ. A study by TalentSmart found that 90% of top performers in the workplace exhibit high levels of EI, while 20% of bottom performers exhibit high levels of EI. While technical skills and cognitive intelligence are certainly important, EI can provide a competitive advantage and set individuals apart with better academic achievement, greater social competence, and lower rates of problem behaviour. This makes them grow in their careers, have higher job satisfaction and climb the ladder as effective and inspiring leaders.

"I don't have an MBA, but I make up for it with emotional intelligence", she said.

Kristen Bell, the actress best known for her roles in Frozen and The Good Place, is one example of someone who has achieved great success without an MBA. In a 2018 interview with CNBC, she spoke about the importance of emotional intelligence in her career.

Bell's success as an actress, producer, and businesswoman is a testament to the power of EI. She has built a reputation as a kind, compassionate, and collaborative leader, who is able to connect with others and inspire them to do their best work. In her work as a producer, she has prioritized diversity and inclusivity. She recognized and unleashed the power of empathy and understanding in creating successful teams.

As students or freshers, you have an opportunity to assess your EI levels and develop yourself on emotional intelligence skills. Some of the ways to get you going can be:

Focus on Self-awareness. Take time to reflect on your own emotions and how they impact your thoughts and actions. This will help you understand your strengths and weaknesses and become more effective at managing your emotions. By focusing on self-awareness, you will gain a deeper understanding of your values and beliefs, thereby improving your decision-making abilities.

Practice Empathy. Practicing empathy involves that you put yourself in others' shoes to better understand their perspectives and emotions. By developing empathy, you can better relate to their emotions and behaviour, infuse trust and respect, and work collaboratively towards common goals. This will help you build stronger relationships, leading to greater success in both personal and professional settings.

Build and Sustain Relationships. Strong relationships are built on mutual trust, respect, and effective communication. It requires that you invest time and effort in building meaningful relationships with colleagues, customers and stakeholders. This will help you build trust and influence others.

Develop Communication Skills. Effective communication is crucial in business or at the workplace in today's interconnected world. You can try to focus on active listening, expressing empathy, clearly expressing your views and adapting to different communication styles. It will directly show up on your chances of growth and success in studies, relationships as well as career.

Develop Conflict Resolution Skills. Effective conflict resolution involves active listening, empathizing with others' perspectives, identifying underlying issues and working collaboratively to find solutions that satisfy all parties involved. By developing conflict resolution skills, individuals can become more effective communicators and problem-solvers, leading to greater success in all areas of life. Thus, you will create win-win solutions by addressing the disagreements constructively.

Be a Committed Listener. When we practice listening to someone well and wholeheartedly (of course, without the cell phone fidgeting), this demonstrates our empathy and also lets the person feel heard, light and satisfied. Paraphrasing helps in expressing your genuine interest in the person and builds trust.

In conclusion, while an MBA can certainly provide you with valuable skills and knowledge, emotional intelligence is just as important for success in business. Kristen Bell's success as a leader and businesswoman is a testament to the power of EI. As students, you have an opportunity to develop yourself on various fronts, knowing the fact that emotional intelligence is one of the most sought-after skills which employers are looking for.  By focusing on self-awareness, empathy, communication, conflict resolution and relationship-building, you can become more effective leaders, regardless of your academic background.

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