Rethinking how employees improve their strength skills

Employees need to re-evaluate how they develop emotional intelligence and process their feelings to be effective at work.
By: | December 29, 2023

To succeed, employees could do well to improve their emotional intelligence and self-awareness, or ‘strength skills’ as Farah Harris, psychotherapist and author, said.

This will help them bring their aspirations to life no matter the goal, she explained to CNBC Make It, as it requires the individual to practice pausing so that they can feel their feelings. This then allows them to process the impact and shape their goals.

Professionals can foster their strength skills by analysing the what and why of the goal, and learning to separate themselves from their jobs, something that Harris pinpointed as common pitfalls that professionals usually fall into.

Firstly, individuals need to tease out the rationale behind their goals. In most cases, employees are likely to create resolutions which are not framed in a brain-friendly way, causing them to fail. The reason needs to be included in the wording of the goal. “You need to be able to have some type of emotional attachment to the goal,” said Harris. Formulating the goals into formats like, “I recognise that when I eat healthier, I get better sleep at night,” would require understanding and managing emotions, which inherently helps grow emotional intelligence.

READ MORE: The art of psychological detachment from work

Employees would also do well to make sure they separate who they are from the work they do, explained Harris, as many employees tend to conflate the work they do with who they are, undertaking any setbacks at work as failings on themselves. “It’s about what I do [at work], not who I am,” Harris says. A suggestion Harris gave to help do so includes reciting a daily mantra like “I am not my job”. She also recommends employees set aside specific blocks of time for their hobbies, relationships, or anything else outside of work that makes them happy as they can help boost self-awareness.