The famous quote “knowledge is power” is perhaps the key driver in how inclusion and leadership are defined in the digital age. We live in a society where we still measure success as a direct correlation to IQ, and thus we value IQ over EQ (Emotional Intelligence). An intelligence quotient (IQ) is a total score derived from several standardized tests designed to assess human intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is a set of emotional and social skills that collectively establish how well we perceive, and express ourselves, develop and maintain social relationships, cope with challenges, and use information in an effective and meaningful way.

Digital transformation is redefining social and emotional intelligence as we know it in human interaction. Disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Big Data are progressing at a high pace and are likely to replace many cognitive functions of the human mind. Soft-skills such as empathy, stress management, resilience and managing unconscious bias are essential components of building trust between different stakeholders in transatlantic relations to foster political inclusion.

So, what’s the silver bullet?

Unlocking your personal power by leveraging your emotional intelligence is your silver bullet. Statistics from Harvard, Stanford, and Carnegie Foundation show that 85–87% of our success accounts from soft skills, emotional intelligence (EQ), and personal skills, yet we only pay attention to the 10% of the time.

Emotional intelligence is set to become the critical driver for social relationships in the next years and will help ensure that human interaction does not get lost in the perils of digital transformation.

Let’s take myself as an example. I have worked at one of the largest multinational defense and security organizations in the world for nearly two decades (yes, I am a NATO dinosaur!).

During my tenure at NATO, I have built trust and fostered political inclusion among diverse civilian and military stakeholders from over 40 countries. As the Head of the Strategic Stakeholder Engagement Office, I was responsible for advising the General Manager and senior leadership personnel on key political-military work streams to ensure our organizational objectives are aligned with NATO’s strategic defense and deterrence posture. I represented the General Manager on several senior committees, such as the North Atlantic Council, the Military Committee and the Deputy Permanent Representative Committees.

 As an ethnically diverse female professional who embraces her femininity and who went from secretary to senior executive in a male-dominated military environment; my IQ alone did not suffice in climbing up the institutional ladder in NATO.

What helped me navigate the political-military institutional quagmire was leveraging and maximizing my emotional intelligence.

How does one unlock personal power by leveraging emotional intelligence?

I learned to recognize and understand my own emotions first (self-awareness), before I assessed the emotions of people I worked with (social awareness). In the digital age, it is even more critical to remember that we are all human beings with feelings. Anyone who tries to deny this, should probably be concerned with artificial intelligence replacing them! Jokes aside, as human beings we do not control the triggering of our emotions which are processed in the emotional part of the brain first, before the information is processed in the rational part of the brain.

Therefore, managing our own emotions according to different situations is critical for building and navigating successful relationships at the workplace and in your personal life.

Figure one shows the scientifically validated EQ-i 2.0 model with the fifteen emotional sub-scales. If you master to balance these emotions accordingly for each situation, you will become the master of your mind, and you will start to unlock your personal power in the digital age!

Stay tuned for the launch of our organisational website eqpotential.com on 30th September 2019! Our mission is helping multinational organisations transform their workforce by leveraging, navigating and maximising their EQ Potential!

For personal inspiration tailored to professionals, follow me at nadjaelfertasi.com for Wisdom, Experience and Emotions in the Digital Age!

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