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  Connecting on the Job                                 by Helen Selenati

 Much has been written in recent years about the importance of “emotional intelligence” at work – how getting ahead requires more than the kind of intelligence measured by standard IQ tests. Emotional intelligence consists largely of our ability to make and build emotional connections with others. This type of connection makes it possible for co-workers to get along, to see issues form one another’s points of view, to solve problems, and to invest in other’s visions of the future.

 Such skills become even more important with advances in technology.  We’re spending increasingly less time on mundane tasks better suited to computers and robots.  To be successful in today’s workplace, we need to excel in areas such as communication, collaboration, motivation, and adaptation to constant change. All these skills require the ability to understand and connect well with other human beings.

 Many employers have made huge profits by dismissing the human needs of their workers and many individuals have grow wealthy by focusing only on work, while ignoring their own feelings and the emotional needs of their families. However, I do believe that employers and individuals that place a high value on encouraging better emotional connections with others within their organizations can reap significant benefits aside from financial rewards. These benefits include the creation of less stressful work environments with lower turnover, increased productivity, and a higher quality of life.

 Much depends on the dominant leadership style within the organization - a factor over which individual workers have little control. But each of us makes daily choices that affect the quality of relationships we create and sustain at work.  How you manage these relationships can determine not only the experience you’ll have on the job today, but also the direction your career may take in the future.

Helen Selenati is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Coach. She has a private practice in Redwood City and can be reached at helen@selenati.com or by calling 650-596-0807. Also visit www.selenati.com



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