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Emotional intelligence, is it the key to EA/PA success?

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In the fast-paced and ever-changing world of Executive Assistants and Personal Assistants, possessing a blend of technical expertise and soft skills is essential. Whilst technical skills ensure the that tasks are executed efficiently, emotional intelligence can be what sets apart an exceptional EA/PA from the rest.

Emotional intelligence encompasses an array of skills, but at its core it is the ability to recognise, understand, navigate and manage your own emotions whilst also being receptive and aware of others’ emotions. In the context of the workplace, emotional intelligence can be broken down into the following;

Self-awareness: The ability to recognise and understand your emotions, strengths and weaknesses and how they impact your work.

Self-regulation: Controlling and managing your emotions, particularly in stressful situations, avoiding impulsive reactions.

Empathy: The ability to tune into the feelings and needs of others, fostering better communication and relationships

Social skills: Building and maintaining positive relationships through communicating effectively.

How does emotional intelligence benefit Personal Assistants and Executive Assistants?

Improved communication: Effective Assistants need to interact with a wide range of people, from executives to clients. They need to be able to communicate clearly, listen actively and adapt their communication style to suit the needs of others. Having high emotional intelligence enables this.

Adaptability: In an ever-evolving business landscape, high emotional intelligence allows Assistants to embrace change and stay resilient.

Enhanced interpersonal relationships: Building strong and cohesive relationships with colleagues, executives and stakeholders is essential for success. High emotional intelligence allows for more empathy and better social skills which fosters a better connection with others.

Conflict resolution: In a high-pressure work environment, conflicts can arise. Assistants with high emotional intelligence can navigate these situations with tact, finding amicable solutions and maintaining a positive work atmosphere.

Stress management: Often juggling multiple tasks and deadlines, emotional intelligence enables assistants to manage stress more effectively.

Developing emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is not a fixed trait, whilst some people are naturally emotional intelligent it can and should also be developed and enhanced over time. Completing workshops, training, coaching or self-awareness exercises can contribute to boosting your emotional intelligence. Even just practicing active listening, self-reflection and empathy will go a long way.

As a key player and backbone of many organisations, assistants with high emotional intelligence are in my opinion more likely to excel in their roles, contributing to a positive work environment and the overall success of a business. Emotional intelligence is a vital attribute for Assistants, and I would argue it is an attribute that would benefit everyone in every role.