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Top strengths and emotional intelligence can be used to a great benefit in the workplace, as well as in private life. The Values in Action Inventory of Strengths test can give a person an idea of what their most powerful characteristics are, even when they are not aware of them. By properly utilizing them, the person could achieve a much better work experience and performance. Emotional intelligence is more focused on different types of awareness and management that come with analysis and understanding of the actions of a person and their surroundings. This paper will analyze three different cases that concern these concepts.
This case presents a scenario where a manager named Susan, believes that her strengths would not be useful in her work life and thinks about keeping her workflow the same as it was before. The strengths that the test gave her were “humor” and “teamwork.” Despite her initial choice of ignoring those results, I would recommend considering a different approach. Dr. Martin Seligman suggests that in cases where the application of the strengths is not obvious, the person should try to use them while performing their lease favorite work task.
This could help her improve her workflow. Perhaps she could use teamwork to organize a small team to help her complete these tasks. She could also try to find a brighter side of her least liked tasks through joking about them (Seligman, 2009).
The second scenario showcases Harold who just got an MBA from Harvard. He is a motivated worker and is planning to be a CEO before he turns 45. His networking skills are impeccable, but employees see his actions as self-motivated and only beneficial to him, instead of the company. This description suggests that while he is good at interacting with the people who can advance his career, his emotional intelligence is low, as he lacks social awareness, relationship management, and some crucial parts of self-management. His self-awareness could be high, however, as he is very self-confident and must have good self-assessment because his networking skills have gained him great benefits so far (Tearle, 2014).
The third case presents a situation where the manager named Carl is great at understanding his employees, but unfortunately, he often takes every issue very personally. This is starting to affect his work because he had to take a few days off after a fall in profitability. This case suggests that Carl has very high levels of social awareness, and social skills, but still needs to work on his self-management and self-awareness. It is clear that Carl is not aware of his emotions and has no control over them which suggests a need for further improvement (Sterrett, 2000).
Emotional intelligence and the top strengths defined by the VIA test can be a powerful tool. However, they should be properly utilized to gain their full potential. As these cases suggest, a lack of one aspect may bring detriments even in situations where other aspects are very well developed, especially in cases of Carl and Harold. Both of these people have a certain level of emotional intelligence, but it is not balanced properly and is leading to negative outcomes for their teams and organizations. All four aspects should be balanced for the full effect of EI to be seen.
Seligman, M. (2009). Dr. Martin Seligman’s top strengths. Web.
Sterrett, E. (2000). The manager’s pocket guide to emotional intelligence: From management to leadership. Amherst, MA: Human Resource Development Press.
Tearle, R. (2014) Emotional intelligence. Web.