Emotional Intelligence and the Technical Writer

Here is a quick view of how emotional intelligence (EI) can apply to our work and what EI is in the context of what we do professionally.

One take from a teacher of technical writing

Dr. Alex Ilyasova, Director of the Professional and Technical Writing Program at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, at an IEEE Conference in July, 2015, presented a paper that tackled the topic The Role Of Emotional Intelligence and Engineering Communication.

She defines EI and describes the role it can play in engineering work and communication with teams. Her video is a must see at:

http://sites.ieee.org/pcs/the-role-of-emotional-intelligence-and-engineering-communication/. Here are some highlights from the video.

  • Managing your own emotions and the emotions of others — that is what she defines as important in the workplace leading to better managing of projects.
  • Some strategies for improving your EI include time and practice to bring you to a place where you are aware of emotions around you and to not participate in the emotions, just evaluate and deal with it.
  • You need to listen to what is happening with your own responses and what you are hearing.
  • If you are aware of your emotions and the emotions of those around you and have a handle on this, you have a good EI.
  • If you can manage your emotions and the emotions of those around you, this can help a project continue.

She notes that a good EI helps in engineering work and lets you better manage projects and deal with the people who work on a project.

Defining and evaluating EI

As EI is about being aware of your feelings and the feelings of those around you, a good EI can be related to personal and professional success. If you have a good EI, you can improve your decision-making process and improve your ability to function in your job.

It can also help with problem-solving skills and improved communication. Christine Casper of Communication, Motivation, and Management, Inc., notes, “if we are in a heightened state of agitation or anger, we cannot make good decisions…”

The free quiz at http://www.ihhp.com/free-eq-quiz/ lets you evaluate your current EI. Here are some of the questions.

  1. I do not become defensive when criticized
  2. I can stay calm under pressure
  3. I handle setback effectively
  4. I am positive
  5. I maintain a sense of humor
  6. I try to see things from another’s perspective
  7. I air grievances skillfully
  8. I can listen without jumping to judgment
  9. I can freely admit to making a mistake

Looking at this evaluation can be a good first step to improving EI to improve professionally and even personally. That is where I am starting.

By Jeanette Evans