Soft skill and multitasking

by Jessie Liew

For a long time, the general answer to the question of “how smart are you?”, is measured by how high your Intelligence Quotient (IQ) score is. This singular way of measurement and definition was challenged to look the other way. During the 90s, Emotional Quotient (EQ) emerged and is popularized as one of the key factors in leadership and business. EQ is not a replacement to IQ, they are “soul-mates”, one will not be complete without the other.

It may seem as if I have dramatized these two serious evaluations of performance. At this point, we will start to deliberate which one is more important or have heavier weight than the other. While there are a lot of dependencies, as an overarching concept, we must understand IQ and EQ needs each other, no less.

Briefly, we can look at IQ and EQ as technical skills and soft skills. One deals with logics and quantitative reasoning; one assesses the ability to manage own emotions and emotions of others. Now how and why do IQ and EQ need each other? Now let’s start with IQ and technical skills. 2 key components:

Time Management normally discusses about time allocation for all the tasks assigned. Pro tips: Prioritization of the urgent and important tasks; the rest will follow suit. Simply, important tasks which has shortest timeline are what needed to get out first. Delaying this would mean you are chasing your tail. The matrix below will help to understand better. (1) and (2) are important to do and plan/ schedule upfront; (3) if you can’t delegate, plan/ schedule as well. (4) are the ones that can be de-prioritized, but mind you, procrastination will eventually turn these into (1), if too far behind.

These quadrants are not new but often times, we overlook how useful this to help us in Time Management. By using logic at work and clear reasoning, plotting the quadrant makes sure we use our time effectively and productively, learn to multitask and include break time to recharge too.

 

Problem Solving is a technical skill because all work/ tasks/ projects/ assignments have problems. And our superiors expect solutions along our way to completing the job. During interviews, we often hear interviewees offer themselves as “problem solvers”. What it actually means, is in fact to be driven, creative and resourceful. To be determined to resolve/ rectify it, to look at the “problem” from all angles and principles, to try out both conventional and unconventional solutions, to exhaust all available and appropriate resources to deal with it. Unless you have done all the above and still remain unresolved, then seek for support and help from superior. The attitude of trying hard and harder makes you extraordinary.

We are social animal and interaction with another human is absolutely inevitable. Emotions, feelings, sentimental values, all these fundamentally make a difference in the way we do things or judge a situation. And this is what makes EQ equally important. Among all, I have found these 2 key components that are absolutely crucial:

Communication are interactions that relay messages among people. It is common we hear the terms “miscommunication” and “communication gaps”, which had caused errors, misunderstanding or delay at work. There are 2 main categories – verbal and non-verbal. Verbal is the choice of words, sentence structure, clarity and pauses; non-verbal are body language, eye contact, body positions, and there are more to the list. In the midst of relaying a message, the fundamental element, is the empathy and compassion value between human being. 

We should always speak in clarity with careful choice of words (professionalism), and keep in mind the receiver’s emotional impact and self-esteem. Apart from speaking, active listen is important too. All in all, be respectful and be mindful when you are communicating.

Teamwork is the last-but-not-least factor in making sure all work put together is not lost. Every team member has a role to work together towards a bigger objective, goal and dream. Respecting project timeline, respecting everyone’s schedule and resolve conflict with maturity and professionalism – these are essential. If one is left behind, leader should understand and assist, members of the team should reinforce and back-up. These emotional support to all members of the team, is the work itself – TEAM-WORK.

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