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How to Use Emotional Intelligence to Get More Done as a Business Analysis Professional

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Emotional intelligence is an in-demand soft skill for business analysis professionals. Employers know that emotionally intelligent Business Analysis professionals are more likely to be productive and add value to projects than those who lack this skill.    

 Improve your productivity and advance your business analysis career by using emotional intelligence at work. Here’s how. 


It’s important that business analysis professionals understand that emotional intelligence isn’t just valuable in their personal life. When leveraged in the workplace, emotional intelligence can help them advance their business analysis career.  

What is Emotional Intelligence and How Can It Be Developed?

“Emotional intelligence” has become a buzzword. Buzzwords are tricky because their meanings are often blurred as they become more trendy. According to an article by Psychology Today,  
“Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others.”  
The article listed a few skills that are related to emotional intelligence: 

  • The ability to identify and name your emotions 
  • The ability to harness your emotions and apply them to specific tasks  
  • The ability to manage and regulate your emotions

The Harvard Division of Continuing Education Blog said individuals can develop emotional intelligence. The Blog indicated that recognizing and naming your emotions, requesting feedback from managers and colleagues, and reading literature with complex characters are viable ways to improve one’s emotional intelligence.  

Ways Business Analysis Professionals Can Use Emotional Intelligence to Get More Done at Work

Emotional intelligence can help business analysis professionals in all aspects of their life, including work.  
“Emotionally intelligent people are far more likely to succeed at work,” wrote Bryson Kearl, HR content creator at Bamboo HR, in the article How to Use Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace. “The advantages of emotional intelligence at work are many and the organizations that tap into the power of emotional intelligence can set themselves apart from their competition.”  
Here are some practical ways those who practice business analysis can use emotional intelligence to get more done in the workplace:  

1) Make it a habit to read people - Emotionally intelligent Business Analysis professionals are aware of others’ emotions as well as their own. Make it a habit to try and read others as you go about your workday. You could even ask others directly how they are feeling.  
As you “read the room,” you’ll know who to collaborate with that day, who needs some space, and what work relationships need repairing. All of this will reflect positively on your productivity.  
2) Don’t make hasty decisions - It’s important that Business Analysis professionals practice patience and don’t rush important decisions, even under a deadline. By being patient, you can improve your productivity and emotional intelligence.  
“People with emotional intelligence have the learned capacity to process a situation about to go south, get perspective, listen to someone they disagree with without judgment, and hold back from reacting head on,” stated an article by Inc.  
Sometimes the best decision a business analysis professional can make is to wait to make a final decision and give themself and their team more time to think about the situation.  
3) Practice self-awareness - The only person who can stand in the way of your being productive is you. With this in mind, business analysis professionals should use self-awareness to find out where they sabotage themselves when trying to get things done at work and advance their career.  
By being self-aware, you will grow your emotional intelligence, determine how you are undermining your own success in the workplace, and boost your productivity.    

Daniel Goleman, an authority on emotional intelligence, shares five elements that lay the foundation of EQ (read his book, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, available in IIBA’s Member’s online library) that includes self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.

4) What motivates you? The measure of the extent to which an individual can remain passionate about achieving their goals. People who are genuinely motivated are achievement-driven, committed, optimistic, and initiative-driven.  
Business analysis professionals engage with a variety of individuals across the organization from engaging stakeholders to openly share their needs, concerns, and goals to stepping in to resolve conflict, deliver bad news, and influence.  
5) Exhibit empathy – An empathic person often possesses a high level of emotional intelligence and can interpret emotions even when they are not apparently visible. Empathy is the degree to which a person can identify and understand other’s views and needs. While EQ is fixed (something you are born with), your EQ can be effectively developed, if you understand the science and art of it and are prepared to take the steps to develop it. 
6) Practice social skills – The ability with which an individual can communicate and build relationships with others. EQ is directly proportional to the elements mentioned above. This implies that the higher your emotional intelligence the better a person can handle each of these factors. 

How do you as a business analysis professional use emotional intelligence to move your career forward?

Plan for your career development with the support of the leading professional association dedicated to business analysis professionals is essential.  


About The Author:
Afaq Qazi

Afaq Qazi has 12+ years of Business Analysis experience, be it Waterfall or Agile (Scrum & Kanban) from several domains, projects, and technology, and holds his MS, PMP®, CBAP®, CSM®, and CSPO®. He specializes in enterprise, data analysis, data science, process improvement, and legacy migration projects. He also trains, mentors, and is a speaker, content writer, and trainer to help professionals conduct better interviews. Afaq is skilled at delivering large to small projects that deliver value to the customer. He is Business Analysis Team Leader at EPAM. He helps customers with Digital, Data & ML projects.


Tiffani Iacolino

Tiffani Iacolino is a Product Marketing Manager at IIBA® and has 15+ years of marketing experience across the legal, technology, telecommunications, publishing, media, and professional services industries. She’s passionate about delivering meaningful products and solutions to the business analysis community, including IIBA’s latest offering the Cybersecurity Analysis Learning and Certification Program. Hailing from the Greater Toronto Area, she enjoys an amazing cup of coffee, running, and yoga -- between chasing her two adorable children! 


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