Panellist: Derek Bbanga

Managing Director, Public Image International Ltd.


Why, in the current professional employment market, are merely technical skills not enough to succeed?

Emotional self-awareness is your key to being a happy, content person who relates well to others and is the foundation for self-management, social awareness and relational management. Distressing emotions that are not managed well affect your ability to think, focus and get work done.

People have always had emotional intelligence. It has always been essential in business. Only, nowadays, it is being identified and described as an aspect of people’s minds. This is useful because it helps people get better at it.

People buy from people. People work with people. Being good at relating to people has always been essential in business. People who ignore this aspect of work have difficulties and, worse, understand neither why they are in difficulty, nor how to overcome the problem.

So, EI helps people understand why what they do works, and therefore enables them to consciously improve. Conflicts with others will not be successfully resolved without addressing well the emotions that produced the conflict and the pain associated with it.

Why do we talk about “emotions” in the context of business?

Because emotions (and beliefs) drive our behaviour. If a manager wants someone to change their behaviour, they will be most successful if they engage with that person’s emotions and beliefs. If a businessperson wants someone to buy their products and services, they’ll be most successful if they know how to engage with people at an emotional level (people make decisions when they’re in their emotions).


Are we starting to favour sentimentality over logic?

As far as business is concerned: If, by sentimentality, you mean mawkishness, no, I don’t think so. If you mean sentimentality as in ‘concerned with sentiment’, ie emotion (without its pejorative connotations), then I see an increase in awareness of EI which is all to the good. Whether, in our highly rational and logic-based culture, emotions will dominate over logic, I doubt.