Last week, I received a number of messages from people who saw that LinkedIn was giving some love to our beloved topic of emotional intelligence (EI). That’s because it was ranked #5 among soft skills on their list of “The Skills Companies Need Most in 2020,” the first time EI placed that high.

Granted, their article is a promotion for LinkedIn courses but, after reflecting on it, I concluded a few things.

  1. There’s truth there. LinkedIn arguably has the best data when it comes to professional skills, the jobs and careers that require them, and the people that do or don’t have them. So when they publish trends based on their data, I have a heightened level of trust in them.

  2. Emotional intelligence is perhaps the most complex soft skill to learn; in some ways, it can serve as a proxy for all soft skills. I’ve personally experienced this complexity on my journey, and I’ve heard the same from dozens of Alumni, Apprentices, and Mentors. From my experience, EI cannot be learned from a book or a short, “check-the-box” course; it must be practiced on a daily basis and is really, really, really hard to improve over time. It’s why we have 20 hours of live classroom time in our Apprenticeship Program, 40 hours in our Master Class, and ongoing repetition and practice through our protocols, leadership skills, and processes. Therefore, it was amusing yet frustrating to see that LinkedIn was promoting three recorded courses that totaled two hours in length for arguably the most complex soft skill there is.

  3. As a result of this, it’s now undoubtedly clear to me that you have an edge. From those of you who have only attended one Class or have been a Mentor for one year, to those of you who have been in a Forum or on Mentor Teams for multiple years, to those of you who completed the Master Class and work daily to improve your EI, you have a serious skill advantage. If emotional intelligence is being called a top skill necessary in the workplace by one of the most credible companies in the world that is promoting it via short, online courses that are no longer than one hour, you are way beyond what could be a norm.

Your challenge is to use it consciously and daily. I hope you use this edge with yourself and with others. I hope you tell people about your journey learning EI and practicing it. And I hope you continue to work on it so you can continue to extend the edge you have.

Ever since our launch, I was confident that we were ahead of the market when it came to leading with emotional intelligence. Well, so are you.