What PSA taught me about Emotional Intelligence

Posted in: News

This summer, I was fortunate enough to land a marketing internship at PSA. While I learned a lot about blogging, selling, and attracting potential clients, the most valuable lesson I will take away from this internship is the importance of emotional intelligence to succeed in the workplace.

Emotional intelligence is a concept that most college career development centers overlook. Skills and experience are great, but personal qualities like social awareness, self-awareness, self-management, relationship management and cultural consideration can be that “it” factor that lands you that job or promotion. And that is what emotional intelligence is all about. By surrounding myself with people who have these qualities ­– the PSA employees – I learned how to achieve emotional intelligence.

The people make the office

Being at PSA taught me that true career success is more than gaining knowledge and skills – it is about developing crucial character qualities to help us interact in a positive and emotionally healthy manner, which is vital if one wants to advance in their career.

Throughout my internship, I’ve developed social and self-awareness simply by being around my emotionally intelligent coworkers. For instance, everyone in my department was able to perceive and understand my emotional needs based on both my verbal and nonverbal cues. If I seemed overwhelmed or confused by a training, they slowed down and took the time to help me. By observing them, I learned to assess their emotions and behaviors, which helped me tailor my interactions with others.

My coworkers also taught me a lot about self-management. The ability to identify our own emotions and recognize how they affect our thoughts and behaviors is significant, especially for a college student. Amidst the most chaotic days of the week, my colleagues knew that staying optimistic and calm would help them remain productive. Regardless of the workload, they were always smiling and maintaining a sense of humor throughout the day. This made me realize how important it is to know that our thoughts control our actions – positive thoughts create positive people, and being surrounded by them made the PSA office a blissful and productive environment. Indeed, the people make the office.

Great relationships are everything

Another crucial quality to have in order to achieve emotional intelligence is relationship management. Most companies have multiple departments that need to collaborate effectively. I was astonished at the synergy at PSA. I think this is because they constantly promote the importance of shared vision, values, and goals, which foster a strong culture of teamwork. Chip Lewis, Managing Director of PSA has a sign in his office that says “Culture trumps strategy.”  The culture of building quality internal relationships determines an organization’s success and long-term viability, which is evident at PSA.

At the beginning of my summer internship, I was required to meet with every department executive for fifteen minutes. These meetings helped me learn more about PSA and its operation, but mainly they helped me build relationships with people outside of the marketing department. Once I established good rapport with a number of colleagues, I felt a sense of harmony and comfort that carried through my time at PSA. If there is anything I am taking away from this experience, it is my greater sense of relationship management skills, which is perhaps one of the most critical element of emotional intelligence and the ingredient to a thriving company culture.

A fun culture leads to a flourishing organization

I learned a lot about culture building as I watched my coworkers strategize about different ways to bring employees closer together. For instance, the Spirit Committee, which I was thankful to be part of, plans several morale-boosting events around the year to foster a close-knit work environment. In fact, I started my first week at PSA during Spirit Week where each day of the week we had a fun event planned. I don’t think there could have been a better time to start because I was immediately immersed into the company culture.

PSA recognizes that if people are having fun, they will likely work harder, and achieve better results. Annual events such as the PSA Kickoff Party, the PSA Picnic, Volunteer Day, Spirit Week, and the awards ceremony help build strong interpersonal relationships, which lead to employees appreciating and motivating one another to reach new heights.

I’ve grown to be more than just an experienced marketer. I am an emotionally intelligent individual who now knows how to connect with others in a way that helps me achieve professional success while adding value. Any intern would be lucky to be a part of the PSA family.

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