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Emotional Intelligence, Current and Future Job Skills and the HVAC Industry

Contributed by Debbie Muno, The EI Academy

Thank you for joining us for part three of our series on Emotional Intelligence. So far, we’ve talked about what Emotional Intelligence is – making intelligent responses to negative feelings and using specific skills to generate positive emotions in yourself, and others – and the fact that the biology of our human brains dictates that when we are “triggered” or things are going badly, our ability to think critically diminishes, we are more biased in our views and we’re disengaged. Conversely, when we are in “Reward Circuitry”, we are performing at our best: we are at our most creative state, we’re engaged and we are open to learning and to new ideas.

Debbie Muno
Debbie Muno

How does that apply to the world of work and specifically to the HVAC industry? Well, we know that technology is changing all of our work environments. As technology advances, and in particular as artificial intelligence technology advances, it drives a heightened need for “human skills”. Yes…our “humanness” is a critically needed, and desired set of skills for the workforce.

By 2020, the Fourth Industrial Revolution will have brought us advanced robotics and autonomous transport (think self-driving cars), artificial intelligence and machine learning, advanced materials, biotechnology and genomics. These advances and developments will change the way we live and the way we work. As with all Industrial Revolutions, some jobs disappear, and others grow, while jobs that don’t yet exist today will become commonplace.

The World Economic Forum, an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas, has released The Future of Jobs, a report that looks at the employment, skills and workforce strategy for the future.

Here are the Top 10 Skills required for ALL jobs in 2020*:

  1. Complex problem solving
  2. Critical thinking
  3. Creativity
  4. People management
  5. Coordinating with others
  6. Emotional intelligence
  7.  Judgement and decision-making
  8. Service orientation
  9. Negotiation
  10. Cognitive flexibility

*Source: Future of Jobs Report 2018, World Economic Forum

You’ll see that Emotional Intelligence is listed at #6. Our “humanness” and our ability to relate to others and foster human connection will be a requirement for ALL jobs. Interestingly, research shows that enhancing Emotional Intelligence also has a direct impact on Creativity, People Management, Coordinating with Others, Judgement and Decision-Making, Service Orientation and Negotiation. In effect, Emotional Intelligence skills will account for 70% of the needed job skills in 2020 and beyond.

In conducting the research for this article, it seems that Emotional Intelligence has been in demand in the HVAC Industry for quite some time, even if it hasn’t been called that. In addition to the “hard skills” requirements that surfaced (knowing the refrigeration cycle, reading blueprints and wiring diagrams, mechanical capabilities, troubleshooting techniques, installation procedures, calculating heating and cooling loads and understanding airflow and static pressure), several Emotional Intelligence requirements were also discovered:

  • Customer Service Skills
  • Selling skills
  • Time Management
  • Communicating effectively
  • Listening
  • Willingness to continually learn

Are these the types of “soft skills” that you are looking for inside of your organization? If so, what happens when you find individuals who embody these “EI Skills”?

What happens with the folks who have great “hard skills,” yet lack these “EI Skills”?

These are great questions to reflect upon. In our next installment, we’ll do a deeper dive into the specific requirements for dispatcher and technician positions in the HVAC Industry.

About the Author

Debbie Muno and Jeff Summers lead The EI Academy, an organization dedicated to helping people understand how to work with others productively – how to make others feel valued and appreciated – how to create positive, collaborative environments and how to connect with others. The EI Academy is affiliated with Genos International, a leading emotional intelligence assessment and solutions provider. Visit theieacademy.com, email info@theieacademy.com or call 813-792-5000 for more information.

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