When most managers begin the search for employees, they examine a candidates’ with prior experience, skills and long-term goals. No doubt, these factors are vital, but they ignore another indispensable factor for employee success: ‘Emotional intelligence”
This skill is neither listed on many job interview templates nor heard as the main reason to hire someone, but developing a team of emotionally intelligent employees can have an amazingly powerful impact on a company’s overall performance. Emotional intelligence (also known as ‘emotional quotient’, or EQ) was ranked sixth in the World Economic Forum’s list of the top 10 skills that employees will need to possess to thrive in the workplace of the future. Emotional intelligence – or EQ – is becoming key to our success in the digital future of work. .A manager’s ability to successfully manage personal emotions and the emotions of others can work wonders for a company’s overall performance.
What Is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional Intelligence is increasingly becoming part of discussions and its value sees growth over the last decade. Emotional Intelligence is the magnitude to practice self-awareness to better understand ourselves and thus become more compassionate and conscious toward the experiences of others. Emotional intelligence,” as a phrase can have multiple interpretations. Psychology Today defines emotional intelligence as “the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others.”
Psychologist Daniel Goleman says it has five core components:
- Self-awareness – the ability to recognise and understand your moods and emotions, and how they affect others
- Self-regulation – the ability to control impulses and moods, and to think before acting
- Internal (or intrinsic) motivation – being driven to pursue goals for personal reasons, rather than for some kind of reward (the opposite is external motivation)
- Empathy – the ability to recognise and understand others’ motivations, which is essential for building and leading teams successfully
- Social skills – the ability to manage relationships and build networks
In an implementable sense, this translates to someone who’s self-trained to recognize his or her emotions and keep them in check, as well as sympathize with others and understand how their emotions will impact their work.
How does Emotional Intelligence affect your human assets? Why is this such a fundamental attribute for your employees to have?
This may not seem congruent here, however, a well-known collection of studies from the University of California in the 1960s postulated 93% of communication is nonverbal — related either to tone of voice or body language. Though such a number belies the importance of word selection, it’s true that our tone and body language — which are governed by emotion — have a significant bearing on how we understand and talk to one another.
An emotionally intelligent employee will be more open and relevant in understanding the meaning and motivations of co-workers, and at the same time will do a better job of asserting his or her personal thoughts.
Work is stress-inducing, but that stress only multiplies with someone losing their cool. Remaining calm aids you to think with more clarity and focus, enabling you to find better, optimal solutions for the problem at hand. Flying off handle, on the other hand, could result in seriously impaired relationships, ill-informed decisions and disrupted lines of communication.
Emotionally intelligent employees stay amazingly calm all the time, and still, they know how to recognize a fast approaching high-stress moment or when angry feelings are building up, and they’re better at utilising those feelings in healthy ways.
Co-worker relationship transformation
It’s like a cakewalk for emotionally intelligent people to develop new social connections because they can relate to others and communicate meaningfully. As a leader, you’ll find this quality indispensable; your most emotionally intelligent workers will actually help unite your team, by providing leadership, extra help when it’s needed and a sense of conviviality. When leaders and co-workers are more emotionally available, they effectively recognize and act quickly on employee challenges, improving retention.
Client’s need awareness
It’s always painful when a client leaves, and sometimes, you are clueless about what went wrong. Clients aren’t always gifted at explaining their wants and needs, but they’ll still be inclined to part ways when they find those needs aren’t being met.
An emotionally intelligent employee is not a mind reader, but he or she will be able to read “between the lines,” to gauge a client’s emotions and effectively manage difficult or especially strenuous situations. These employees, in fact, are going to serve as the strong support pillars for your business’s relationships, so it’s important to have them in your team.
Proactivity and foresight
Finally, emotionally intelligent employees are a step ahead at predicting behaviours and understanding why people do things the way they do. They can assess the strengths and weaknesses of others and make judgment calls based on their insights. An emotionally intelligent manager seeing a co-worker exhibiting strange behaviour may intervene to assess whether that person’s workload is too much, or if a long-term break is needed.
Also, an emotionally intelligent worker will be more self-aware, letting you know when he or she is experiencing too much stress, or thrill is gone out of the work, making your job as a manager easier.
Times are a Changing
Different things motivate different people. Employees expect to be treated as individuals, and rewards and recognition for employees should be unique as well.
Employees look for empathy and emotional intelligence being present in their leaders, co-workers, cultures. Happier employees are self-motivated and engaged, have high-performance skills, and stay with their companies longer. With emotional intelligence, business, and people both will thrive.