Emotional intelligence: crucial for your career
7 MINS READ
Leveraging emotional quotient for a stronger workforce.
Humans are fundamentally emotional creatures and display a variety of emotions in response to specific situations. Еmоtіоnаl Intеllіgеnсе (EI) or Emotional Quotient (EQ) іѕ thе ability tо identify оur еmоtіоnѕ and manage thеm, dіffеrеntіаtе bеtwееn various еmоtіоnѕ, tо empathize and connect with оthеrѕ, and uѕe thіѕ behavior tо shape our responses accordingly.
Ѕtudіеѕ hаvе ѕhоwn thаt people with hіgh EQ are accustomed to happier relationships, high confidence, excellent work performance, and display leadership traits. A person rich in EI can also engage and attract customers by demonstrating empathy, as a Forbes article explains. All these qualities determine how much success a person can attain in the workplace. Apart from individual success, organizations also benefit immensely if they have a workforce strong in the emotional quotient. The benefits include better productivity, employee satisfaction, reduced attrition, increased brand value, and 4x returns when investing in EI skills.
Ѕtudіеѕ hаvе ѕhоwn thаt people with hіgh EQ are accustomed to happier relationships, high confidence, excellent work performance, and leadership traits.
Leaders with outstanding emotional intelligence drive their team to success
One of the true hallmarks of a leader is their ability to understand their team's psychology and connect with their emotions on an intimate level. Steve Kerr, one of the NBA's most successful coaches, is an excellent example to drive home this point. Kerr’s success mantra is his outstanding emotional intelligence. His body language, the way he listens patiently to his team, gives them space and support, offers perspectives without imposing, and empowers them to give their best is one of the main reasons why his team has won the championship four times in eight years.
Such leaders can respect the emotions and feelings of those around them. This skill enables them to manage any situation, handle rough relationships, make wise decisions, and resolve conflicts effectively. Invariably, these leaders are the ones who often taste success.
A new study found that leaders with empathy have had some profound influence on their team in three key areas:
Innovation: 61% indicated they tended to be more innovative.
Engagement: 76% said they felt more involved in their work.
Reduced burnout: 54% of women of color indicated that they experienced workplace burnout when there was a lack of empathy from the leadership.
Productivity and development
Work environments short on emotional intelligence take a toll on employees
There are some obvious signs whenever there is a shortage of emotional intelligence in a work environment. Typically, people hardly communicate with each other and prefer to work in silos. There is no healthy interaction between the leaders and the employees to provide feedback and address genuine concerns. Such an environment becomes very stressful, biased, and less likely to adapt to new changes. Employee productivity and self-development take a big hit. This ultimately leads to more exits and a gradual fall in growth and revenue for the business.
Making the change
Adapt and evolve to raise the bar and be true EQ champions
Educational institutions worldwide have been unilaterally focused on developing the student's IQ rather than the EQ. Marks and grades take priority over empathy and emotion. Once students start their careers, they are trained on their job-specific skillsets and not so much on their EQ. This creates a barrier to their growth as future leaders, leading to job dissatisfaction. Even those who become managers and leaders are likely to fail if they cannot understand the pulse of their team members.
Here are some simple steps that leaders can follow to improve their workplace EQ:
Always being present for the team and patiently listening to them when needed.
Creating a workplace that isn't always about work and making time to have non-professional conversations.
Being open to unfiltered feedback about their leadership skills and fixing the gaps.
Praising and respecting others without bias and rewarding or recognizing good work.
Promoting a positive culture by developing shared values, providing guidance, and showing genuine interest in their employees' wellbeing.
Treating EQ as a "must-have" skill and including EQ evaluation in the appraisal process.
Improving their lifestyle by incorporating stress control, healthy eating, adequate exercise, and good sleep hygiene.
Leaders are the pillars of an organization. Employees tend to look at their leaders for inspiration and guidance. Keeping this in mind, leaders must keep adapting and evolving to raise the bar and be true EQ champions for their organization!