Once seen as a topic too taboo to touch in corporate cultures, Emotional intelligence (EQ) is now in the minds of almost every leader and organization who is attempting to be creative, particularly when newly divided workplaces have shifted into uncertain home office circumstances. Previously, on-the-job emotions were seen as counterproductive and perhaps a hindrance to success and discipline. Today's companies and their executives understand that emotional intelligence is a must-have to keep workers satisfied and motivated, whether working from the kitchen table or the workplace, while at the same time driving market outcomes.
Emotional intelligence (also known as the 'emotional quotient' or EQ) was ranked sixth in the World Economic Forum's ranking of the top 10 qualities that workers would need to learn in order to succeed in the workplace of the future.
So, what's the EQ? How does this affect your success at work and your ability to communicate with teams and peers, and what effect can it have on your physical and emotional well-being?
EQ refers to the capability of someone to experience, understand and control their own thoughts and emotions.
Emotionally intelligent people are much more likely to excel at jobs. Consider Daniel Goleman's five foundations of emotional intelligence and how important these qualities are to a professional:
- Self-awareness – the capacity to know and understand your moods and feelings, and how they affect others.
- Self-regulation – the capacity to regulate urges and moods and to deliberate before acting
- Internal (or intrinsic) motivation – to be inspired to achieve targets for personal purposes rather than incentives of any kind (the opposite is external motivation)
- Empathy – the capacity to consider and appreciate the motives of others that are necessary for creating and leading teams to succeed.
- Social skills – the capacity to maintain partnerships and network
Hiring managers said that they preferred the employee's EQ above their IQ. They also said that they would be most likely to hire an individual of high emotional intelligence. They also said they would not recruit an applicant with a high IQ and a low EQ.
Just as it is important to recruit new employees with emotional intelligence, it is crucial for executives and other business leaders to act in emotionally intelligent ways to fulfil the demands of today's employees. Some older employees have begun their careers in the same businesses from which they have retired. For many of the older generations, employment has merely been used as a means for gaining money. Today, though, most employees expect more of their careers than just a salary. Younger generations have seen that the conventional perspective has not always played out, as they have watched their faithful older peers struggle with increasing unemployment and career disappointments.
Setting Emotional Intelligence Examples at Work
There are several benefits of emotional intelligence at work, and organizations that tap into the strength of emotional intelligence will set themselves apart from their competitors. Some strategies are-
- Prioritizing Emotional Intelligence- Contrary to what past generations' workers may have assumed, people can't toggle off their feelings when they go to work—nor should they! The key for business leaders is to rid themselves of preconceived ideas about what the manager is expected to do, and to view any situation from an emotional intelligence viewpoint. Stopping your feet and shouting at workers to work faster can lead to better short-term work outcomes, but the long-term consequences would almost definitely be catastrophic. Employees nowadays don't really expect their boss to be their best friend, but they want to have a relationship of confidence and respect. When they don't like it, they're going to quit for a boss who gives it to them. But a word of warning: evidence suggests that a person with more emotional intelligence is not necessarily more beneficial. In other words, when you assess someone's credentials for a specific job, emotional maturity is only one of several considerations.
Find this rule of thumb:
Skill + Work Ethics + Emotional Intelligence = Good Professional.
- To evolve a culture that promotes emotional intelligence- Like any skill, emotional intelligence takes practice. Organizations can also establish a community in which staff and administrators can exercise and develop their emotional intelligence. The first step is to show your workers that the company is taking care of them. People already understand the reasoning behind why you want them to function well: individual success leads to organizational success. Stay at that stage when you get help on an interpersonal level. If you resort to issuing orders after appealing to workers' feelings, then the emotional groundwork you've put in comes off as manipulation instead of care. Part of true emotional intelligence requires being true, and a true example of emotional intelligence is far more motivating than words alone.
In order for emotional intelligence to be successful, you have to start with yourself. You can't distil or strengthen the well-being, improvement and sense of self of someone without first knowing how you function on an emotional basis. What separates leaders is typically their level of interpersonal maturity, and it is those qualities that help to create a more successful workplace. We live in an era where, due to technology, we can gain certificates in any number of subjects to improve our careers, but unfortunately, we can't earn one in emotional intelligence. This is something we need to discuss as people, to identify it as important, to choose to strengthen it and to continue working on it—probably for the remainder of our lives. Yet the benefits are worth it as we become happier employers, better spouses, and better individuals.
Vivekanand Business School