What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is a person’s ability to recognize, understand, manage, and reason with their emotions. It is a critical quality to have when it comes to interpersonal communication, not only in one’s private life but also in the workforce. Emotional intelligence involves using this emotional understanding to make decisions, solve problems, and communicate with others. There are four characteristics that an emotionally intelligent person possesses. These are:
- Self-awareness: The ability to recognize our emotions.
- Self-management: The ability to control our emotions.
- Social Awareness: The ability to recognize emotions in others.
- Social Skills: The ability to use others’ emotions to drive behavior.
Why Emotional Intelligence is Important for Success.
Emotional intelligence plays a vital role in the workplace and significantly affects how employees interact with one another, handle stress, and perform their work. Hiring an emotionally intelligent staff or developing emotional intelligence skills in existing employees can produce an even greater return, as EQ can be contagious! Other employees learn to understand and manage their emotions and become better team members when exposed to other employees exhibiting them for themselves.
It is essential to consider that the benefits of high EQ vary depending on the role within the organization. Certain roles are required to effectively communicate and empathize with others while also finding ways to identify and solve problems. It is important for an organization to have people who possess EQ to be involved in the recruitment of candidates to find people that could be a good fit for their company as they will likely recognize this skill quickly in others during a hiring process.
As a bonus, emotionally intelligent employees typically show more evidence of job satisfaction and therefore generate benefits for their organization like higher productivity, lower employee turnover, and greater loyalty and engagement. Many factors determine whether an individual is satisfied with their job (including recognition, growth opportunities, etc.). However, EQ helps generate emotional well-being, higher self-esteem, and positive moods that contribute to an employee’s happiness.
While EQ is an important characteristic for higher-level roles, it’s a quality that’s important at every level of a person’s career, from college students looking for internships to seasoned employees hoping to take on a leadership role. If you want to succeed in the workplace and move up the career ladder, emotional intelligence is critical to your success.
Why Emotional Intelligence Matters in the Workplace.
Hiring managers are not only looking for intelligent people to hire but place much value into hiring people with a high level of emotional intelligence. It is widely recognized as a valuable skill that helps improve communication, management, problem-solving, and relationships within the workplace and is known to improve with training and practice.
Benefits of emotional intelligence in the workplace include:
- Working towards the organization’s goals regardless of obstacles that arise.
- Greater motivation among staff to understand their own emotions and those of their colleagues.
- Healthy communication that produces common goals across the business.
- The workforce has a positive outlook when it comes to the job at hand.
- Positive relationships and deeper connections between employees.
- Flexibility; high EQ means employees can respond to change effectively and handle any additional stress it brings.
- Improved efficiencies with empathetic staff making decisions based on what is best for everyone involved.
- Career progression, staff with high EQ are likely to excel in leadership positions.
Examples of emotional intelligence in action in the workplace include:
- Constructive feedback instead of personal criticism and challenging behaviors, not people.
- Supporting colleagues by recognizing their emotions and working to reduce stress.
- Keeping calm and productive under pressure.
- Helping to resolve conflicts that arise between team members.
- Creating a workplace where people are free to express themselves openly.
How to Become More Emotionally Intelligent.
While emotional skills may come naturally to some people, there are things that anyone can do to help improve their ability to understand and reason with emotions. This can be particularly helpful in the workplace, where relationships and business decisions often rely on interpersonal understanding, teamwork, and communication. People striving to become more emotionally intelligent can do so by learning to make better decisions, solve problems, keep cool under pressure, resolve conflict, have empathy, and respond appropriately to constructive criticism.
If you are interested in improving your emotional intelligence skills to benefit your workplace performance, take steps to improve your skills in self-awareness, self-regulation, social skills, and empathy.
Enhancing emotional intelligence can only lead to good outcomes for your team and business.