When it comes to organizations, there are several factors that contribute to an organization’s success. With new advancements, an important factor that has come to light, significant for organizational development, is the importance of emotional intelligence at the workplace.
In today’s world, it’s crucial to understand the concept of emotional intelligence to boost your business and start making better working strategies.
In a survey done in 2011 by career builder, nearly 71% of employers value emotional intelligence (EQ) more than IQ while hiring new employees. 59% of employers said they would not hire employees with high IQ but low EQ. While 75% of employers said they would more likely promote a worker with high EQ as compare to the one with low emotional intelligence.
Is emotional intelligence really that important? Does it play any role at the workplace?
To understand the answers to the above-mentioned questions, we need to know what emotional intelligence is. Emotional intelligence which is also commonly referred to as Emotional Quotient (EQ), is a capacity and ability to understand, perceive and manage emotions in oneself and others.
This term was originally coined by a psychologist at Cornell University, Michael Beldoch, in 1964. Later on, psychologists Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer researched on this topic and came up with their model. This model defined emotional intelligence as a combination of abilities which help in:
- Identification and expression of emotions
- Understanding of emotions
- Utilization of emotions
- Regulation of emotion
In the business world, EQ is important to become an effective leader and be able to handle the workload and manage people.
Importance of Emotional Intelligence at the Workplace
People started taking an interest in the concept of emotional intelligence after the famous publication of Daniel Goleman’s book “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ.” In this book, Daniel Goleman proved that emotional intelligence is as important, if not more, in determining success in life.
More fame came when Daniel Goleman wrote a book “Working with Emotional Intelligence,” which led to believe that when there’s business, being rational won’t be the only solution. He applied the aspect of emotional intelligence to the workplace settings. He determined this fact that in every field, achievement and success depend upon emotional intelligence twice as much as IQ and other technical expertise.
“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion.” – Dale Carnegie
Studies have shown that people who score high on to the measures of EQ, also tend to get higher rates on measures of interpersonal relationships or skills, managing stress at work, conflict resolution, and leadership abilities. Other studies have also linked it with more job satisfaction and overall good performance at the workplace.
Why Emotional Intelligence Matters at the Workplace
When we talk about workplace settings, building relationships and taking prompt decisions are pronounced skills to have. These skills correlate with the presence of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence helps in improving communication, better management of tasks, problem-solving and having healthy relationships within an organization.
Is emotional intelligence a valuable aspect of workplace settings?
The World Economic Forum (2016) added emotional intelligence at number six on a list of ten, must-have skills employees need by the year 2020 to thrive in the future workplace.
Image source: weforum.org
Working in a setting means working with a group of people, who come from different backgrounds and were raised differently. Therefore, it’s quite possible to run into some kind of conflict.
People with good emotional intelligence show the following behaviors:
- Handle stress in a better way and keep cool under high pressure
- They are better at resolving conflicts and issues in a workplace setting
- Have a high tolerance level for criticism and reflect back on it constructively
- Good at making decisions and solving problems quickly
- Take personal responsibility and prove out to be a valuable team member
In this way, they can handle any situation that can prove out to be a tough one for someone with low emotional intelligence.
Become more Emotionally Intelligent
Now comes the question, how can one be emotionally intelligent?
Emotional intelligence is something a person can acquire easily by practice and more practice. It’s a skill that can be achieved by putting efforts. If you want to improve your emotional intelligence, then here’s what you can do.
Goleman has suggested five core components that can improve your emotional intelligence skills and benefit you with a satisfactory work environment. These five crucial components are:
It is one of the most major factors that play a role in attaining emotional intelligence. Self-awareness refers to the ability to recognize and understand one’s emotions and feelings. It is a vital skill to possess in the workplace.
The capacity to know emotions goes a long way when it comes to dealing with people of different temperaments. To understand emotional reactions, it is important to have an awareness of emotions and their origination.
People who are self-aware tend to be more confident, calm and open in their experiences. They are aware of their strengths and limitations and know how others perceive them.
Being aware of your emotions is the first step, but next comes the management of your emotions. People with good self-regulation skills are more adaptable to change. They express their emotions in an appropriate and healthy way rather than being impulsive or passive-aggressive.
Start work on your self-regulation skills by finding different, but healthy, ways to release stress. Having hobbies outside the workplace is the best way to gain it. Learn techniques that are helpful in expressing emotion and do not respond in an inappropriate manner.
Start working on accumulating intrinsic motivation, as it is the key component of emotional intelligence. External motivation factors such as money, fame, status, are great but it takes more than that to become successful.
People with high emotional intelligence are driven by a force that comes from within themselves. They are more oriented towards achieving goals for their sake rather than for any external reward. They are committed and hard-working.
Try to focus on those aspects of your job that you love. Revive your passion and start taking new challenges. Be optimistic and maintain a positive attitude. In no time, you will be on the path of success.
To put yourself in other’s shoes, is the simplest way to define empathy. Empathy is not just understanding others emotional reactions, it also relates to how you react to them.
In the workplace, it allows you to recognize who holds power and influences the dynamics between colleagues and bosses. Empathy helps in looking at things from another person’s perspective, which ultimately leads to lesser conflicts and more agreements.
Work on your empathetic skills to interpret different situations and influence interpersonal relationships, especially in the workplace. Be more vigilant in sensing the power dynamics and the forces that influence emotion and feelings. In this way, you can find a middle ground for opposing perspectives and make others willing to compromise on it.
Social skills or sometimes called people skills are considered to be an important ability to manage relationships and have better communication. They are highly valued in the workplace because they help in building networks and bring positive change in a company’s environment.
People with great social skills are able to build a good rapport with colleagues and supervisors and prove to be a valuable team member. They can listen to other people’s opinions and then effectively communicate their ideas. It also prepares them to take on a leadership role in the future.
Start practicing active listening to show that you are attentive towards others and are passionate about work projects. While communicating be attentive to the non-verbal communication as they convey a lot of messages. Polish your persuasion skills as they can help in influencing and convincing people to listen to your ideas and opinions.
Emotional intelligence is still comparatively a new topic for the corporate world. Its implications at a workplace is a new hot topic. If you think you need the practice to be higher on EQ, then start doing it now. But keep in mind that by benefiting yourself and the workplace, you can get the best of both worlds.
A psychologist by profession, with a passion for writing and looking for opportunities to reach out to the masses to spread awareness regarding psychology and mental health.