How Emotional Intelligence Advances Business29 Apr 2020
Emotional intelligence (EQ) can both enable you to be a better leader and help you to influence others to succeed. By implementing EQ in the workplace, you can improve your employee’s experiences and advance the goals of your business with greater efficiency and productivity.
Why is emotional intelligence a necessary skill?
As more and more companies turn to treating employees as commodities rather than people, employee satisfaction plummets while employee turnover skyrockets. Understanding emotional intelligence helps people succeed, and when EQ is exhibited by leaders, the entire workplace can be transformed. In fact, 95% of general managers agree that EQ is an important skill for employees to have, and the only way employees can learn these soft skills is by having them modeled by leadership.
Leaders who focus on EQ can inspire and motivate
Leaders who attend to their own EQ and that of those working in their chain of responsibility can find unique opportunities to mentor, coach, guide and prepare their employees for professional advancement. It’s all part of being a great leader, and creating a positive company culture and better working environment. Being able to understand your emotions and the emotions of others helps foster connection on an individual level between workers and managers and on a group level as members of a team. When everyone is working together on communicating clearly and recognising human emotions, it’s easier to understand reactions and develop better relationships.
Implementing EQ as a leader
If you as a leader can develop the EQ required to be continually aware of other people’s feelings, you can enhance your ability to create workspaces where employees feel welcomed, valued and confident. When your employees know they can come to you with their challenges, questions, ideas, and victories, and that their contributions will be heard and considered, they can feel confident discussing their thoughts and even disagreeing with you. Employees who know their colleagues will listen to and value their input are more likely to actively want to improve how they work, and will create better outcomes for each task they are assigned to.
Using EQ to boost employees with untapped potential
The form of leadership that is open to new perspectives can encourage creativity and innovation, with amazing results. When I started hearing one particular employee out after weeks of cutting her off, I realised what I had seen as insubordination, or attempts to gain attention, was actually just excitement. She had figured out a solution for one of our organisation’s biggest productivity bottlenecks. When I really paid attention, it turned out she had a viable plan that was able to be revised and then implemented. It ended up making everyone’s job easier, and our entire department looked good.
Using EQ to rescue employees who are struggling
Giving feedback immediately when a worker does something right is important, but so is recognising when they are struggling, and being there with a plan to help them recover. Offering constructive advice and support in a way that motivates each individual person can be key to preventing feelings of failure. When you use emotional intelligence to connect with an employee who is on the brink of giving up, you can encourage improvement and reset goals to allow achievement. From there, you can help them build on each victory and establish a pattern of confidence and success.
Emotional intelligence is a skill anyone can develop, even if you never thought of yourself as a “people person”. If you feel your leadership skills could be improved with a deeper understanding and implementation of EQ, contact the ICML team about our in-house workshops for emotional intelligence.