“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” - Maya Angelou
We all effectively have the capacity to make rational decisions which affects the broader aspects of life, but what facilitates an individual’s ability to make better decisions is by attending to one’s emotional ability which is crucial for decision-making and aids in understanding the potential consequences of bad decision making.
In the modern, agile workplace, there is an ever-increasing emphasis from employers on the importance of EI over academic qualifications. However, there is greater emphasis on getting the work done with lesser time to focus on emotional capabilities, which have proven to be of significant importance in rational decision-making and building a thriving workplace community.
In this piece, we explore how tapping into your emotional intelligence can strengthen your rational decision-making capabilities and foster a thriving workplace community.
EI and rationality: The link
Understanding the causes and consequences of emotions allows an individual to both manage the feeling and make an objective decision. There is a strong link between decision making which involves the role of emotions as superior emotional intelligence is an element in the prevention of decision making based on emotional biases, whereas lower EI can create anxiety and lead to poor decisions.
A 2010 study revealed, "181 different positions from 121 organizations worldwide... 67% of the abilities deemed essential for effective performance were emotional competencies.”
It’s not about removing emotions completely from the decision-making process, rather it’s about recognizing the emotions that are unrelated to the problem and not allowing them to influence the final result.
Most of the organizations nowadays hire those employees who are emotionally intelligent, so that they can face the workplace problems tactfully easily and they can become more productive for the organization.
Emotional intelligence can be built across the organization through organizational strategies, leadership skills, development programmes, self- awareness and self-management tools.
The influence of EI on culture and well-being
The fast paced life makes us prone to give less importance to our emotional side, leaving time for what we perceive to be more important andrational. However, the pandemic has brought forth the need to focus on and express our emotional reality, especially as remote work has bound us to a life of relative isolation and lack of in-person socialization. "
According to a survey, 80% of employees consider emotional intelligence crucial for developing their careers. If a person depicts a positive attitude towards expressing and managing their emotions, and being cognizant of the emotions of their peers and leaders as well, in other words, demonstrating emotional intelligence, then they are found to experience less stress in their area of workplace, with an ability to manage conflict, promote understanding, and foster healthy workplace relationships, stability, continuity, and harmony.
Workplaces are increasingly building initiatives and programs to enhance a person’s ability to tackle social discomfort and conflicts in their workplace, resulting in greater motivation, increase in satisfaction and commitment, and enhanced job performance.
The pandemic has brought along with it many changes across the globe in drastic ways and has affected our lifestyle and deeply altered our social and work environment. In this scenario, people are experiencing an emotional roller-coaster. Where some are apprehensive about the uncertainties, and some remain unsure of how they are feeling.
Fear, depression, anger, and anxiety have been seen as real consequences of this pandemic coupled with months of lockdown and remote working. Among such conditions of loss of control over their life, people who have showcased emotional intelligence have been able to cope better with the challenging circumstances, making them effective both at home and at the workplace as well. Such individual’s not only impact their own well-being, but are able to have a mirror the same among colleagues, enabling a work environment where each one looks out for one another, creating a safe and emotionally healthy workplace, consequently a thriving workplace community.
Collective well-being wherein performance becomes a byproduct of great people management is the need of the hour.
Why EI can no longer be overlooked
Emotional intelligence complements our rational logical analytical intelligence contributing to commitment, innovation and productivity.
According to a study, "At a Motorola manufacturing plant, 93% of employees became more productive after the facility adopted stress-reduction and emotional-intelligence programs”.
The ability of an employee to excel at their workplace is not only due to their intellectual intelligence levels, but studies have reported superior emotional intelligence - the ability to have self- control and regulation over one’s emotional aspects to their brain - leads to success at dealing with challenges at the workplace and beyond.
Utilizing and developing emotional intelligence in the workplace can significantly improve the personal and social capabilities of individuals within that workplace.
As Daniel Goleman, an author and science journalist once said, “If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.”