Scholars may have coined the term “emotional intelligence” in the early 1990s, but business leaders quickly took the concept and made it their own. EQ, is a term that is being used more and more within Human Resources departments and is making its way into executive boardrooms.
EQ is defined as a set of competencies demonstrating the ability one has to recognize his or her behaviors, moods, and impulses, and to manage them best according to the situation. Typically, "emotional intelligence" is considered to involve emotional empathy; attention to and discrimination of one's emotions; accurate recognition of one's own and others' moods; mood management or control over emotions; response with appropriate (adaptive) emotions and behaviors in various life situations (especially to stress and difficult situations); and balancing of honest expression of emotions against courtesy, consideration, and respect (i.e., possession of good social skills and communication skills).
Emotional Intelligence, sometimes referred to as EQ or EI, is a strong indicator of the level of success one can attain in life, both in the personal and business realms. Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand emotions, particularly one’s own emotions. Low EQ behaviors from co-workers and managers – such as angry outbursts, rude comments, incivility, and moodiness – lead to stress and burnout as well as anxious work environments. A study by Pearson of thousands of managers and employees concluded the following:
- Two-thirds of employees said their performance declined
- Four out of five employees lost work time worrying about the unpleasant incident
- 63% wasted time avoiding the low EQ offender
- More than 75% of respondents said that their commitment to their employer had waned
- 12% resigned due to the low EQ behaviour
The Hay Group states that one study of 44 Fortune 500 companies found that sales people with high EQ produced twice the revenue of those with average or below average scores. In another study, technical programmers demonstrating the top 10 percent of emotional intelligence competency were developing software three times faster than those with lower competency were. A Fortune 500 company in financial services proved that its high EQ salespeople produced 18% more than the lower EQ salespeople produced. One recent study conducted by a Dallas corporation measured that the productivity difference between its low-scoring emotional intelligence employees and its high-scoring emotional intelligence employees was 20 times. All of these cases are starting to prove the value of having highly emotionally intelligent employees that make up the workforce and if we want a competitive advantage in this highly competitive business world.
Workers with high EQ are better able to work in teams, adjust to change and be flexible. No matter how many degrees or other on-paper qualifications a person has, if he or she doesn’t have certain emotional qualities, he or she is unlikely to succeed. As the workplace continues to evolve, making room for new technologies and innovations, these qualities may become increasingly important. it’s vital for managers and other business leaders to operate in emotionally intelligent ways to meet the needs of today’s workers.
Characteristics of high EQ people:
- Self aware
- Change agents
And Emotional Intelligence be improved by as much as 40%. The development of EQ is not fixed at birth. Studies do show, however, that childhood is a critical time for the development of EQ. During childhood is when we learn much about how to relate to the world. Living inside our family unit is our first venture into relationships, friendships, and teams. Both nature and nurture come into play with Emotional Intelligence. Taking steps to improve EQ brings immediate benefits to our health, our relationships, our work, and the quality of our lives. In today’s business world, having a great EI is a strong competitive advantage against colleagues and peers who don’t.
Employees with high EIs are beneficial to their organizations for many reasons. They build great relationships with their coworkers and clients, they’re graceful and collected in high-stress situations, and they’re able to understand and react appropriately to the actions of others. business leaders with strong EIs are more successful in hiring, managing growth problems, leading people and teaching others. Refining our own emotional intelligence will help to become a better employee and leader at organization.
Few tips to improve EI:
Communicate effectively: Communicate clearly through written, oral, and nonverbal communication. Be concise instead of going in loops. Articulate well, be a good listener, and use appropriate body language at all times.
Build relationships: Interpersonal skills are important in the workplace, especially since so many organizations are designed around teams and departments. Seek friendships with peers, supervisors, clients, and business partners. Show that you genuinely care about people.
Manage conflict: Address issues with the individual(s) involved in a private manner and n a healthy way. Approach the discussion in a non-judgmental, but assertive manner. Ask questions and try to understand their side of the story. Work together to find a solution.
Manage stress: The ability to stay in control in difficult situations is highly valued – in the business world and outside it.
Highly performing teams seem to have a natural ability to obtain buy-in through collaboration. A High EQ team builds a solid foundation for positive branding for the team, and likewise, the company. Individual and collective EQ affects the workplace, both positively and negatively.
High EQ workplaces experience high employee engagement. Low EQ workplaces experience high turnover, burnout, low productivity, and declining sales. These symptoms affect the bottom line.
Successful leaders are those who make sure they have the skills on their teams, both technical and emotional, to build a product, service, or community that has been envisioned. And this can be done without demonstrative and aggressively demanding tactics when there is Collective EQ. A recent Harvard Business Review article reports that the quality that most senior executives lack is empathy. For this reason, it is essential that all of us understand emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the single best predictor of performance in the workplace and the strongest driver of leadership and personal excellence. And when we increase our effective use of emotional intelligence, we will increase our ability to develop more solid, trusting relationships in our business arena.