Emotional Intelligence, the ability to identify and manage your own emotions while understanding the emotions of others, is the new yardstick according to David Goleman. In fact, for most people, in most situations, emotional intelligence (EQ) is more important than IQ in obtaining success in their lives and careers. Everyone has known someone who is brilliant at their job, but fails miserably when promoted to a supervisory capacity. The key is your expertise alone will not guarantee that your employees will trust or respect you, so it is imperative that you behave in a manner that allows trust to develop. A key element is the development of Emotional Intelligence. The four elements of Emotional Intelligence include two areas under Personal Competence and two areas under Social Competence.
Personal Competence includes:
Social Competence includes:
- Social Awareness
- Relationship Management
The “new yardstick” is used to measure who is most likely to become a star and who is most liable to crash and burn. Why is this so important for leadership to understand? When it comes to hiring individuals, often the measuring stick used to determine if an employee will be a good fit is how well they did in school or their skill set, and yet these skills come at a cost if the person lacks interpersonal skills? A key component is how well the person will integrate into your team, and sometimes, the most gifted people can create chaos. High EQ workplaces experience high employee engagement, while low EQ workplaces experience high turnover, and low productivity. According to HR Professional Magazine, “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 and Porath 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 behavior”
Often people are unaware of the effect their behavior has on others and it can dramatically reduce the productivity of your organization and consequently your bottom line. What is the answer then? The good news is unlike IQ, high EQ can be learned. Here are 3 areas that will increase the EQ in your workplace.
1. Innovative organizations not only encourage, but support their employees gaining a better understanding of their emotions and how this will influence their ability to develop relationships and communicate. Emotions are a signal that something needs further attention and if these situations are ignored, they usually escalate. This means training employees regarding their personal and social competence, and giving them the skills to improve their EI.
2. Encourage open and honest communication by creating an environment that supports idea exchange between all employees. One of the best ways to help employees feel engaged and respected is by listening to them. EI skills will allow your leadership to be open to ideas coming from employees, but also help them to understand how to communicate why the organization can or cannot adopt their idea. Research has found that employees want to feel that their idea was heard and at least considered, even more than being adopted. The key to this is developing a respectful feedback system. Employees who feel ignored quit offering their opinion and being innovative.
3. Evaluate your employees on their ability to create healthy workplace relationships and tie it into their job performance evaluation. If an employee knows he or she will be evaluated on their EI skills he or she will be more motivated to improve in this area. Healthy interpersonal relationships create a work environment which helps to develop and maintain trust and respect in an organization. This has a strong influence on your company’s ability to recruit and maintain talented employees. With a little focus on what was once thought of as just soft skills, you can compete with the best and come out on top.