Importance of Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

Emotional Intelligence

Have you ever wondered how do some people maintain a high-pressured job while acing in their personal life?

For many people, having demanding responsibilities, dealing with different kind of people, committing to a specific schedule and facing uncertainty seems like living a perpetual nightmare. As a result, there is a belief that people who are carrying out this kind of lifestyle are usually miserable individuals that only care about the earnings and status at the cost of their happiness and well-being.

Understandably, most people think in this way because they can only appreciate this type of lifestyle by projecting their own character without considering matters beyond their childhood traumas, upbringing, culture, failures, achievements, etc. Also, the same people overvalue Intelligence Quotient (IQ) disregarding the framework in which IQ develops.

Regardless of how efficient your balance at work is or if you are struggling in your day-to-day tasks, it all comes down to this powerful concept: Emotional Intelligence or EQ.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

It an individual’s capacity to manage, understand and recognise emotions and feelings in oneself and others. This attribute includes trusting emotional awareness to communicate with others, approaching difficulties and making decisions.

Four components frame emotional intelligence:

1: Understanding emotions 

Every emotion we recognise may bear different meanings. If a person is expressing frustration, the receiver should interpret the motive of their frustration and what it might mean. For example, if your boss is behaving irritated, it could mean that they are disappointed with some project or it might be because they have not drunk their morning cup of coffee.

2: Perceiving emotions 

Usually, it involves understanding non-verbal communication like facial expression and body language.

3: Managing emotions

It means making a distinction of how and when constructively expressing both positive and challenging emotions.

4: Reasoning with emotions 

Emotions and intuition are useful resources when we are looking for truthfulness. However, it could be a challenge learning how to trust and follow them.

How Emotional Intelligence Improve Job Performance

Some traits that people with high emotional intelligence implement at a work environment are:

  • Self-efficacy. The individual believes in their own capabilities to produce a specific outcome. Consequently, it involves confidence to project a reliable character over one’s actions, social environment and motivations.
  • Effortless cognitive abilities. Cognitive abilities are skills that we use to think, read, remember, pay attention, etc. The reason why it is effortless is due to a state of peacefulness that can be attainable even if the individual is under pressure. As a result, thoughts, ideas and information are being processed with rhythm and flow.
  • Great conscientiousness. It is the aspiration to carry out responsibilities with diligence and patience. It is possible because they set realistic expectations according to their capabilities and accept the fact that they might fail or not.
  • Truthful communication. Being an extrovert does not mean you have efficient communication skills or that you are honest about yourself. It is not about what type of personality you have, but how sincere it is. The more transparent and authentic, the more valuable your opinions and ideas become in respect of a project, event or circumstance.

Benefits of Using Emotional Intelligence in Business

EQ is the framework in which employees, managers and directors perform their daily routine at work and outside of it.

Therefore, how do individuals benefit from EQ when they are in a working environment?

  • High motivated workforce. If your employees are motivated, it is because their working environment allows them to be themselves. Also, employees can feel how their actions, ideas and personality provide value to their team and its projects. As a result, there are lower levels of absenteeism, turnovers, and higher levels of trust between management and workers, reduced costs and quality customer service.
  • Common vision. When a manager has a high EQ, he/she can effectively inculcate on their workforce the direction and values of the company goals. By doing this, the whole team will share the management, hence each member will take responsibility for their own contribution. Creativity thrives because autonomy is predominant within the shared vision that everyone is building.
  • Stress management. Low-stress work environments promote strong company culture. Workers performing under manageable levels of stress will have a more positive attitude that supports a culture of creativity and productivity. Practicing stress measures as a manager, show that you care about your employee’s health and happiness.
  • Self-reliant employees. Employees can judge challenging situations and figure out solutions on their own. That means employees are willing to go beyond instructions and supervision because they want to preserve the working environment, which is proving to them value and recognition.

How Can We Measure Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace?

  • The working team listen to each other during a meeting. Not every gathering is productive and favourable; people not willing to participate at all and not respecting the turn when someone is talking. If a worker or manager is portraying these characteristics, they are demonstrating low emotional intelligence. In the other hand, if they are active listeners, consider the perspective of the rest of the team and effectively maintains everyone on track, he/she has high emotional intelligence.
  • There is open communication. Workers who can announce important concerns, and at the same time, being comfortable listening to the rest of their team when they express their ideas and opinions, are exhibiting high emotional intelligence. Usually, the same workers are accurate at expressing their emotions without bottle up their matters. Bottling up emotions contributes to dysfunctional patterns in the office such as passive-aggressive behaviors and overall discontented environment.
  • There is room for informal communication within the work environment. It is a good sign of emotional intelligence if the approach among people is not always formal and rigid. For example, arranging group meals throughout the week or every Friday having some drinks at the office before the end of the working schedule.
  • Flexibility is available. Every single person has a unique working rhythm with outstanding outputs if settled in the right environment and tools. Effective management is aware of this difference while it strives to fit productivity within this diversity. Expectations are realistic and cultural values are broad and updated to current lifestyles.
  • There is room for informal communication within the work environment. It is a good sign of emotional intelligence if the approach among people is not always formal and rigid. For example, arranging group meals throughout the week or every Friday having some drinks at the office before the end of the working schedule.

How Can We Improve Our Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace?

  • Notice the way you react to people. Do you jump into conclusion and judgment before being interested in the facts? Do you hold strong stereotypes? Try to understand their perspectives, needs and wants.
  • Practice Humility. It is a practical attribute that can make your life smooth and rewarding. Humility does not mean a lack of confidence. On the contrary, it communicates that you are sure about the things you say and do. Let people around you highlight their attributes and strengths.
  • Evaluate yourself with a free online test. Accept your weaknesses and realise the potential of improving them.
  • Take responsibility. People are more cooperative if you attain authentic steps to make things how they should be. Evaluate how your actions impact in the long term by putting yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself: What would you like to experience? How can you support the team and yourself?

Getting Help

Even though IQ has a significant impact on our lives, EQ is crucial when creating stable relationships with others and achieving our goals. Emotional Intelligence is understanding your actions and feelings at the workplace, how they impact your workmates and managers. Also, it means that you can recognise the value of others and honestly listen to their opinions and ideas. If you would like more information about how can you improve your emotional intelligence please do not hesitate to contact Fullstack Advisory at info@fullstack.com.au. Good luck!

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Stuart Reynolds is the founder of Fullstack Advisory, an award-winning accounting firm for businesses leading the future. He is a 3rd generation accountant who specialises in tech & online companies.

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