More and more experts are beginning to realize the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace, but what is emotional intelligence? To put it simply, emotional intelligence is the umbrella term that incapsulates social skills, empathy, self-awareness and intrinsic motivation. Many successful business leaders now view such traits as incremental to the success of their organizations. Cerberus Sentinel for example, one company that has gone a long way to foster a positive culture focused on the people that make the company what it is. However, there are still those who haven’t fully realized the value of an emotionally intelligent workforce.
Man, Not Machine
Human beings aren’t robots; we can’t simply check our emotions at the door every time we clock into work. So rather than trying to treat their workforce like well-oiled machines, business leaders should focus on nurturing their emotional intelligence.
Here are a few reasons why emotional intelligence is important in the workplace.
An emotionally intelligent workforce will collaborate better together, solving each coming obstacle in unique and innovative ways. Emotional intelligence in the workplace is the driving force of communication. Communication gives birth to new ideas that give a business the edge it needs to stand out in a sea of competition.
Empathy is an integral factor in emotional intelligence; it allows us to understand the emotions of others in complex ways. More importantly, it will enable us to know why the feelings of others cause them to behave in ways they do. For a leader, understanding the emotional makeup of those that follow them is paramount. Equally important is the empathy that teammates must have for one another. When people work together in groups for long periods, they tend to form close-knit bonds. These bonds encourage them to work together more productively and help each other along the way.
Different people are motivated in different ways. As a leader, one must be cognizant of the best ways to encourage their team members. High EQ individuals typically don’t require external motivation at all. Although it’s rare, some workers can find the drive within themselves to stay motivated. Such people are a significant boon to any team. Not only are they able to keep themselves motivated, but they also tend to motivate others around them.
A skilled workforce that can manage itself sounds like any organization’s dream come true. Yet, it’s not as impossible as many traditional business leaders may believe. Self-Management is a person’s innate self-control. Although self-control allows us to manage our own emotions during stressful times, it also makes for reliable and trustworthy employees.
Self-awareness and self-management go hand in hand. Self-Awareness involves knowing yourself better than anyone else; understanding your strengths and weaknesses. Self-awareness allows you to work to your strengths and put in the effort to mitigate your weaknesses. Self-aware employees are those who seek constructive criticism and work consistently to better themselves. They inspire and encourage others around them to do the same.
The world is changing before our very eyes. With every change comes the need for a new kind of workforce. We are at a turning point in society, one that will make or break how human beings operate in the future labour market. Will we cling to old habits, or are we ready to embrace a better, emotionally intelligent workforce? You can read more about this topic in Christian Espinosa’s book, The Smartest Person In The Room.