Our level of emotional intelligence plays an important role in the success of our career, relationships and life.
It is therefore important to learn what sort of emotional skills people bring into the workplace.
Since not employees are emotionally equal, they will naturally bring in a wide set of personalities and aspirations to the work desk.
The level of emotional intelligence an individual possesses impacts their ability to manage workplace goals, as well as understand fellow colleagues.
Emotional intelligence, denoted by EQ, is influenced by an individual’s characteristics such as self-control, perseverance and people skills.
It is completely different from the academic qualifications a person possesses.
Behavioral psychologists have written volumes on how to judge a person’s EQ, but it is important for managers to consider this factor in making better hiring decisions.
For HR managers, EQ is a big part of the decision making involved in hiring, promoting, and even firing people.
People with higher EQ are known to adjust better in teams and to be highly adaptable during organisational change.
Moreover, as modern workplaces continue to evolve and automation becomes ever more common, human skills, such as EQ, will become more important in the workplace.
The Pitfalls of Low EQ
A high level of emotional intelligence is an asset for any individual. However, not all of us are built the same, and those who have a low EQ can face several difficulties because of their lack of skills.
Some of the pitfalls of having a low EQ are:
Among the most disruptive of characteristics to possess in a modern workplace, arrogance prevents us from being open to criticism, learning new things and understanding the concerns of others.
Arrogant employees are not good team players, and consequently damage morale in the workplace.
Insensitive people are often uncaring, and consequently will have co-workers who are not motivated to cooperate with them.
Being insensitive might make you a good dictator, but not a leader in the modern workplace.
It is good to be having strong emotions, but people who let their emotions affect their work too much aren’t preferred in the workplace.
For example, an anger issue that spills over from home shouldn’t normally let you lose focus at work. But with individuals with a low EQ, this can happen frequently.
Emotions that tend to overwhelm you will not just affect your own work, but can also affect the work of others.
When you are inflexible in your approach and thinking, you can never be a team player and consequently cannot get a place in a workplace where colleagues depend on each other.
Selfish people tend to believe that their agenda is the only one that matters. But, to cope in a workplace environment, you need to be able to judge situations without letting your own emotions and personal interests interfere.
The Rewards of High EQ
In today’s business environment, with diverse team members of all races, religions, ethnicity, citizenships, and beliefs, working on the same projects, high EQ is a vital criterion in choosing reliable team members.
Here are the characteristics that people with higher EQ possess:
A healthy dose of self-awareness allows a person to understand personal strengths and weaknesses and the ways their actions will impact others. A self-aware person will consequently be more open to constructive criticism.
People with a high level of EQ will be able to display emotions in a mature way and also be able to exercise restraint when necessary. They will not squelch feelings, but have control over them, and not let them affect their workplace goals.
High EQ workers aren’t just motivated by titles or money. They will be able to see the positive side to every adverse situation. They bring in a contagious sense of optimism that passes on to others in the team.
Individuals with compassion and empathy for others will also be able to easily connect better at an emotional level with colleagues. This also allows them to respond genuinely and offer good services.
Emotionally intelligent people will easily be able to build rapport and trust with colleagues. They are likely to avoid ‘backstabbing’ or power struggles, and have respect for other’s desires.
Overall, they would be the kind of people who believe in growing with the organization.
Today, employees want more than a paycheck from their jobs. The younger generation of workers has needs that are more emotional and personal, than financial.
Consequently, investing in EQ will lead to hiring more committed and engaged employees.
It is even more important for an organization to have emotionally intelligent managers, in order to ensure positive collaborations from all employees.
The first step to hiring an emotionally intelligent candidate is identifying a person that, both, listens and communicates well.
Working towards emotional intelligence is a good career and life strategy for all of us. In the globalized market of today, where teamwork across geographies is an essential part of the job, emotional intelligence will always be an asset.