Is emotional intelligence the superpower missing from your organisation? | Moorepay
March 27, 2024

Is emotional intelligence the superpower missing from your organisation?

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Emotional intelligence, also known as EQ, is about having awareness of how our own emotions play a role in influencing our thoughts actions. And taking it a step further, using that knowledge to be more productive and have better interactions with those around us.

With increased awareness of mental health and wellbeing, we are now more conscious of how the way we act can affect the wellbeing of others, making soft skills such as emotional intelligence of equal importance as holding the technical skills required for the role.

Why is EQ important in the workplace?

Work life and your career can be hugely affected by your EQ. Workplaces are mostly relational environments. Alongside organisational goals and processes, workplaces are typically a melting pot of different personalities, skills, strengths, relationships, and emotions. Therefore, EQ is intricately melded into every decision and action within the workplace. It’s in the basic instruction to your team just as much as it’s present in mass organisational change. So typically, those with higher EQ typically successfully navigate the workplace more effectively. EQ enables an individual to build and drive successful teams and to be agile and responsive as needed, and therefore, are successful.

Similarly, a lower level of EQ can be detrimental to the workplace. It can show as insensitivity, arrogance, or even aggression and volatility in your employees. At its worst, it can result in bullying, harassment, and demotivated staff. Whereas a high EQ will facilitate flexibility, low EQ will typically create inflexibility and rigidity – a dangerous situation for any business to be in.

How can we identify and measure EQ?

Emotional Intelligence isn’t quite as quantifiable as its pal Intelligence Quotient (IQ). Therein lies the first problem – it can’t be supported with data in quite the same way as IQ. As a result, IQ has traditionally been easier to measure and therefore carried more weight in education and business.

EQ can be thought of as an individual’s abilities to be:

  • Self-aware: encompassing our own knowledge of ourselves and being able to both recognise and understand ourselves, our behaviours, and our emotions.
  • Self-managing and self-regulating: encompassing our ability to be in control of our emotions and, therefore, our responses.
  • Self-motivated: encompassing our internal resources to be driven, perform, act, and reach towards goals.
  • Empathic: encompassing our ability to understand and ‘feel for’ others, understand their emotions, and therefore relate to them more effectively.
  • Relational: encompassing our ability to build and maintain relationships, network, lead, manage conflict and work with others.

How does EQ benefit the workplace?

Employees with high levels of EQ tend to hold the following workplace skills:

  • Effective communication: Their ability to regulate their own emotions, as well as understanding the emotions of others makes them effective communicators.
  • Build good working relationships: As they can tap into the emotions of others, they can make others feel good about themselves. This helps build relations quickly as people feel comfortable around them.
  • Problem-solving: Emotional intelligent managers can identify what motivates and demotivates their team members, enabling them to adapt the allocation of tasks and the style they give instructions to individuals, in a way they’re more likely to respond positively.
  • Effective time management: As they understand everyone’s time is valuable, they’re less likely to waste time with unproductive meetings and conversions. They tend to organise meetings with clear agendas, talking points and ensure discussions stay on track to use the time effectively.
  • Conflict resolution: a better understanding of emotions, and how their own actions impact others, enables them to manage conflict and reach amiable resolutions.

What can you do to promote EQ in the workplace?

Lets take a look at some practical strategies and tips to cultivate EQ amongst your team:

  • Create an open and supportive culture: Ensure you have a culture that allows employees to express opinions, emotions and concerns without fear of judgement. They should be encouraged to learn from mistakes, seek feedback and pursue their personal goals.
  • Ensure employees feel valued: Review your methods for acknowledging individual achievements and contributions to ensure they match what motivates individual team members.
  • Provide coaching and feedback: Coaching your employees to develop their own EQ. Ask open-ended questions and listening actively. Encourage them to take notice of their emotional responses in different situations. Offer your observations of how they’ve handled previous situations as feedback.
  • Lead by example: Set the tone for your team. Act with empathy, support and understanding when communicating with your employees, especially if it relates to a personal issue they may have.
  • Include EQ traits in performance management and recruitment selection criteria: When conducting performance reviews and appraisals, ask questions that will reveal more about the employee’s emotional intelligence, make recommendations that would lead to improvement, and communicate the importance of emotional intelligence in your workplace.

How can you measure EQ within the workplace?

You can take a snapshot of EQ levels by reviewing:

  • Number of employee and customer complaints.
  • Number of grievances or informal concerns raised between employees and their managers.
  • Scores and comments made on employee surveys.

Further advice and support

If you have would like further training or guidance on developing emotional intelligence in the workplace, call our Advice Line on 0345 073 0240 (selecting option 2).

You can also take a look at some more of our online resources:

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About the author

Gillian Smith

Gill has over 10 years HR generalist experience within the retail and industrial service sectors.Whilst providing HR support and services at the most senior levels Gill’s experience includes mergers and acquisitions, complex TUPE transfers, organisational development, and strategic change management. Gill has experience in the policy development process from design, consulting with directors and employee representatives through to implementation and delivering training workshops on the new polices. Gill currently is an HR policy consultant who services a variety of clients.

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