Emotional intelligence can have a significant impact in the workplace. It can help your team form strong bonds allowing them to thrive, or the lack of it can create misunderstanding and cause issues. Emotional intelligence is becoming a more prominent topic of conversation when it comes to business leaders and business environments, therefore small businesses need to understand what it is and why it can make a great impact in the workplace.
You may think emotions and emotional intelligence may have nothing to with running and operating a business, however emotional intelligence can play a huge role; from being a good leader to making business decisions. Here is all you need to know about Emotional intelligence and how to improve on it to make a more productive workplace.
What is it?
Emotional intelligence is a term coined in the 1960’s and is becoming a hot topic and something that is desired in leaders today. Emotional intelligence can both be a skill that you can learn and it can also be something that’s innate. Some people have a natural high level of emotional intelligence also known as EQ, and it can make them a better leader. Emotional intelligence requires an individual to be aware of their emotions as well those around them, this can help them assess a situation and act accordingly. Emotional intelligence also ensures that individuals can understand what impact their behaviour and attitudes have on others.
What are the key features?
Self-awareness – being aware of your own emotions is one of the five key parts of being emotionally intelligent. Self-awareness means that you are able to understand your emotions and how they affect what you do. You will know how certain emotions can make you productive and some which drive you away from your work. You will also be aware of your strengths, weaknesses and self-worth. As a leader, this can help you work better and be more productive.
Self-regulation – this feature goes hand in hand with being self-aware. Self-regulation means that you are able to monitor and manage your emotions effectively. Emotions can run high and low in workplaces and it’s completely natural, but being able to control them requires skill. For example, as the leader, you would be the person to sustain safe and fair environments, because you don’t act on impulsive urges and can accept change and uncertainty. Also, a good way to master self-regulation is through reflection and thoughtfulness. This is especially important for workplaces and leadership because remaining professional and calm is a must.
Motivation – individuals with high emotional intelligence are self-motivated. They aren’t motivated by money or titles, but find the motivation within themselves. This is something that all hiring managers should keep in mind when going through the recruiting process. Having a highly emotionally intelligent team will help the productivity of the workplace.
Empathy – this is a trait that everyone should aspire to have. Empathy means being compassionate and understanding of others and their emotions. A good leader needs empathy in order to retain quality staff. Often employees join a company but leave because of poor leaders. Therefore, to retain quality talent make sure you display empathy and really understand your employees’ points of view. Empathy amongst your staff can help them connect with each other on an emotional level, making a happier, stronger team.
Interpersonal skills – also known as people skills, which allow you to understand others. This is great for your business if you provide customer service, as it will allow you to give a good service. Interpersonal skills should be a requirement for most jobs because they are so vital to building professional relationships with people around you.
A combination of these traits will allow you to improve your emotional intelligence and really create a better workplace.
What are the main benefits?
There are several benefits of being emotionally intelligent. If you are a small business owner, and have a team of employees, then having emotional intelligence is essential. One of the biggest benefits is retaining good employees, and this can also help you save recruitment costs. Also, by being understanding and compassionate to your staff, you will create a sense of loyalty which means they are more likely to work harder for you and your business.
It is important to surround yourself with staff that are emotionally intelligent too, therefore make sure this is something that is assessed in candidates during the hiring process. Having emotionally intelligent staff can also mean they will form good working relationships with each other, which can boost productivity. It will also mean that your staff can provide great customer service because they will make the customer feel like their problems are being understood and empathised with.