Emotional Intelligence or EI generally refers to the ability of a person to understand not only their emotions but also the emotions of others around them. Emotionally intelligent people utilize this understanding to manage and reason with people. Although this may seem like an abstract concept, it has very real implications. The concept of EI is gaining traction. Several studies have highlighted the direct impact of bad relationships at the workplace on increasing attrition, decreased employee productivity and general employee dissatisfaction as well.
Traditional thinking regarding workplace dynamics prohibited the expressions at the workplace because of the belief that they hinder work and reduce productivity. However, further studies such as a study of 11 American presidents identified that the key differentiator between successful presidents like Truman, Kennedy, Roosevelt and Ford and the not-so-successful presidents such as Johnson and Carter were the understanding and application of the emotions of self and others, i.e. Emotional Intelligence.
In fact, the famous Trait theory of Leadership has also identified EI as one of the 4 main Essential traits of a good Leader. The main components of Emotional Intelligence are:
• Social Skills
• Self-Awareness and Regulation
These are desirable qualities that organizations, nowadays, want their leadership to exhibit. Many organizations view these components as a means of promoting employees from their current roles into significant leadership roles.
How does EI help in workplaces?
The aspects of EI that contribute towards improving workplace relationships are:
Effective Communication – First step of EI is to be a good listener and to understand the people you are talking to. This means a clear understanding of their views and also about what motivates them. A person with such understanding can be more realistic in setting goals and expectations and this also adds to the convincing power of a leader.
Conflict management – Having the ability to mediate and solve arguments can help a leader maintain relationships and prevent loss of business as well. Being a good negotiator and being able to manage conflicts is one of the crucial requirements in a leader.
Managing stress – EI contributes towards an individual’s decision-making process by giving them the ability to understand themselves in a better way and not make any rash and impulsive decisions. Such people can work calmly and keep a check on their impulses in order to maintain workplace relationships.
Promoting teamwork – Leaders are generally evaluated based on the performance of their teams. Being able to apply EI to foster better relationships allows the leader to encourage the team to work towards a shared goal and maintains a synergy within the team.
Trust and Integrity – As a benefit of fostering better relationships, employees can put more trust in each other and the leader. This promotes camaraderie and a sense of integrity among the team members and makes the work environment better.
Applying EI at a workplace can be instrumental in transforming the environment and promote productivity and efficiency at the workplace. Leaders who understand the needs and emotions of their team and lead by example are far more capable of motivating and guiding employees to work towards a shared organizational goal.
Connected and motivated teams are often led by leaders with high emotional intelligence. At The Taplow Group we help you source leaders who ‘walk the talk’. To know more about our services visit www.TaplowGroup.com