People often associate intelligence with success, and with big names such as Elon Musk and Steve Jobs, it’s hard not to. While having a high IQ, can certainly be beneficial in the workplace, more organisations are increasingly placing value on a different form of intelligence – emotional.
It’s become clear to employers that workers with high levels of emotional intelligence can communicate effectively and work well within a team – increasing the productivity and success of an organisation.
What is emotional intelligence?
The term was first coined in 1990 by two researchers in an article titled: “Emotional Intelligence.” It’s a concept that describes the ability to understand, use and manage emotions in positive ways that allow you to communicate effectively with others, overcome challenges, resolve conflicts, and relieve team stress. This form of intelligence provides empathy and understanding for those around you – a necessity for those in leadership positions.
Why EQ is Important
Along with being a valuable asset to have as a leader, understanding your emotions as it relates to the workplace becomes important since feelings and memories affect how we view the world. Using emotional information to lead, adapt and positively influence various situations for the best outcome can be beneficial to achieving career goals and more.
Here are a few more benefits to having emotional intelligence in the workplace:
Helps build relationships
Individuals with a high EQ can build stronger bonds with those around them. This allows team members to work together with ease, communicate effectively, and be receptive to sharing their ideas while also listening to the ideas of others. This means they are less likely to take complete control of a situation or project and completely bulldoze their colleagues. It’s great for organisations looking to create a collaborative environment.
Helps resolve conflicts and disputes
A mark of a great leader is their ability to resolve conflicts and disputes in a professional way. While not all emotionally intelligent individuals are born leaders, this form of intelligence makes them self-aware and able to regulate their emotions during conflict. This ensures that negative emotions such as greed, jealousy, ego and anger do not get the best of them and that confrontation is addressed in a healthy manner.
Helps With Adaptability
With the business landscape constantly evolving, change is inevitable. However, not everyone can adapt to transitional periods in a positive way, bringing up a range of emotions that include fear, frustration and resistance. Having emotional intelligence gives you the tools to adjust easily to any form of change thrown your way. Along with having the ability to adjust their mindset and behaviour, they are capable of successfully helping others to navigate change in a positive way too.
Emotional intelligence and innovation
There’s no denying the importance of innovation within an organisation as it continually looks for new solutions to a range of problems, bigger and better products/services, and efficient systems. Having an effective innovation strategy is key to a thriving business model, and according to various studies, so is emotional intelligence.
One study had this to say about emotional intelligence and innovation: “Emotional recognition and expression (in oneself), emotional management and understanding emotions (of others) were positively related to the ability to be innovative and creative in the workplace.”
To innovate, you need to disrupt. Emotionally intelligent people often understand that good ideas are found beyond their comfort zone, which makes them experts at leaning into discomfort.
No matter the emotion, good or bad, it can hamper productivity and creativity. As humans, even high EQ people experience intense emotions such as anger and frustration. However, when faced with a critical decision, they are able to take a step back and see the bigger picture without feeling overwhelmed and allowing this to get in the way of innovation.
It’s clear to see that individuals on the ground are not the only ones to benefit from having emotionally intelligent individuals around them, but the organisation does too. A high EQ environment provides a level of trust, openness, and inclusivity that drives innovation and propels the business to new heights.
However, having emotionally intelligent individuals as part of your workforce is only half the battle. The Strategists are experts at creating executable innovation-oriented practices that hone in on a company’s corporate strategy.
If you’d like to find out more about our strategy services, please get in touch with us today.