So what is emotional intelligence, and how does it relate to your business?
Emotional intelligence deals with the emotional side of business. And it’s not only about being tuned in to your own emotions, it’s also about being tuned in to those around you.
Good business is about good communication. Management style and interpersonal skills are crucial factors in the proper running of a company. By understanding what triggers us in our business (e.g., about certain employees or clients), we are able to forecast other people’s behaviours and therefore prevent our feelings from getting the best of us. By better understanding ourselves and our reactions to those around us, we can choose how we behave.
And as the song goes, “The times they are a’changin’.” Managers used to be encouraged to hire employees based on intelligence (IQ) and expertise in their fields. Yet today’s experts say that you shouldn’t only hire the smartest people anymore. Rather you should look to hire employees who show good emotional intelligence (EQ), with good self-awareness, self-management, and the ability to maintain good relationships. It’s very disruptive to your company to have an employee who has little emotional intelligence. Whether employees are emotionally intelligent or not can make all the difference.
A few key points to increase your emotional intelligence:
1. Know your strengths and weaknesses.
Some people are overly confident and don’t like to show weakness. Others constantly underestimate their areas of expertise and strength. The perfect balance, no doubt, is to accurately know your strengths and weaknesses. And I like to say, play to your strengths and outsource the weaknesses if you can!
It’s imperative to understand that failure is only final if we stop trying.
2. Stay cool under fire.
When life gets to be overwhelming and stressful, do you take your frustrations out on the first person that walks into your office? Or worse, your family? No one is exempt from stress. There’s a great saying that goes, “It's not the stressor itself but our perception of the stressor that affects how we handle stress.” The ability to manage stress is something an employer values greatly – a bad attitude can poison an office environment. Here are a few quick tips: Manage stress with meditation, exercise, proper diet, lower levels of caffeine, yoga, good sleep, cutting down social media time, and reading more.
3. Practice resilience.
With every knockdown or difficult situation, the ability bounce back and be resilient is crucial to EQ. It’s imperative to understand that failure is only final if we stop trying. Failure is simply an opportunity to learn, better prepare ourselves and come out the gate stronger next time. We must teach ourselves how to become more resilient. This comes with practice and understanding what went wrong, and how we better prepare for the future.
4. Be more flexible and receptive to change.
Change is the only constant.
Being emotionally intelligent involves knowing when to stick to routines that work, and when to adapt to new trends knowing that there are better or more efficient ways and systems to grow. Author Steven J. Stein says, “When it’s time to move on, people high in emotional intelligence can make that adjustment. Although you might find it uncomfortable to try new things, most people find the short-term pain worth the long-term gain. Part of growing as a person involves learning new skills and approaches and experiencing new relationships and places.”
5. Practice responding rather than reacting.
Is there that person in your office who REACTS, rather than RESPONDS? How do others perceive them?
Author and coach Hannah Braime says, “Reacting is an unconscious process where we experience an emotional trigger, and behave in an unconscious way that expresses or relieves that emotion (for example, feeling irritated and snapping at the person who has just interrupted you). Responding is a conscious process that involves noticing how you feel, then deciding how you want to behave (for example, feeling irritated, explaining to the person how you feel, why this isn’t a good time to be interrupting you, and when would be better).”
You can clearly see how people with high emotional intelligence can be as asset to the workplace today.
I’d love to know, how do you rate in EQ? Is this something you’re working on? Do you see the value in a high EQ in the workplace or are you more old-school, still only valuing IQ? Personally, there are three traits I value the most in the workplace: grit, motivation and willpower.