The term “emotional intelligence” means being cognizant of your own emotions and the emotions of those around you, as well as how they are impacted by daily occurrences. Being aware of others’ emotions is a major asset, as it can improve interpersonal and working relationships and make the organization run more smoothly.
In the working world, emotional intelligence can help employees mitigate emotional outbursts and be more aware of what may cause them to have these outsized emotional responses. Additionally, it can make them more aware of how their actions impact others and encourage them to take steps to ensure their impact on others is positive, thus fostering better working relationships and improving efficiency.
For managers, emotional intelligence can be used not only to help temper their own emotions but also to help them recognize others and tailor their reactions to each situation to help their employees navigate difficulties. Managers who react with emotional intelligence to stressful situations can thus ensure their teams work better together.
5 Tips for Improving Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace
Here are some ways HR personnel can impact emotional intelligence in their organization:
- Consider conducting training sessions that tackle components of emotional intelligence. (And remember that these can be useful at all levels of the organization. Not everyone has emotional intelligence, but it can be learned.)
- Consider training those involved in the recruiting process to look for signs of emotional intelligence in prospective employees. This should be high on the priority list when assessing potential new hires. People with high emotional intelligence will be better hires and improve overall performance while reducing the likelihood of turnover.
- Emotional intelligence (or a lack thereof) can have ripple effects throughout the organization, which is an important consideration when convincing leaders to invest in ways to improve it. For example, low emotional intelligence can lead to employee conflicts, which will clearly have a negative impact. The return on investment (ROI) on improving emotional intelligence levels can therefore be dramatic.
- Consider adding emotional well-being components to your benefits program, such as meditation classes or much more comprehensive changes to the benefit structure.
- Make emotional intelligence a criterion for promotion. After all, it can have an outsized impact on someone’s ability to be a good leader.
Organizations that model high levels of emotional intelligence tend to have higher performance levels, as well. Managers with high levels of emotional intelligence treat their employees fairly and consider their needs before making decisions, and their employees are more likely to feel heard. Teams also work better together when they care about the impact they have on others, improving working relationships. These are just a few ways high emotional intelligence can be exhibited and acted upon.