Most HR professionals will be quick to tell you about the myriad benefits of emotional intelligence in the workplace – it’s a topic that’s been at the heart of plenty of human resources studies in the past thirty years.
Unfortunately, most professionals still don’t realize why emotional intelligence is such an important workplace priority. However, that seems to be changing – a steadily growing number of corporate mindfulness programs shows that emotional intelligence and self-awareness is becoming as important as it should be for many corporations.
With this in mind, we’ll explore some of the many benefits of increased emotional intelligence right here!
Emotional Intelligence 101
Emotional intelligence is one of the many different forms of intelligence. And while social intelligence helps you navigate social interactions with others, and mathematical intelligence helps you solve logical problems – emotional intelligence shows your capacity to recognize, control, and manage your emotions. Also, your level of emotional intelligence shows your ability to recognize and process the emotions of others.
Similarly to other forms of intelligence, some people are just naturally gifted with high EQ – the emotional equivalent of IQ. However, it’s also something you can develop and practice. It’s a useful trait to develop in everyday life – and we’ll show you how it benefits you in the workplace.
You don’t need an MBA in human resources to figure out that teamwork is essential for the success of any business enterprise – even the smallest company cannot function if all its employees and decision-makers aren’t working towards the same goal.
Luckily, people with high EQ tend to make excellent teammates, for a few important reasons. First of all, they’re simply better at communicating their thoughts and feelings. But perhaps even more importantly, they’re open to the thoughts and feelings of others – they’re far better listeners than people with lower EQ.
Of course, the sharing of power and responsibilities is an important quality – both in team leaders and teammates. If the team is going to succeed and be efficient, every member must be prepared to share responsibilities and delegate some of their work to others. And emotionally intelligent people are rarely control freaks.
They’ve also got a higher capacity for trust – which is essential for efficient delegation. Plus, high-EQ individuals tend to be more respectful, thoughtful, and considerate – an ideal mix of character traits for a work environment.
Higher-Quality Company Culture
Speaking of the work environment – bear in mind that having a large number of emotionally intelligent individuals is extremely beneficial for workplace morale. Such a workforce will almost certainly establish a better company culture – and each individual in it will be better at respecting the rules and boundaries set by that culture.
It’s not rocket science, really – when the staff is made up of people who get along and respect each other on a daily basis, everything will function smoothly. That’s basically what all of those expensive team-building trips and events try to foster – a sense of camaraderie among the workforce that will lead them to achieve better results in the long run.
Any successful business depends on innovation. And that means constantly finding ways to improve your processes, shaking things up when necessary, and avoiding stagnation. However, a company can’t change if its employees don’t change with it.
Luckily, emotionally intelligent employees are far more flexible and far better at adapting to change. They find adjusting to change simpler than people who don’t have the emotional capacity to survey themselves, their environment, and their colleagues properly. And this positivity and lack or reluctance to change isn’t just great for the employees that possess them, but also for the company in general.
There’s no way to improve yourself if you cannot properly assess yourself in the first place. That’s why one of the biggest advantages of higher emotional intelligence is more self-awareness.
High-EQ people can take constructive criticism and feedback head-on – and even more importantly, they’re capable of acting on it and improving themselves as professionals and as people.
Ask any manager, and they’ll be able to name countless cases in which it was difficult to talk with employees about their subpar performance – they’d simply get too defensive and wouldn’t process the information properly. Even worse, this frustration would mount over time and lead to those employees becoming even less productive in the long run.
None of this is particularly surprising – people can’t understand their personal limitations quite often, but it’s especially disastrous in their professional lives. That’s why high-EQ people are valued members of any team; they’re extremely self-aware, they’re perfectly aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and they’re capable of amping up the former while fixing the latter. Ultimately, they’re just better at self-improvement because of their self-awareness.