People have been talking about emotional intelligence in the business world for a while. And even though the focus is often on pursuing knowledge, education, and gaining experience – many studies suggest that success is not always correlated with a high IQ but rather a high EQ (emotional quotient). Today it’s hard to imagine a leading company that hasn’t focused on EQ to promote a positive work environment, attract top talent, increase profitability, performance, and build resilience.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
The term Emotional Intelligence was defined by Psychologists Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer in the early 90s as the “ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions.” Next Steven Stein, a clinical psychologist, expounded upon their work, creating a psychological assessment aimed to help individuals assess and develop their emotional intelligence. A major contribution to popularizing the term has Daniel Goleman and his book “Emotional Intelligence, Why it can Matter More Than IQ”. Another popular book to increase EQ is Emotional intelligence 2.0 by Drs. Jean Greaves and Travis Bradberry.
Today emotional intelligence is deeply valued by employers and its impact has a profound effect on everything an individual does. We understand EQ as a way of thinking and acting; a way of becoming more self-aware and those around us. It is said that Emotional intelligence has five main elements:
- Self-awareness - being aware of your strengths as well as weaknesses.
- Self-regulation – having the ability to manage your behavior and emotions to achieve a positive goal.
- Motivation – being in a position to do a series of tasks (even through challenging times) and positively influence others with your action.
- Empathy – putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and empathizing with them.
- Social skills –listen to people, being interested in their stories, and effectively communicating.
How EQ Drives Business Success
Human Resources managers, business leaders, CEOs, politicians, academics; everyone can benefit from a higher EQ. It’s a requisite in the modern business world. In fact, according to one survey of hiring managers, almost 75% of respondents suggested that they valued an employee's EQ more than their IQ. There have also been studies that argue for the correlation between job satisfaction and more emotionally intelligent employees. Good leaders recognize that growing a highly emotionally intelligent team is fundamental for building a strong organization and providing a positive and meaningful experience for their customers.
How to Improve EQ in the Workplace
An important aspect of EQ is knowing that it can be improved through learning and practice. Emotional intelligence in the workplace allows people to express themselves openly without fear of offending coworkers, gives them freedom of creativity, and promotes active listening.
In the article Building the Emotional Intelligence of Groups by Vanessa Urch Druskat and Steven B. Wolff proposed that emotional intelligence underlies the effective processes of successful teams and that these processes cannot be copied. They must spawn from actual emotional intelligence at the team level.
To foster highly EQ teams, managers need to lead with Emotional Intelligence. Effective leadership needs to develop a collective sense of goals, create a strategic roadmap for achieving them, generate enthusiasm, confidence, and optimism while supporting trust and cooperation. Working towards a flexible and engaging work environment where teamwork is valued and appreciated (for example with quick kudos messages) as well as recognizing the accomplishments and hard work of team members is essential for improving morale and EQ in the workplace. Everyone in a high EQ team should have a sense of purpose supported by the company’s mission and values that have been established. Additionally, the team should have the opportunity to share their ideas – everyone in the company should have a voice. Another important factor in improving the team’s EQ is encouraging team members to disconnect from work take breaks and vacations, implement Summer Fridays, and Personal Development time.
At iuvo Technologies, we practice these ideals daily, collaboratively listening to one another’s feedback and thinking creatively to improve our processes and ultimately, our customer’s experiences. We use and practice the pillars of EQ to turn self-awareness into actionable business intelligence. Our knowledge and depth of experience are cavernous, but high emotional intelligence is crucial to our success.
If you are interested to discuss further how EQ can help your organization, please contact us!