Emotional intelligence in the workplace is becoming more desired in job candidates. And EQ can be improved just like any other skill.
It’s becoming clear that emotional intelligence, or EQ, is becoming more valued at home and at work. The components that make up emotional intelligence—things like self-control, perseverance, grit, and empathy—have clear benefits to people’s personal lives, but recently the focus has turned to the benefits of taking seriously emotional intelligence in the workplace.
All of the EQ elements that make someone a good friend, partner, or family member can certainly apply to what makes a good co-worker. If you have a job that requires collaboration, everything is easier with emotional intelligence in the mix. People and project managers, whose primary task is to manage those under their charge, are going to be much more effective if they’re able to really understand the motivations of the people they’re responsible for rather than losing their tempers if something is done incorrectly.
In today’s day, understanding how to improve emotional intelligence in the workplaces can seriously contribute to the success of small businesses which rely on their small core teams. Due to the size of their workforces, it can perhaps be more crucial to the SMB sector than larger companies.
Why emotional intelligence in the workplace matters
Of course, emotional intelligence isn’t a stand alone secret sauce for a stellar employee, but it is one of the main elements that pairs nicely with skills and experience.
Imagine this: you have two candidates that are equally trained and skilled, but one has much greater emotional intelligence than the other. Choosing the candidate with the higher EQ means an employee who can apply EQ seamlessly across managing teams, connecting with customers, leading cross-team collaborations and resolving workplace conflicts calmly and kindly.
Because almost any business will require interaction with customers or coworkers, employees with high emotional intelligence will mean less friction among and across teams and more effective management. With interpersonal conflicts reduced, think about the increase in productivity your company will likely see.
How emotional intelligence in the workplace influences company culture
Emotional intelligence (or the lack thereof) can make a major difference in your company culture. Emotionally intelligent managers won’t need to resort to yelling or other belittling, which will save your company from becoming the toxic work environment that inspires employees to quit left and right. Emotionally intelligent people will naturally create a more serene, respectful, and conflict-free culture among their co-workers. Sales and marketing teams will be better able to intuit what your customers really want because they will have the ability to identify with the people buying your service or product thanks to their higher capacity for empathy.
How to craft a company culture that improves your employees’ EQ
While some will have a naturally high emotional intelligence, EQ is a skill just like any other—it can be taught, learned, and refined over time.
In order to cultivate emotional intelligence at work through your company culture, the key is to prioritize it. Consider EQ skills alongside other hard skills when you evaluate your employees. Things like empathetic communication and openness to feedback are two skills you can hone in on to start as you figure out what exactly EQ looks like at your small business.
As a leader, it will be your responsibility to not only model the kind of EQ skills you’ll want to see in your employees, but have the same expectations of other leaders who you should be holding to the same standards. If your employees see you taking emotional intelligence in the workplace seriously, they’re likely to follow suit.