Emotional intelligence skills are vital when it comes to dealing with people in the workplace. But the good news is, if you haven’t been born with naturally good emotional intelligence, it’s a skill that can constantly be learned and refined.
Those who actively practise their emotional intelligence skills are more personable, better leaders and they are better equipped to navigate difficult situations with people compared to those who don’t.
But what do I believe to be the main benefits of emotional intelligence at work? Read on to find out.
- Better self-awareness
Self-awareness really is the key to self-improvement and better emotional intelligence.
When you are self-aware, you’re able to have difficult conversations with yourself around your own behaviour. Why you behave in a certain way, what you’re not so good at, what your triggers are and what causes you to respond emotionally in certain situations.
Once we can recognise and evaluate our own behaviour, how we are perceived by others become a lot clearer. We are then able to actively modify our behaviour which, in turn, makes us appear more personable to others.
- Better leadership
It’s impossible to be a great leader without possessing developed levels of emotional intelligence skills.
The best leaders inspire confidence in their subordinates and make them want to work hard – not only for themselves but for the collective power and productivity of the team.
It’s very difficult to do this if you lack the interpersonal skills needed to form great relationships with others – things like commanding respect but also being fair. Showing weakness and vulnerability, but in the right setting. Being empathetic and available should your people need to confide in you.
In many workplaces, there is an “us” (the team) vs. “them” (the managers) environment or mentality – however, this is not the way to get the best out of your team.
By working on your emotional intelligence skills, you are setting the foundation for being the best possible leader you can be in the workplace.
- Staying ahead of the game
Many companies are stuck in the age-old way of doing things, but the way we work is constantly changing. Some companies still don’t see the importance of promoting good work-life balance, flexible and remote working or supporting employees with their mental health.
The same can be said of emotional intelligence. Often, it is not at the forefront of hiring manager’s minds when they look to recruit. Things like work experience and past positions are often prioritised over personality.
Often, when companies hire the “wrong person”, it’s because they’ve picked someone who doesn’t fit well within the team dynamic – rather than them lacking the skills and experience needed to do the job (though the latter, of course, can happen too).
People with emotional intelligence are much more empathetic, likeable and able to connect well with their colleagues. By prioritising hiring people who show a good level of emotional intelligence during the interview stages, companies should be able to reduce staff turnover and boost productivity.
Not only are emotionally intelligent people an asset to their workplaces, investing in them becomes a wise, money-saving, performance-enhancing business decision as well.
On reflection, does your team possess good emotional intelligence skills? What do you think they could improve on?
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