Emotional intelligence is giving people in business ‘all the feels’ these days. If I’m quoting my millennial slang properly. ( I really am a horrible millennial I mean I don’t even say ‘totes’ and AF doesn’t make it into my vocabulary.) But, why is emotional intelligence making its way into everyday business conversation? Why not someone’s IQ or the academic accolades they bring to the table? Do emotions have a place in business? Business is business, not personal so what do emotions have to with the equation? Well, we are still people even when we walk through the doors of our company. Emotions can’t simply be turned off. However, they can be managed and used to your benefit.
What is emotional intelligence?
Psychologist Dr. Goleman defines emotional intelligence as “a person’s ability to manage his feelings so that those feelings are expressed appropriately and effectively.” He also goes on to state that this trait is a huge predictor of professional success. It’s comprised of four attributes according to Entrepreneur.
Self – awareness
Self awareness means you are aware of your emotions as they are happening.
Managing your emotions and allowing them to dictate your behavior in a positive way.
Picking up on other peoples emotions. This gives you a deeper understanding of what is really going on in a situation. It’s non-verbal understanding of a situation.
Being conscious of your emotions and those around you. You use that awareness to manage interaction effectively.
What about IQ?
Wasn’t that all the rage a long time ago? Someone has a high IQ and is very academically gifted. Of course, they will excel in whatever profession they choose right? Their social skills aren’t relevant! Unless the person in question will not have any contact with the outside world then some degree of social skills is important. IQ tests are actually quite controversial. IQ tests were a tool used by eugenicists who would force sterilization on those deemed to have a low IQ according to the conversation. Luckily, we have turned a new leaf regarding IQ tests (thank goodness!) IQ tests are now being used to identify gifted and talented students who may otherwise slip through the cracks. Structural inequalities can have an impact on IQ tests too such as exposure to poisons or other harmful substances. This can help school administrators identify issues before it’s too late.
IQ is used in school.
EQ is used at work ie. real life.
Check your feelings at the door we have work to do
Some people take this philosophy at work but it isn’t a good idea. For starters, it’s completely unrealistic we are human beings. We are not robots so emotional intelligence is important. Also, it’s a total rouge. I heard this phrase or ‘I’m here to work’. To the nieve young employee, you may take that person phrase at face value. But, in my experience, people who say this kind of things have difficulty getting along with others at work and create friction with other co-workers.
Honestly, it doesn’t matter how good of an employee they are the drama they cause it more trouble than keeping them employed is worth. Here’s the kicker these people who say ‘I’m here for the work’ and nothing else are pretty low performers. They don’t help out their co-workers, are selfish, and are not team players. I’m here for the work is really code for ‘I’m in it for myself leave me alone.’
Talk about short-sighted.
It’s a small world you don’t when you will meet someone or when networking will come in handy.
Way to burn your bridges.
Why is emotional intelligence so important?
Emotional intelligence is essential if you want to be successful in your career. You have to work with people. Even if you work in a morgue you still have to work with live people on a daily basis. So, what makes each component of Emotional intelligence so important?
Self-awareness: Constructive criticism – it’s not a bad thing and can help you grow. Those with high self-awareness are more receptive to constructive criticism as a way to develop personally and professionally.
Self-regulation: restraining one’s emotions can be a difficult thing to master. But those who can are able to pause and think of the right thing to say and do in the situation. Instead of something they regret.
Motivation: Not just motivated by money. That fades. Those who are intrinsically motivated are known to have higher EQ.
Empathy: Not just sympathy ‘oh I’m so sorry’ but empathy. The ability to really relate and understand what is going on with someone. Their struggles or their triumphs.
Social skills: You know those people with no common sense. Or, those really academic people who are awkward in social situations. These types have high IQ’s but low EQ’s. Social skills bring all the other components together. It builds the trust essential for growing long-standing relationships.
Unlike IQ’s EQ can be learned and increased. It’s pretty cool how it works. “As you train your brain by repeatedly practicing new emotionally intelligent behaviors, your brain builds the pathways needed to make them into habits.” You can train yourself to have higher EQ and reach your professional goals.
The main takeaway
People with high EQ are more likable, easy to get along with, and easier to work with. They are also more likely to be hired than those with low EQ. High EQ is also an indicator that it will be easier for you to fit into a company culture.
Think about it:
Do you want to work for the boss that is only out for himself?
Do you want to work for with the guy who can’t control his temper? Especially during client meetings?
So, is emotional intelligence worth all the hype?
We’ve turned a new leaf in many company cultures and it could not come too soon.