Whether we like it or not, emotions have a huge impact on today's business. From the stressed out co-worker, to the customer's emotionally based purchase of, or not purchasing of, your product.
Emotions play a critical role in the work environment. Dominance and cooperation, among other rules of behavior, are triggered by emotion. Before the 90s, this may have been understood here and there through a manager's own intuition, but was largely ignored in favor of more traditional dominant management techniques. It gained a lot of notice in 1995, when Daniel Goleman, psychologist, author, and scientific journalist, published his book, titled Emotional Intelligence.
Effective management now takes emotions into account when dealing with employees. Gone are the days of the authoritarian managers. The 'Do It Or Else' method of management no longer has a place in today's work environment, and is quickly falling out of favor.
With the baby boomer population heading into retirement by the droves, the workforce is set to shrink rapidly, leaving quite a few openings that managers will have to scramble to fill. As this problem begins to worsen, it has been discovered that traditional management styles are no longer effective, particularly when it comes to employee retention.
A good manager realizes that the emotional and technical facets of most workplace situations are closely entwined, and a technical problem can morph into an emotional problem.
Large, and even small changes in the work environment can cause stress to one, or even all, employees, whether it be in a single department or companywide. Management needs to be able to spot these problems early on, and take effective steps to mitigate the situation.
Perception is the key. What may seem like an easy transition, or even a daily task, can become perceived as a problem or a bother, and can cause an employee to falter at his or her task. If not handled in a timely fashion, what started out as a minor irritation can become a full blown complication. The mood of one person can directly affect every employee that comes in contact with that person, snowballing into a major situation.
A manager's mood will have direct consequences on the team as a whole. It is imperative that, as a leader, the management team projects calm, especially in the middle of a crisis. Calm, just like panic, is infectious. There's a cliché- “Lead by Example”. If, as a manager, you allow yourself to buy into the frenzy, your team will become ineffective, and as a result, productivity will drop.
However, Emotional Intelligence is not just effective in management. Individual employees who understand that emotional intelligence influences almost everything... and do on both a personal and professional level, tend to be highly successful, and a lot more productive on a daily basis. These individuals can also help the emotional landscape of the business, as they usually present more of a leadership role, and the other, less informed employees have a tendency to look up to, and emulate these people.
Individual employees having a high degree of EI are beneficial to the company, and themselves. There is a large body of evidence that shows that an employee who understands that his or her EI is the foundation of a multitude of imperative skills, has a tendency to be more successful. Studies have shown that employees with high levels of EI are over 50 percent more successful than their counterparts. This leads to higher pay, with an average increase of over $1000 a year, compared to contemporaries with a lower EI.
The good news is that Emotional Intelligence is a skill that can be learned. Once the new traits are implemented often enough, it becomes automatic. It won't come all at once, and there will probably be some setbacks, and some difficulties, but once you can learn to increase your EI, or that of your employees, the overall productivity of your business will reap untold rewards, and everybody wins!