What is Emotional Intelligence in The Workplace?

The notion of emotional intelligence was captured by psychologists Peter Salovey and John Mayer in a landmark article back in 1990. EQ is classified as the ability to identify, evaluate, and manage emotional responses in those around you, as well as your own self.

What does Emotional Intelligence Look like?

As a recruiter, it’s highly likely you’re already in tune with the majority of the aspects involved in utilising emotional intelligence as a skill. There are currently 3 main models used to understand and convey what emotional intelligence is. The first model is based purely on ability, the second is based on character traits, and the third is a mixture of both.

How valuable is Emotional Intelligence?

Teaching emotional intelligence has become big business, because of the impact it can have on individuals and their performance within the workplace. It drives cooperation, interaction and ultimately efficiency.

EQ is a combination of five key aspects and these are broken down across 2 competencies.

Personal Competence

  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Regulation
  • Motivation

Social Competence

  • Empathy
  • Social Skills

People who are in sync with their own emotional intelligence are likely to be able to interact much better with colleagues and are often able to resolve conflicts and challenging situations within the workplace. These individuals are also more likely to be able to learn from their own previous mistakes, enabling continuous personal development and growth.

Implementing Emotional Intelligence

There are some simple actions which everyone can engage in during their working day, which will lead to improved interactions with colleagues, and often alleviate the fear of facing challenging situations. 

Communication is Key

  1. By keeping other people informed about certain issues or challenges you remove low morale. Being included makes each person feel like a valued as an employee and as an individual.
  2. Being available to talk to people will also encourage them to tell you things which they may not have previously. This allows you to find out what’s really going on around you, both good and bad. Maintaining eye contact and responding calmly
  3. Listening is the best source of information. Take the time to listen to your colleagues without interruption at least twice a day, especially with co-workers who you struggle to do this with.
  4. By looking at what your colleague, manager or employee wants to achieve you can better understand the reasons behind a certain approach being taken. 

Feedback V Criticism

  1. It’s essential to resolve conflict and evaluate a person’s behaviour rather than them as an individual.
  2. Acknowledging team members ideas and input, even if they don’t quite fit with the general view again reinforces someone's value as an employee and encourages creativity.
  3. Accepting constructive criticism provides an opportunity to resolve a situation rather than seeing it as a further negative construct.

 Overall recognising and employing Emotional Intelligence in the workplace increases team performance, improves decision making, increases personal well being and decreases stress within the workplace.

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