There's no shortage of content available on the popular topic of emotional intelligence--it's everywhere, and it's found to be one of the most desired qualities for personal and professional development.
But emotional intelligence (EQ) has also been hotly debated by notable thought-leaders choosing sides about its effectiveness as a predictor of job success. Two experts--Adam Grant and Daniel Goleman--have duked it out in the past, with Grant purporting that IQ trumps EQ, and Goleman refuting it.
In my studies and observations over the years, it's obvious that exemplary employees exhibiting emotional intelligence make the workplace better. Scanning over the examples below may give you more incentive to hire more workers with emotional intelligence.
Here are my top eight reasons why you should:
People with a higher EQ communicate better with team members than those who are not in tune with their emotional intelligence. They share ideas and are open to others' ideas. They are less likely to dominate a situation and "take over" without considering and consulting the views of others first. This creates trust as the group works together.
Customer service improves
When you have an office in which peers and colleagues get along, collaborate, and respect one another, the work is more enjoyable and the culture much stronger. In turn, this is reflected in a more positive customer experience.
Change is embraced
As humans, it's normal for employees to struggle with change. With change can come fear, anxiety, and turmoil. However, employees with high EQ adjust easily and embrace the change along with company objectives.
Feedback is welcomed
Managers often run into defensive workers when offering constructive feedback, which can be frustrating for both parties. Employees in tune with their EQ take feedback and use it in a positive way to improve and grow.
Tough situations are handled better
People with high emotional intelligence know how to handle potentially challenging situations, like unhappy customers, disgruntled co-workers, or managers not pleased with your work. A high level of EQ will show up in staying calm and positive during tough conversations, and in showing firmness and boundaries during disagreement, conflicts, or disciplinary action (if you're a manager).
People connect better and support one another
EQ is shown by displaying compassion to others, like helping cover a co-worker's responsibilities during a time of need due to a personal issue. The act of compassion demonstrated between co-workers, and between leaders and employees, brings everyone together and improves morale and the reputation of your organization.
Deadlines and work objectives are seamlessly carried out
Hire a team with high emotional intelligence and watch how much more efficiently they'll manage their time to complete projects and meet important deadlines than those with less EQ. For bosses, this means less need to micromanage. People with EQ just know how to prioritize tasks and get the job done on time.
People are more self-motivated
Emotionally intelligent individuals have a growth mindset. They're naturally optimistic, more resilient when facing obstacles (they don't give up easily), and motivated by their inner ambition and drive to improve and achieve, take initiative, or act on opportunities.
8 questions to assess your emotional intelligence
If your curiosity has gotten the best of you and you're wondering where you stand in relation to the tenets of emotional intelligence, let me offer you a quick way to self-assess your capacity for displaying it.
Daniel Goleman, the foremost authority on emotional intelligence, has put together these questions to help you evaluate your own emotional intelligence and get you thinking about your strengths and limitations in EQ. Try it:
- Are you usually aware of your feelings and why you feel that way?
- Are you aware of your limitations, as well as your personal strengths?
- Can you manage your distressing emotions well--e.g., recover quickly when you get upset or stressed?
- Can you adapt smoothly to changing realities?
- Do you keep your focus on your main goals, and know the steps it takes to get there?
- Can you usually sense the feelings of the people you interact with and understand their way of seeing things?
- Can you guide a negotiation to a satisfactory agreement and help settle conflicts?
- Do you have a knack for persuasion and using your influence effectively?