Employers always check a candidate’s suitability for a job vacancy – looking for their experience, relevant qualifications and traits such as dependability and timekeeping. But more and more employers are looking for something else – and that is emotional intelligence.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Simply put, emotional intelligence, or EI, refers to the ability to manage your own emotions as well as being conscious of other’s emotions.
It indicates their ability to empathise with others, to work collaboratively and to motivate themselves at work. It covers attributes such as self-awareness, motivation, empathy, social skills and self-regulation.
It’s no use hiring a new member of staff who is super-qualified and has multiple skills if they can’t relate to other team members, are not able to motivate themselves and don’t get on with the customers.
As a leader, it pays to consider the emotional intelligence of potential employees to ensure the smooth running of your team and the company overall.
How Does it Benefit the Workplace?
Embracing EI in your organisation has many benefits; these are just a few.
- Welcoming environment
EI will create a pleasant working environment for all and a great place to work will boost morale. Your team may already enjoy their work, but with an excellent office culture, they will enjoy being with the people they work with too!
And, when people get on, everything runs more smoothly.
Where respect is shown for others and employees focus on diversity and inclusivity, you will be able to develop a culture that will not only ensure retention of staff long term but will be irresistibly attractive to new top talent in the marketplace.
A team with high EI will work better together and communicate more effectively.
As a leader, encouraging your team to share ideas and give everyone a fair say will lead to employees valuing everyone’s contribution and working together towards solutions.
The respect that is borne out of collaborative working will ensure your team will work holistically, without you having to rein in individuals who want to take over or prise thoughts from those who hold back.
- Agile team
We often struggle with change. It’s human nature to want to keep things safe; as we know and like them.
No company can stand still if it wants to be successful, but even knowing that change is necessary to grow the business, or is due to external circumstances, it can be difficult as a leader to negotiate your way around a team who are resistant to change.
With higher EI, your team will be more open to change – seeing it as a positive – which will make them more agile and ensure the process will be smoother.
Often, it only takes one or two people with a positive attitude to turn the whole team around to their way of thinking – so embrace your positive thinkers!
Managing employees who are defensive when receiving feedback can be exhausting. It can result in a drop in productivity and have a detrimental effect on both the individual and the team.
Those with a higher EI are in tune with their strengths and weaknesses and are better able to take feedback positively, seeing it as constructive in helping them grow and improve.
Self-control is a crucial tool for leaders. When faced with a difficult task – for example, if you have to reprimand or even fire someone – your EI will enable you to remain calm and reasonable. Those with higher EI know that reacting negatively or even aggressively to a bad situation will only make things worse.
- Better Time-Management
Whether it’s the deadline for an important project or a matter of being punctual at the office every day, you expect your team to manage their timekeeping efficiently.
Hiring employees with a higher EI will enable you to avoid micromanaging, as your team will be respectful enough to ensure they are on time each day and will be able to prioritise tasks for themselves and hit those deadlines.
Having higher motivation undoubtedly increases morale across your team. In a workplace where individuals are focused on their work – productive, collaborative, respectful of each other and working in an inclusive environment – it’s inevitable that morale will be high. This, in turn, will lead to even happier staff and more productivity.
It’s a win-win situation!
EI Advantages for Leaders
We’ve established that it’s critical to have a team with high EI, but how do you, as a leader, measure up?
Quality leadership means having empathy for your teams’ feelings and individual situation. It means knowing what makes them tick, to enable them to flourish. It means nurturing and supporting them to grow and providing inspiration.
In other words, leading by example.
People who work for leaders with high EI are motivated to do their best simply because they feel valued and are therefore inspired to do so.
This can have an enormous impact on the company overall by enabling everyone to grow and develop stable bonds and shared goals.
It will ensure you can manage relationships both internally and externally, enabling your business to stand out amongst competitors.
About Excel Communications
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