Can Emotional Intelligence make you more successful in the workplace?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, Intelligence quotient (IQ) is a measure of someone’s intelligence found from specific tests. Emotional quotient (EQ) is a measurement of a person’s emotional intelligence. This is their ability to understand their own feelings and the feelings of others.

IQ is used to determine academic abilities and identify individuals with off-the-chart intelligence or mental challenges. EQ is used to identify leaders, good team players, and people who best work by themselves.  When it comes to the workplace it is equally important to consider both abilities in people especially when hiring them.

Intelligence is important for people to be successful with analysing, researching and problem-solving. They can spot people who are also highly capable as well as people that are not as gifted with intelligence.

Emotionally intelligent people are gifted in teamwork and leadership scenarios, can build successful relationships and can collaborate well with others. They can also spot future leaders and team players as well as noticing people who are being pushed out of their comfort zone.

The fact that fewer companies now specify education backgrounds shows that they are moving forward and considering emotional intelligence as a factor. There will be roles that will require a degree, I don’t fancy visiting a doctor that was hired based on their EQ, however, the ones that don’t will mention leadership requirements which open the position to different types of candidates.

In my previous company we based all our review measures on EQ. We would measure our managers and colleagues on Collaboration, Empathy, Innovation, Responsiveness and Resilience. These skills were important as it helped us to build strong teams and customer relationships. The graduates that joined our teams at manager level may have had a higher IQ but sometimes really lacked EQ. This meant that they would soon find themselves in sticky situations where they tried to apply their educations and problem-solving skills to situations. This very rarely worked as you are working with people not numbers. This retail sector didn’t necessarily require a high level of IQ but many emotional skills such as:

  1. High self-awareness: the ability to tune in to information about yourself and to use it to help you navigate life successfully.
  2. Mood management: the ability to manage your emotions, to shake off bad moods and switch into a good mood.
  3. Self-motivation: the ability to get yourself to do the necessary tasks, to bounce back quickly from setbacks.
  4. Interpersonal expertise: the ability to relate well to others, workout conflict, give and take criticism, build consensus, enhance team communication.
  5. Emotional mentoring: the ability to help others manage their emotions, to help others motivate themselves and to help others work out conflict.

If EQ is so important in business can it be improved? Absolutely! There are a few things you can consider doing if you want to improve your EQ :

Good coaching programs work well – There are lots of programs online and in many business training manuals. Do your research and make full use of the internet and get the best of it. Also, speak to your manager or HR manager to find out if there is any company training that you can take part in.

You can only improve if you get accurate feedback – Go back to the people that you work with and as them to give you some honest and constructive feedback. It’s great to go to people that you work closely with as well as people you rarely interact with. You may find out from them that you have very unfriendly body language that makes you unapproachable.

In conclusion, you can become more emotionally intelligent with training and feedback, but ultimately this is down to you wanting to achieve it. These skills are hard to teach which means you can facilitate the process but you can’t make people get it. This is a journey that they need to undertake themselves and hopefully become more successful as a result.