What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is about learning to better understand our emotions (as well as emotions of those around us) while finding the most effective way to manage how we react to them so we can get on with our real work.
Once we become aware of connections between our emotions and our actions (as well as the actions of those around us) we have a better chance of learning to recognize any automatic reactions that may get in our way.
Instead of letting emotions take the lead over our brains, emotional intelligence techniques help us learn to relegate emotions to their proper place – while we step through them and act with an eye toward achieving maximum work outcomes as best as possible, unhindered by the buzzing bees of emotions gone wild.
An organization, which is emotionally intelligent, has staff who are:
motivated, productive, efficient, aligned with the business, and committed;
Effective, confident, likable, happy, and rewarded.
What is the Effect of low Emotional Intelligence?
When a company must manage a high number of workers who are emotionally immature, its focus changes from production to correction.
One of the characteristics of low EI is poor impulse control – the inability to stop, think and decide. Poor impulse control can be evidenced in an employee who reacts to situations without adequate consideration instead of planning and preparing for various scenarios.
Low EI also causes difficulty managing stressful situations. There are often instances at work that induce stress, and the inability of employees to react in a mature and productive manner could severely damage an organization.
Consider the following scenario:
An employee made a bid for a work project and was awarded the assignment. Work begins but the employee begins to feel overwhelmed and no longer desires to complete the project. In a panic, they return the assignment to the manager and request personal time off.
They also displayed an inability to self-analyze to determine if they were capable of completing the project.
They bid on a job impulsively without studying all the circumstances. When in a stressful situation, they chose to react hastily without considering the consequences – positive or negative – of their actions.
This type of occurrence can be extremely costly to a business. It could cause loss of client, personnel, time and money to reassign the project and meet client specifications.
Low levels of EI also contribute to poor emotional understanding and irrational thinking. Emotions cannot be controlled if they are not first accepted and understood.
Under these circumstances employees are not able to view a situation accurately, and particularly not in relation to how it affects others.
Consider this situation:
Two employees are approaching a project deadline, and believe they may not complete the job successfully in the remaining time allotted. They continue to work on the project – missing the deadline – and then turn it in when completed. They did not provide any notice to their superior or to the client.
In this scenario, low EI has again caused the employees to react to situations from an immature viewpoint. They realized they would not meet the deadline, but did not think further about the ramifications for the company. Nor did they seek assistance outside of themselves in order to achieve a successful outcome. Not only would this situation cost the company money, but imagine the work environment that exists if employees do not exhibit concern for their superiors.
Alternatives for improving Emotional Intelligence in organizations:
After you gain an understanding of what the EI levels within the organization are, a few tactics can be integrated into the organization to increase EI levels:
1– Organizations should incorporate stress-reduction techniques into the workplace wherever possible (offer yoga classes, discounted gym membership, meditation/prayer rooms, provide information on stress-reduction techniques).
a- Help with the management of stress.
b- Socialize employees with each other.
a- More cost on the Organization.
b- Results may be counterproductive due to more contact.
2– Organizations should implement activities that foster togetherness, allow employees to bond, and build relationships, in order to increase empathy. This can be done through employee retreats and weekly/monthly employee outings.
a- Increase empathy will improve the workplace.
b- Focusing on the similarities between employees.
c- Socialize employees with each other.
a- Results may be counterproductive due to more contact.
b- Results may not be accurate.
3– Cognitive Behavioral Coaching has become an increasingly popular practice in businesses. Coaching employees toward Emotional Intelligence through a deep self-awareness that examines beliefs and influences actions reverts the focus of the company from correction to production.
a- Enhance interpersonal skills so that teammates can relate more strongly to each other.
b- Improve empathy so that members can better understand each other, which reduces misinterpretations.
c- Manage stress better so that work does not get derailed.
d- Increase emotional self-awareness so that emotions can be managed when things get tense.
e- Get better impulse control because conflict often arises from someone saying something too negative without thinking.
f- Increase optimism so that team efforts can focus on moving forward.
g- Develop better problem-solving skills.
a- Some Employees may reject coaching.
b- Results are not accurate.
c- Slow procedure as training and coaching takes time.
4– Create trustworthy work space, make sure your employees; environment provides some degree of freedom and autonomy for them to follow instincts when it comes to solving problems.
Employees should feel well in working environment; so, take care of temperature level, light, ventilation, and office furniture that influence physical condition,preventing problems with back and neck. Also, remember that work environment is a reflection of mood and motivation; so allow employees to organize it the way to feel cozy: plants on a table, inspirational quotes on walls, funny cups,the color of walls in the office.
a- Help keep employee’s physical condition.
b- Employees start to feel cozy in work place.
c- Increase productivity.
d- Increase of the workspace spirit.
a- Not all employees will have the same taste in choosing colors or decorations.
b- Employees could get jealous from each other.
I think here that when I start my own business I have to analyze my personality and determine my emotional intelligence before even hiring anyone, then I should start to hire managers with high levels of (EI) ; Managers with high levels of emotional intelligence know how their emotions can affect those around them.
Using a Cognitive Behavioral Coaching at workplace will be the fastest way to fix the low emotional intelligence because you will have on spot feedback, also the ability to determine all the weak points and trying to fix it directly will sure help the Company decrease losses of all kinds.