Did you know, if you are in a room with ten people with a relatively mid to high IQ, it will actually be their EQ which sets them apart?
EQ is the emotional quotent- a measure of an individual's emotional intelligence (EI). Being high in EI doesn't mean you are always emotional, not at all! high EI comes from being smart about and recognising emotions.
Psychologists, such as Mayer and Salovey, have researched this assumption and have concluded that Emotional Intelligence (EI) is equally, if not more important than IQ when it comes to business performance.
This is because an individual with high EQ has good self-awareness, that is, they have an ability to understand their own thoughts and feelings and why they feel the way they do... They are probably good at checking themselves too, so that they can effectively choose the most appropriate behaviour for a given situation, rather than just respond with 'instict'. Their high EQ will also enable them to tune in with an awareness of others, what they think, feel and why.
Why bother with Emotional Intelligence in the workplace?
Research into EI in the workplace is very persuasive. A study by Hunter, Schmidt and Judiesch (1990) set the scene for thousands of investigations into the Economic Value of EI competencies. Their Research showed that the higher someone’s EQ the more productive they are at work. They looked at superior performers in sales companies, who earned their companies 88 times their own salary as opposed to average performers who did not bring in enough revenue to even match their own annual salary. Studies of this nature have often been replicated and add to the overwhelming evidence for the cost benefits of having an emotionally intelligent workforce.
Our Head Coach here at besthopes conducted research into the effectiveness of conversations. She found that with training in EI, leaders are able to engage their staff more effectively and have an increased impact on the behaviour outcomes associated with higher levels of productivity.
How can Emotional Intelligence be increased?
The good news is that EI is observable, measurable and quantifiable in the form of competencies. In other words, if an individual exhibits certain EI behaviours that can be observed, then they are demonstrating emotional intelligence. These behaviours can be learned by anyone motivated to improve his or her effectiveness. At besthopes we can use psychometric and self-report analysis of how individuals currently respond to various difficult situations and then tailor an individual development plan based on their current levels of EI. Once someone becomes more aware of their behaviour patterns they can be coached and facilitated to create new options for themselves. Equally, they can identify what they are already doing well and choose to do more of it!
The benefits of EI on morale are equally impressive. Sickness absence, low productivity, stress in the workplace and employee disengagement can often be attributed to development needs in the area of interpersonal EI.
The besthopes team have years of consultancy experience which helps identify how increased EI, on an individual and team level, can improve organisational culture, impact on the bottom line and create happy people who are much more likely to embrace a challenge and reach their potential.
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