Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is vital for individuals to maintain healthy and robust relationships. You can say that EQ is also essential to an organisation’s environment.
In an organisation where change is inevitable, managers are supposed to lead employees effectively. So as a leader, you can be critical and apply emotional intelligence at the core of your communication.
With good communication and professionalism, your employees will likely be more efficient, objective, productive, innovative, and creative.
Emotional intelligence is the potential to control your emotions and the capacity to control others’ emotions. It’s a helpful and essential principle that can be part of the change in how people see leadership today.
But is emotional intelligence important for managers? Does their EQ affect their employees’ performance? What is the significance of emotional intelligence in the workplace?
This article discusses ways to improve emotional intelligence. It also tackles EQ’s importance for managers, employees, and the workplace.
Why is Emotional Intelligence important for managers?
Some problems are unavoidable. These problems can sometimes affect relationships among team members. So it’s essential to have managers lead their employees in problem-solving.
EQ is a vital ability a manager should possess because it ensures that the manager recognises employees’ emotions and perspectives and links them to a solution and understanding.
A 2020 study from Clinics in Colon and Rectal Surgery suggested how understanding EQ and its connection to dimensions of personality provides an added tool for leaders to become more successful.
A deeper understanding of behaviour and how it can be utilised to achieve desired outcomes is necessary for optimum performance.
So it’s important to study emotional intelligence and obtain higher EQ skills should you want to yield personal satisfaction and professional success.
EQ has been part of the standard in evaluating managers’ performance effectiveness, making it an essential part of leadership.
Professionals conceive that having emotional intelligence is afflicted to high intelligence quotient (IQ), technical abilities, and communication skills. They’re making the latter irrelevant once a leader lacks emotional intelligence.
The environment of business industries is complicated and demanding as it has a complex run-around. So having qualified technical and communication abilities is one thing, and having emotional intelligence is another.
So let’s look at the components of emotional intelligence in leadership to have the gist before knowing if you have the ability.
First, you must understand your strengths and weaknesses to manage your team’s emotions. Self-awareness is the first component of EQ.
Managers must be aware of what they’re doing and what they can do to manage their employees. This component can help a manager make the best decisions for the company. By reaching out for feedback, managers can estimate their self-awareness.
A manager of a company also needs self-management to lead better. Emotional intelligence is self-management. Leaders should start controlling and managing themselves first before going to the field to lead.
Self-management gives light and silver lining to a manager’s perspective in tough times. It allows them to devise strategic and crucial ways to address obstacles while being composed and situational.
If a manager is self-aware, they also should be able to be mindful of the environment of the company they manage. So the third component of EQ is social awareness.
According to the Center for Creative Leadership Inc (CCL), a global nonprofit provider of leadership development, leaders today must be more person-focused, placing a greater emphasis on empathy or the ability to relate to the emotions, thoughts, and experiences of others.
Empathy is a vital feature that a manager should have. It allows you to understand the emotions of your team, which can lead you to know how to collaborate with them efficiently and effectively.
Being socially aware lets you communicate with your team better while improving your chemistry with them. Experts also state that managers or leaders with social awareness and empathy can expect better results because they understand how their team behaves.
Relationship management is the last component of emotional intelligence.
Leaders should be able to maintain awareness of themselves, the chemistry, and relationships with their team members. Still, leaders also need to have the ability to maintain peace and good relationship among their team members.
You would love to work in a company that doesn’t have a history of multiple conflicts among employees and a toxic work environment.
The manager’s responsibility is to manage the workplace relationship, which is why it’s an essential component of emotional intelligence.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to establish good working connections among your team members. It’s even harder to relate to their emotions, especially if you’re working remotely.
How does the Emotional Intelligence of leaders affect their employees’ performance?
After going through the components of emotional intelligence, it is safe to say that it can provide positive results if a manager exhibits EQ competency. But what are these favourable results to their employees’ performance?
Leaders who have emotional intelligence are usually approachable and constructive. So employees are comfortable speaking out and giving productive feedback, ideas, and opinions. Also, employees tend to feel safe in their work environment.
A manager’s job is to make decisions and changes for the company. However, not all employees are fans of their leaders’ decisions or changes.
Managers should know how their team would react to certain adjustments to have a healthy relationship and work environment.
Personal grudges exist at work. Employees’ productivity tends to get affected when they have a personal grudge against their co-workers and even their managers.
Leaders with emotional intelligence eliminate this issue by managing relationships among and with members. Employees’ performance tends to improve if their mental focus is on the work, not personal and unprofessional grudges.
A significant reason why emotional intelligence is essential in hiring managers is that employees tend to walk on eggshells. When leaders don’t have self-awareness and self-management, they tend to take it out on their employees.
How can you be productive when you feel terrified of submitting your work to your apathetic manager?
Leaders without emotional intelligence tend to prevent team members’ collaboration. Employees don’t have the guts to give ideas, suggestions, or feedback on a particular topic due to fear that their leader would respond hectically.
However, anger isn’t the only basis if a manager doesn’t have emotional intelligence. Some conflicts and situations can be fraught with emotion.
It’s hard to resolve a problem if you’re having difficulty knowing what the conflict is. You must know the emotion of the people involved in a problem to address the issue effectively.
Managers should not be the only ones who have to possess EQ. Employees’ performance isn’t only affected if their leaders have EQ. It also boils down to if they have it, too.
Managers with EQ can also help their employees improve theirs. Suppose you want to see quality work, productive output, and open-mindedness in collaboration. In that case, it should start with the manager having these abilities.
Having a high EQ as a manager plays a significant role in the performance output of your employees. So it’s vital to increase your emotional intelligence.
So if you’re mad, ask yourself first. Is it me? What’s the issue? Did I do something wrong? Ask these questions first before talking to your team.
Be professional, don’t go into the gossip world, and don’t tolerate gossip cause it might lead to personal grudges. Drawing the line between chitchat about the results of a soccer match and something that will probably hurt an employee’s reputation is difficult.
As a leader, part of managing is confronting employees who spread rumors. Confrontation stops the spread of potentially harmful information.
When you confront someone who has been gossiping, you’ll come across far more professionally if you focus on the issue and behaviour.
As a leader, you’re in the place to make decisions, and people expect you to come up with rational decisions. So think before you speak or act. Don’t let your emotion in certain situations get to you.
Be aware of how you will affect others. So communicate, and learn how people react and their emotional sensitivity.
Having EQ means you can set a good example for your team. So, take responsibility and apologise if you did something wrong, misinterpreted a situation, or acted irrationally.
Companies depend on their teams to deliver good results, while teams need leaders to drive them to succeed in a given task. So it’s crucial to learn about good management skills to help you lead your team better.
Is Emotional Intelligence significant in the workplace?
Emotional intelligence is significant in the workplace whether you’re a manager or an employee.
Knowing how to handle your emotions in the workplace can help everyone to become productive at work. If you’re a manager, effectively managing your emotions helps you gain mental stability and success in your management job.
Emotional intelligence takes a significant role in the workplace. While you can’t see EQ immediately, you’ll feel it if you’re in a workplace with or without the presence of it.
Moreover, some studies show that EQ, job performance, career success, and mental health correlate significantly.
EQ affects work roles positively and differently, depending on the nature of your job. In terms of managing, it’ll require you to communicate with employees, motivate them, and delegate duties.
A high EQ level significantly improves a manager’s overall performance.
Being positive in the workplace is essential. Communication is unavoidable in the workplace, and this involves emotions. With EQ, these communications can provide positive interactions that benefit the workplace.
The chemistry in the workplace must remain solid and professional. A high EQ level allows you to create connections with your team members.
The components of self-awareness and self-management are essential. Still, once you realise you have this component, it’s time to motivate others to become the best version of themselves.
EQ will provide an overall positive outcome for you and the whole organisation.
Motivating others can be easy with a high level of EQ. You can read and understand the emotional cues of people around you if you’re in touch with your own emotions.
Self-motivated leaders have an internal drive. These emotionally intelligent managers understand the true meaning of their objections and know which skills are needed to achieve these goals.
Let’s look at how emotional intelligence can affect a workplace.
Being criticised can make a person feel bad. However, others don’t see, particularly people with little to no EQ, that criticism can benefit them by realising the skills they can improve.
Suppose you’re being criticised and have emotional intelligence. In that case, you’ll see the positive side of the situation and take it as constructive criticism rather than destructive.
Constructive criticism helps an employee’s growth if it’s appropriately delivered. An excellent constructive criticism provides feedback with supporting details, such as specific examples. Providing specific cases will let the employee understand and accept the criticism easily.
The workplace should have a healthy environment, but it doesn’t mean criticism will not be present. You see, not every day is a good day. There are days when your colleagues feel down and indisposed.
So, understanding your colleague’s emotions and offering a hand to help and provide positivity can lead to a more favourable workplace environment.
When it comes to leadership, emotional intelligence matters as much as intelligence quotient. So it’s also important to improve your EQ to become more effective in your role as a manager.
About the Author
Arnold Rogers has advised businesses across many industries in areas of lead generation, customer experience, service development, and small business cash flow and financial management. He has experience in handling diverse industries, from fast-moving consumer goods to business-to-business hardware retailers.