When talking about intelligence, most people think of intelligence quotient, or IQ. But what if another type of intelligence could push your team to extraordinary results?
The Institute for Health Human Potential states that over 80 percent of competencies that differentiate top performers from others are in the domain of emotional intelligence (EI), which refers to the ability to identify, understand, and manage our own emotions, as well as the emotions of others.
There is debate whether people are born with natural emotional intelligence or not, but you can lead your team to extraordinary results by teaching and developing EI awareness in your organization. An excellent example of seeing this in practice is a Motorola manufacturing facility that provided training in stress management and emotional intelligence. A stunning 93 percent of employees had an increase in productivity.
Build your business by taking the first steps in cultivating emotional intelligence within your team. First, reflect on your own EI, and then consider teaching emotional intelligence principles to the people in your organization.
Are you emotionally intelligent?
Let’s play a game! Put your hand up and put a finger down for every statement you identify with.
- You see patterns in your motives and behaviors and understand how your emotions and actions impact those around you.
- You can self-regulate your emotions in proportion to the given circumstances. Perhaps, you know how to ease tension, manage conflict, cope with challenging scenarios, and adapt to changes in your environment.
- You are intrinsically motivated and strive for personal development.
- When trying to understand where someone is coming from, you can draw on your life experiences and be compassionate about what they are going through.
- You are a team player. You understand others and their needs in a conversation or conflict.
Suppose you put all five fingers down. Great! You align with the five components of EI—self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. But don't stress if you still have some fingers up because these are skills you can learn and develop.
Prioritize emotional intelligence training in business
Keeping emotions in check is vital for the whole team. When emotions run high, they change how our brains function by diminishing cognitive abilities, interpersonal skills, and decision-making powers. However, recognizing and managing emotions can elevate team performance and the company’s success.
The Institute of Health Human Potential reported that people with higher EIs:
- Manage emotions when stressed or feeling overwhelmed
- Resolve conflicts
- Coach and motivate others
- Create a culture of collaboration
- Build psychological safety within teams
- Give and receive feedback
- Meet tight deadlines
- Deal with challenging relationships
- Navigate change
- Work through setbacks and failure
Teach others EI
Although some individuals are naturally more emotionally intelligent than others, EI is a skill that can be developed. EI training programs are abundant, and there are terrific tips for boosting your emotional intelligence and teaching your staff to increase theirs as well.
Become more self-aware
- Pay attention to how you feel throughout the day and recognize how your emotions influence your decisions and actions.
- Identify and understand your emotional strengths and weaknesses. How well do you communicate with others under stress?
- Understand that emotions can be fleeting and easily changed because rash decisions based on intense emotions can be detrimental to your success.
- Find techniques that help you deal with your work-related stress, like exercise, hobbies, and family time.
- Keep your cool! You cannot control everything. Look for helpful ways to deal with stress.
- Give yourself time to think and plan before letting your emotions rule your decisions.
Improve your social skills
- Listen actively and attentively to your team members, peers, and employers. It shows passion and willingness to work with others.
- Keep an eye out for non-verbal communication.
- Avoid office drama! Conflict is inevitable, but you can focus on listening to others and seeing solutions to solve problems and minimize tension.
Become more empathetic
- Put yourself in others’ shoes.
- Pay attention to how you respond to others. Do you give others a chance to share their ideas? Do you acknowledge input, even in disagreement?
Work on your motivation
- Focus on what you enjoy about your job rather than what you dislike.
- Work to maintain a positive, optimistic attitude. Optimistic people tend to inspire and motivate others; be that person!
Imagine a more intelligent world
The simple act of drawing attention to the EI principles and having a brief conversation with the team will help elevate awareness of their behaviors and responses. Imagine what your team could achieve if everyone practiced the five components of emotional intelligence – self-awareness, self-regulation, social skills, empathy, and motivation.
You would notice your team working together rather than against one another. You would see your people not only handling stressful situations and conflict but persevering to reach company goals. You would recognize a genuine and authentic team built on empathy and understanding one another. Most importantly, you will be a company that thrives together!
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