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Five Effective Ways to Foster a Culture of Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

Setting Up Your Workplace

Intelligence has a new dimension in contemporary times. Intellect is no longer limited to academic excellence and business acumen. Today, to be successful, you also need emotional intelligence along with IQ. In fact, in the times to come, emotional intelligence will be an essential prerequisite for employees and employers. EQ’s idea in the workplace has gained of late is set to increase manifold in the coming years.

It is interesting to note that many companies are now conducting EQ tests for hiring. According to Mitrefinch Inc’s insights, almost 90 percent of businesses will be using EQ tests for selecting the best-suited candidates in times to come. This is for the simple reason that companies realize the importance of emotional intelligence for success. Companies now look at EQ as an imperative professional skill that their workforce must possess. As an employer, you too understand the need for fostering a culture of EQ within your organization. This blog puts forth some worthwhile strategies for promoting EQ in the workplace to help you with that. Before that, just to be on the same page, let us concisely revise EQ’s definition.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

According to an article by Linkedin, emotional intelligence has a 56 percent contribution to the professional success of a person. This proportion again speaks for the vitality of EQ in attaining success and streamlining growth. Further, on average, people with high EQ earn USD 29000 more per year than people with low EQ. This is a testament to the great prowess that the skill of EQ holds. In a literal sense, it can change the fortunes of a person and make him far more successful than he will be without EQ. But what exactly is emotional intelligence? What does it mean to have this significant trait that can add so much to a person’s success?

People who have good EQ have a great understanding of their emotions and themselves. Besides, having EQ means being full of self-awareness and having the ability to manage his emotions and decisions. To add, the salient dimensions of EQ include empathy, self-regulation, and various social skills. The definition can be subjective as different people have different understandings of intelligence. However, in a general sense, EQ is the ability of a person to work with his emotions and decisions to make success-oriented choices. Next, let us look at the various ways to cultivate a culture of EQ in your company.

Ways to reinforce EQ in the workplace

Create awareness 

The first step towards teaching a new virtue in the workplace is to create awareness about it. It is possible that a few of your employees may not be familiar with the notion of EQ. Besides, given the subjectivity or confusion around the concept, they may not have a clear idea. Hence, you need first to create awareness about emotional intelligence. Your employees should know about EQ, its benefits for success, and its relevance in the workplace. The idea should be presented to them as something benefiting their professional growth and development.

The concept can be explained during orientation sessions or other training modules to aware the staff members of EQ’s significance. When employees learn about EQ during their orientation training, it will be beneficial. They will know that the company works around EQ’s core values and expects the same from its employees. You will not be able to incorporate a new culture unless you create great importance around it. So, making EQ a part of the training modules and workplace discussions will be a perfect way.

Model self-regulation 

People with high EQ are known for their efficacy in self-regulation. They constructively regulate their emotions and feelings. Besides, they know how to regulate their temperament while facing challenging situations that test them to the core. Needless to say, if a person is not able to manage his feelings in the workplace, his vulnerability can negatively impact him. Furthermore, this will have negative repercussions for the organization as well. Even the best professional certificates will have a limited impact if a person cannot control his feelings.  Being a leader, you need to lead by example. You ought to model self-regulation for your employees.

When they see you maintaining your calm in challenging situations and not letting your emotional mix affect your work, they will feel inspired. You have to lead from the front and be neutral in situations. This does not mean you cannot show your emotions or you need to hide them. However, while setting the benchmark for self-regulation, you need to set goals for your staff to manage emotions skillfully. They need to learn that emotional vulnerability should not interfere with their critical thinking skills. You are a role model for them, and their best chance of learning is from your persona. So, show them the way and lead them towards effective self-regulation!

Promote empathy in the workplace

Remember, empathy is a salient attribute of emotional intelligence. We have all been together in these unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic. We were all caught up in apprehensions and anxieties set in by the pandemic. The world for sure has realized the importance of empathy in this pandemic than ever before. Given that, empathy has now become a vital feature of a healthy and conducive work environment. To substantiate, as per the State of the Workplace Empathy Study’s findings, 96 percent of workers expect the exhibition of empathy from their employers. Given that, to foster an EQ culture within your organization, you need to meet empathy expectations. When you fulfill these expectations, empathy will reflect in the holistic company culture.

To promote empathy better, you need to win the trust of your employees. You should convey to them that they can approach you with all their concerns. You have to show the willingness to understand their feelings and emotions. This can also be done by initiating wellness programs. Further, it is a given fact that work stress is for real, and it is making professionals prone to mental health issues. You can also promote better stress management techniques for employees. When they see their employer care for their wellness and mental well-being, they will be motivated to have the same for their colleagues. In the larger picture, it will establish better EQ in the workforce. Empathy is one of the most significant driving forces behind EQ, after all.

Train for better self-awareness 

To learn EQ and to benefit from it, employees need extraordinary acumen in self-awareness. They should be able to understand themselves better and reflect on their previous decisions. Moreover, they should have a clear understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. Here the focus is more on emotional strengths and weaknesses. For that, you need to train the employees to be more reflective of themselves. This self-awareness will be crucial for them when they receive feedback from their superiors.

When your team members have better self-awareness, they will be able to contribute better. This is another vertical where you need to lead from the front. You have to stimulate self-awareness and train the employees to master it. Further, this self-awareness can be promoted through healthy competition, team-building activities, and performance reviews. A vital part of self-awareness will also involve training your employees to deal with failures. Failures often have emotional impacts on the motivation and spirits of people. Such discouragement makes them fragile when it comes to emotions and affects their confidence. Henceforth, employees should know how to deal with failures and look beyond them.

Prioritize social skills 

Social skills are complementary to emotional intelligence. While employees should understand their own and each other’s emotions, responding appropriately is also significant. Better understanding and support from each other have a direct correlation with communication skills. Employees should be able to socialize among themselves and express themselves better.

Other crucial social skills include active and effective listening, understanding non-verbal cues of communication, and conflict resolution. Therefore, you have to improve these skills in your teams to achieve the objective of creating a culture driven by IQ. You can also refine the hiring process accordingly and hire candidates that endorse impressive and flamboyant social skills.

To conclude, the future shall belong to those businesses who invest in the idea of building a workforce inspired by EQ. As mentioned above, emotional intelligence has different virtues that need to be reinforced in the workplace. There are various ways in which you can achieve that. But in most of these strategies, you will have to lead the way. The positive changes that you incorporate into your personality will set the standards for all workers. At last, you need the IQ to think outside the box and make EQ a practical reality for your organization.

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Contributor at Due
Jessica Robinson is a charismatic corporate leader, a selfless educator, and a versatile content creator. Despite a management degree, her vision behind blogging is not only to follow her passion but to create more informed societies. Her selflessness reflects in every piece of her work on The Speaking Polymath.

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