When considering who you want in your company, there are many factors aside from someone’s skill level to consider. For example, you can have the best doctor in the world, but if he treats others badly, you might want to consider hiring him.
An important and often overlooked ability is emotional intelligence. This is the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions. Emotions have an impact on others and not having a handle on them could have severely negative effects. Considering that so many workplaces involve working with others – whether clients or colleagues – it is important we then understand how to develop emotional intelligence.
Indeed, in an article for the Harvard Business Review, executive search consultant Claudio Fernández-Aráoz notes:
“My conclusion about emotional intelligence based on this experience? I can’t emphasize enough the crucial importance of EI-based competencies for success in leadership roles.for success in leadership roles.”
Psychology expert, Kendra Cherry, details four branches of emotional intelligence.
The first is “perceiving emotions”,, which focuses on understanding emotions. This branch aims at accurately understand what emotions you are experiencing and why. As Cherry notes, “this might involve understanding nonverbal signals such as body language and facial expressions.”
“Reasoning with emotions” focuses on using emotions to promote thinking and cognitive activity. We tend to respond more to the things that capture our attention. In this way, our emotions can help us prioritise what we’re giving attention to.
The third branch, “understanding emotions”, is almost speaking the language of emotions. This means you ability to recognise why someone is experiencing certain emotions. Is someone truly angry with you or did they have a rough day?
Perhaps most important to emotional intelligence – and to a work environment – is what Cherry calls “managing emotions”. She writes:
“Regulating emotions, responding appropriately and responding to the emotions of others are all important aspect of emotional management.”
Already you can see the importance of emotional intelligence, as this is the ability to interact with other people. After all, we are not robots. We also communicate and manage our emotions and, thus, must do so for others. If we want the best employees it might be wise to send them for emotional intelligence training courses. This will create a more cohesive, productive work environment.