As of late, emotional intelligence (EQ) has become a hot topic amongst business leaders. This is because a lack of EQ has been proven to create a disconnect in the workplace and employees demand EQ of their leaders now more so than ever before.
We could speculate that this is because employees value a positive work environment more than in the past or because the need to work full time is urgent and so job seekers are aware of choosing a space in which they can feel happy spending 40+ hours a week. Whatever the reason, anyone who is placed in a position of leadership is expected, by their employers and their team, to have a high degree of EQ. If this level of emotional maturity is missing the position of authority will be a short-lived career step.
What is EQ and how does it affect your ability to manage your team?
Simply put, EQ is the ability to acknowledge and identify your own emotions as well as those of others and successfully manage both. Not an easy thing to do. However, every single day managers and leaders are expected to function with a high EQ in all their interactions. Every workplace is comprised of a number of different, and sometimes conflicting, personalities who deliver on different strengths and skillsets required of the operation, who must work closely together in order for things to run smoothly. A manager must use their emotional intelligence to hire, fire, promote and identify areas of strength or weakness.
So, being promoted into a position of leadership doesn’t only rely on the right academic background or a strong work ethic, it also requires you to have a handle on your emotions and have the wherewithal to check others on theirs.
Five top qualities of emotionally intelligent people include:
1. A sense of self-awareness and understanding of personal strengths and weaknesses. This includes a knowledge of how to handle and impart constructive criticism.
2. Emotionally controlled and cool-headed. An individual with a high EQ is able to control how they express their emotions and restrain themselves from losing control when in a highly emotive state.
3. Emotionally intelligent people exercise self-motivation and they have an optimistic outlook on life even when they are faced with challenges.
4. Empathy and compassion for others are key ingredients to emotional intelligence. This doesn’t mean that people with a high EQ are softer or lenient towards situations, it simply means they are able to offer solutions (to challenges, conflicts or obstacles) which have accounted for the emotional levels of the parties involved.
5. Individuals with a high EQ have excellent people skills and tend to stay away from any interpersonal dramas or gossip. They build relationships quickly and derive value from respecting their colleagues and the people in their vicinity.
It is now more difficult than ever before to attain the promotion and paycheque of your dreams because the work environment no longer only values your academia. Your entire character must be committed to supporting and guiding your team of employees and there’s no room for insensitivity or rigidity.
To secure the promotion you could consider enrolling in emotional intelligence training courses that will teach you the necessary skills to nurture your EQ. Alternatively, ask your current employer to consider these types of courses for employees who have the drive to chase career growth into a managerial position.