For centuries, intelligence quotient (IQ) has been a major criterion by which individuals are appraised by people, companies and educational institutions. In more recent times, researchers have turned their attention to understanding the significance of emotional intelligence. “Emotional intelligence” was coined by Peter Salovey and John Mayer in 1990 and popularized by Daniel Goleman in 1995, in Emotional Intelligence.
As one of the places where people converge, interact and collaborate to execute projects and accomplish critical goals, researchers have beamed their searchlights on the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace. Therefore, emotional intelligence should be a subject of interest to employees, employers and managers. In this article, we focus on the meaning of emotional intelligence, its components and its importance to organizations.
What is emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is widely understood as the ability to identify, interpret, control and manage the moods of others and oneself. People who have high emotional intelligence can accurately read and recognize the emotions of others and theirs, channeling these emotions into productive activities.
Components of Emotional Intelligence
The components of emotional intelligence include:
Emotional intelligence begins with self-awareness – the ability to identify your emotions and acknowledge how they influence your actions and affect others. Self-knowledge will help you to be more objective in your assessment of others. Its importance is aptly captured in the Socratic dictum, “Man, know thyself”.
This implies your ability to control your emotions in the face of frustration. You regulate and manage your emotions in such a way that they are directed towards productive activities, exuding positivity and calmness in a rather upsetting moment.
3. Social awareness
Social skills are an essential component of emotional intelligence. This involves interacting and communicating with others in an efficient and polite way. Social skills are needed to understand the perspectives of others and sustain relationships.
Being able to understand the feelings of others is an integral part of emotional intelligence. But how you respond to this is much more important. Your words and actions or inaction can make a whole lot of difference, positively or negatively.
Emotionally intelligent people are self-motivated. They are intrinsically self-activated and optimistic in the face of challenges and difficult tasks or targets. As a result, they are capable of motivating others.
Importance of EI to Organizations
1. The success factor
Most organizations make good grades and high IQ major criteria during the recruitment process. However, there are instances where employees with lower grades perform exceptionally. Emotional intelligence may be the causal factor.
A recent study found that intelligent quotient and emotional intelligence are necessary for organizational success but the latter contributes more than twice the impact of the former.
A similar research observed that emotional intelligence accounted for 58% of success in all types of jobs. Also, 90% of top performers were highly emotionally intelligent.
2. Enhances teamwork
Emotional intelligence enriches interpersonal relationships among employees. It aids collaboration and understanding, helping team members manage and resolve conflicts as well as exhibit self-control. A study finds that the propensity to be team players is greater among colleagues who have high emotional intelligence.
3. Improves customer service
Customer service representatives interact with different types of people on a daily basis. Customers come with different attitudes, moods, needs and concerns. To identify and manage their emotions when they are upset, rude, doubtful, indifferent or elated emotional intelligence is required.
4. Harmonious working environment
Lack of emotional intelligence among employees will not only negatively affect teamwork and performance but also create an environment that is charged with toxic vibes. Working in a tense environment will discourage collaboration and affect efficiency.
Conversely, emotionally intelligent employees create a harmonious working environment where interpersonal relationships and cooperation flourish.
The significance of emotional intelligence cannot be overemphasized. It is especially needed by organizations whose workforce is composed of people from diverse cultural backgrounds. In addition to helping organizations reap the benefits of a diverse workforce, emotional intelligence will improve your interpersonal relationships. Fortunately, both IQ and EI can be enhanched and having both produces the most magnificent performance.
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