Hiring smart, talented and driven people is imperative for a business. Without these components, employees will not be effective team players. There is a set of skills, however, that even the most competent employees may struggle with – emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence, or EQ, can slow whole operations down to a halt if not managed. As much as businesses should be free from emotions, it's next to impossible to separate employees from their feelings. Cultivating an environment where a team member's spirit is cared for and valued is important for increasing the EQ of the office.
When an EQ sinks too low
When the EQ of an environment is below a healthy level, the whole team can suffer. The atmosphere of an office should not be dependent on one person, but a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, as the saying goes. Here is an example of what can happen if someone is not aware or in control of his or her emotions:
An employee works on a project with three other people, and the presentation is due in one week's time. During project meetings, this employee commandeers the attention and offers his or her ideas, ignoring what the others have to say or responding negatively to other options. When the rest of the team brainstorms ideas on their online forum, the outstanding member is somehow unavailable for comment. When the discord of the group reaches upper management, this person makes him or herself the victim, claiming that the issues at hand are the fault of the rest of the team, leaving themselves blameless.
This, unfortunately, is not an unfamiliar occurrence in an office. Inherently, people don't want to be in trouble or admit there's a problem, but how well can a business operate when team members put themselves first, rather than the company? Entrepreneur suggested that one of the first steps toward gaining a higher EQ is to have an open line of communication between all members of the team, including upper management. When there is an environment where talking about issues and constructive criticism is in place, people will feel more inclined to participate in the discussions as equal partners.
Emotional intelligence at work
Some people know how to manage and articulate their feelings, while others have a difficult time with it. Being able to identify exact emotions can take time to learn, but it is possible to have success. Lifehacker asserted that expanding one's vocabulary to properly convey emotions is essential. Leaders should not settle for vague responses like "good" or "sad," instead pushing for terminology such as "fulfilled" or "powerless," as these words paint a better picture of the inner life.
In order to enhance the emotional intelligence of a company, management should look into seminars that help employees identify their own EQ and learn skills to better emote in the workplace. Happy team members are far more likely to produce quality work and be more helpful employee overall.