In the quest to develop leaders who will foster a culture of equity and inclusion in the workplace, a critical factor to assess is emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence (EI) is defined as our ability to recognize our emotions as well as the emotions of other people. Individuals who are high in EI are able to recognize the emotions of others and are able to convey and regulate their own emotions. Leaders who are highly self-aware and cognizant of emotional cues are better able to understand others, therefore they are better able to foster an equitable and inclusive workplace. What can organizations do to ensure that leaders are high in EI?
First, there must be the acknowledgment of the importance and value of emotional intelligence. Currently, EI is not generally a trait that is measured or analyzed in job applicants. Incorporating an EI test into the hiring and selection process can help companies recognize which individuals are high in EI. But understandably, implementing an EI measure into the selection process may take time and resources. A more viable solution for some organizations is to create ways to develop the EI of employees within the organization and particularly organizational leadership.
Daniel Goleman, who popularized the term emotional intelligence, indicates that EI is teachable and there are several ways that individuals can increase their emotional intelligence. How can EI training and development be implemented in your organization?
1. Current employees can analyze their levels of EI via several tests available online. Prior to any sort of training, employees should have an understanding of their EI levels. Without a clear understanding of EI levels, it is difficult to assess how much progress has been made.
2. After you gain an understanding of what the EI levels within the organization are, there are a few tactics that can be integrated into the organization to increase EI levels:
Part of EI involves our ability to control and regulate our emotions. How do you deal with negative emotions? Individuals who are high in EI are able to deal with stress and other negative emotions in an effective way. Developing stress management techniques is critical to becoming more emotionally intelligent. Meditation, for example, has been shown to be an effective strategy to relieve stress. Incorporating a meditation or relaxation technique into your daily routine can help with the management of stress. Organizations should incorporate stress-reduction techniques into the workplace wherever possible (offer yoga classes, discounted gym membership, meditation/prayer rooms, provide information on stress-reduction techniques).
Increasing your EI means developing and improving your listening skills. Individuals who are high in EI are active listeners who are able to take in information and process it before feeling the need to respond back. For managers, it is especially important to be an active listener in order to effectively communicate with employees as well as customers. Training can help develop listening skills, but training must be done on a consistent and ongoing basis.
Empathy is a key aspect of EI, and fostering ways to increase empathy will improve the workplace. Research indicates that focusing on the similarities you have with another person can increase your empathy for that person. Organizations should implement activities that foster togetherness and allow employees to bond and build relationships, in order to increase empathy. This can be done through employee retreats and weekly/monthly employee outings. EI training can also include an aspect of empathy building.
Emotionally intelligent individuals are more effective and successful leaders. In order to foster a productive, inclusive and equitable workplace, it is critical that organizations seek out individuals who are high in EI and strategies should also be developed to increase the EI of each employee.
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HR's key role in enlightened office design HR magazine and Landid's roundtable on the workspace of tomorrow explored how HR can positively influence facilities management..
Workplaces still hamper productivity Noise, lack of privacy and space are some of the factors causing the greatest dissatisfaction among office workers Nearly half of..
Nine Things You Should and Shouldn't Do If You Lose Your Job Most of us wouldn’t think to associate the words "joblessness" and "fun," but..
Why Risk Is A Necessary Component To A Successful Career - And How To Balance Risk With Reward Taking at least some risk is necessary..
Top 10 Benefits Of A Workplace Wellness Program When Google opened up in the 90s it took a unique approach to employee satisfaction. In an..
It's all about potential: how to write a CV with no work experience Follow these tips to stand out among competing candidates – from research..
Being Too Busy for Friends Won’t Help Your Career Friendship matters. Everything we do to succeed in our careers is improved when we’re supported by..
The Best Ways to Reward Employees. Having an effective reward program in place can help solve many of your HR issues. Every company needs a..
Burnout at Work Isn’t Just About Exhaustion. It’s Also About Loneliness More and more people are feeling tired and lonely at work. In analyzing the..
People Don’t Take HR Seriously; Here’s Why That’s Dangerous Legacy beliefs like being the bad guy and a lack of strategic vision isolates HR, and..
Think Strategically About Your Career Development In a world where the average employee sends and receives 122 emails per day and attends an average of..
Diversity Doesn’t Stick Without Inclusion Leaders have long recognized that a diverse workforce of women, people of color, and LGBT individuals confers a competitive edge..
How To Advance Your Career In A Crappy Entry-Level Job Yes, you can still bring yourself one step closer to snagging that dream job even..
Interviews are generally regarded as the primary decision-making event in any recruitment process. Regardless of your academic credentials or career thus far, it is crucial..
What causes burnout and how it can affect both the employees and the organisation How HR Can Help Prevent Employee Burnout An engaged workforce. It's..
Studies have shown that structured interviewing is more than twice as reliable a predictor of future employee performance than unstructured interviewing. That is why most..
Cyprus unemployment has been steadily increasing monthly since 2008 and is getting closer to double digits (January 2012 Eurostat figure – 9.6%). However there are..