The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

This post kicks off a three part mini-series about Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Emotional Intelligence is often defined in three parts:
1) one’s ability to recognize and name their own emotional state (emotional awareness).
2) one’s ability to use their emotional awareness to complete tasks and manage other life skills.
3) one’s ability to manage their emotion (emotional regulation).

These three defining characteristics apply to one’s control of their own emotional states. Two other important characteristics of EQ have to do with how a person relates emotionally to another person. These characteristics are 1) empathy and 2) social skills.

EQ has several components and areas for personal development.

To go a little further, Emotional Intelligence theory asserts that there are five competencies to developing emotional intelligence. Plus, each competency has defining characteristics. To this end, emotional intelligence can be learned and developed throughout one’s lifetime.

  • Self Awareness
    • Emotional Awareness
    • Self Confidence
    • Accurate Self Assessment
  • Self Regulation
    • Trustworthiness
    • Self Control
    • Conscientiousness
    • Adaptability
    • Innovativeness
  • Self Motivation
    • Achievement Drive
    • Commitment
    • Initiative
    • Optimism
  • Social Awareness
    • Empathy
    • Service Orientation
    • Developing Others
    • Leveraging Diversity
    • Political Awareness
  • Social Skills
    • Influence
    • Communication
    • Leadership
    • Change Catalyst
    • Conflict Management
    • Building Bonds
    • Collaboration & Cooperation
    • Team Capabilities

The need for EQ in the workplace is higher now than it was 5 years ago.

The latest ebook by Everything DiSC®, Agility Unlocked: Revealing the Connection Between Agility and Emotional Intelligence, outlines not only the need for greater emotional intelligence in the workplace, but also the desire by managers to implement EQ development in their companies. So, consider these statistics:

  • 95% of managers, directors, and executives said agility—the ability to quickly and easily adapt to different situations—is more important in companies now than it was five years ago.
  • 97% of managers, directors, and executives said that emotional intelligence is crucial to a company’s success.
  • 95% of respondents indicated they believe that emotional intelligence is as important or more important at work than IQ.
  • 80% of respondents reported to have worked on teams with low emotional intelligence.
  • 80% of respondents said they’ve witnessed how low emotional intelligence can be toxic to workplace culture.
  • Over 40% of respondents stated that they’ve left companies because of low EQ.

EQ in the workplace is a priority.

And while it’s clear that developing EQ in employees is important, there is a gap between the statistics and practice. So, while 97% of respondents said they themselves are skilled in EQ, they indicated that only 71% of their co-workers are similarly skilled. Also, while 98% of managers, directors, and executives believe it is important for their employees to develop strong EQ skills, only 72% indicated they knew how to do it.

While agility—the ability to adapt quickly and easily—and emotional intelligence—the ability to manage one’s own emotional state and the states of others in order to adapt—are valuable and necessary in today’s workplaces, the path to developing EQ is less clear.

Next week, we’ll discuss what emotional intelligence in the workplace looks like and how it can be developed.

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