Many companies tend to focus on what abilities and skills their employees can bring to the workplace, but there’s an important matter that some companies seem to forget, and that’s emotional intelligence. The great thing is that emotional intelligence is on the rise, and it can be an integral part of your company’s success. The emotional intelligence aspects you might see in a friend or family member can often be applied to a good co-worker as well. When an employee has higher emotional intelligence, they’re able to work better in teams, be more flexible, and adjust to change easier. If used properly, emotional intelligence can make the workplace feel safer by helping settle emotional situations, handling toxic employees, and so much more.

Why It Matters

As humans, we all have emotions and sometimes they can be hard to handle. Being emotionally intelligent can remedy this though, as an emotionally intelligent person is able to choose how they react to a situation regardless of how they may feel. In fact, over 70% of hiring managers say that they look for emotional intelligence in a potential employee over IQ. More and more interviewers are asking questions about how a potential new hire may react to certain situations in order to get a feel for their emotional intelligence. Commonly asked questions are “when was the last time you received negative feedback? How did it make you feel?” or “Have you ever been frustrated at work? If so, how did it make you feel?”. It’s important to look out for responses that show the person can process emotions and then move on objectively. Having a workplace full of emotionally intelligence employees will not only help create a more respectful environment but also help increase productivity.

How Managers Can Help Build Emotional Intelligence

One of the best parts about emotional intelligence is that like any other skill you can teach it, learn it, and get better at it. The first thing someone in a leadership role should do if they’re trying to increase their teams’ emotional intelligence is to be a role model. Often times your employees will look up to you and follow your lead, so show the emotional intelligence you’d like them to practice. Another way to help build emotional intelligence is to make sure your employees feel valued. It’s important that employees know they have a voice in the company, as that makes them feel more connected to the team. Make sure your team knows it’s okay for them to tell you they feel frustrated, and encourage them to let you know how they feel about a change in the company. 

While emotions can be messy, they have the potential to be an extremely valuable tool for your business. Emotional intelligence can make the difference between a good employee and a bad employee, so it’s important to not only look out for those qualities in an employee but to also practice them yourself. By doing so, you can ensure a happy, successful workplace.