Emotional intelligence: a quality sometimes overlooked by employers


Emotional intelligence is a quality which can be overlooked by employers, despite the fact they are often looking for people that can adjust and be productive in a competitive, changeable, and often stressful environments.  Environments which require individuals to demonstrate collaborative skills with people from different backgrounds, cultures, ethnicity and most importantly, people with different personalities.

Work scenarios and networks can be complex, where not everyone gets along and not everything runs smoothly or as expected, therefore having emotional intelligence is an essential skill to have, adding real value to an organisation, its customers and wider employee population.

Now, you may be wondering, what exactly emotional intelligence is and how it affects someone’s work?

Emotional Intelligence have been defined as

…“the ability to monitor your own and other’s people emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately and to use this information to guide thinking and behaviour”…

in other words, an awareness of emotions, weaknesses and strengths and the capacity to respond with empathy and tolerance; Not allowing emotions to control our behaviour. As you may have already noticed, emotional intelligence is not only one skill, but rather a set of skills that can really determine leadership performance; these skills are described as follows:

Self-awareness: Knowing one’s internal states, preferences, and emotions, it is the ability to monitor our thoughts and emotions as they arise. Having self-awareness is fundamental for our performance in the workplace, by understanding our emotions and behaviors we can have more control over our actions and identify patterns that can make important changes in the way we develop in our professional lives, it can also produce positive changes in our work, as we are not only aware of ourselves but also our environment and we can begin to think how can we improve in order to succeed in our career. Having self-awareness is important for any professional, especially for managers and leaders as it increases their performance and increase productivity.

Self-Regulation: The ability to manage your thoughts and emotions, using them in a intelligent way that develop in good reactions and behaviors, is about not letting the emotions and thoughts control you, but rather you control them. Having self-regulation is a fundamental aspect of making the right decisions, and problem solving, learning to identify your thoughts and emotions will help you understand how beneficial or damaging they could be, and it will stop you from making decisions or taking actions that are driving by impulse. It is very important to have a workforce of people that have problem solving skills and decision-making skills.

Social Skills: Social skills are not only about communicating and interacting with each other but also how we do so, having social skills is being able to manage your behaviour to get along with others, being tolerant to other people, and understanding our differences and personalities. Having respect for other’s people’s thoughts, emotions and interests, which is fundamental in the workplace as the workforce is made of humans that have different views on life and that often make mistakes.

Empathy: Being conscious of other people’s feelings and circumstances, putting yourself in their place and thinking about how they feel, being supportive and reflecting this in considerations. Having empathy in the workplace leads to more productive and effective working relationships.

Self-Motivation:  The ability to motivate yourself is an important skill to have as a professional, as it drives continuous improvement and self-development, even when the situation is challenging; Drive to achieve your goals, commitment to work and responsibilities. Initiative and optimisms are common traits, resulting in a workforce with increased productivity and job satisfaction.

Emotional intelligence is indispensable in times of crisis and distress, for instance with the current pandemic. Challenging times require leaders to draw on their emotional intelligence to adapt to change, show resilience and thrive, and it may become clear if people are lacking these particular traits. 

If you want to know more about Emotional intelligence and need advice, please contact us, we are here to help!