If you didn’t tune into our March 28th EQ webinar, you really missed out on some valuable knowledge about Emotional Intelligence for High-Performance Work Cultures. But that’s okay because we’re here to get you up to speed. Here are the highlights:
Is Emotional Intelligence Really That Important?
Short answer: Yes, emotional intelligence is crucial to the success of an organization. Developing your own emotional intelligence skills, as well as helping your employees do the same, will improve self-awareness, emotional regulation, empathy, engagement, communication, performance, and job satisfaction within your organization.
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is responsible for 56% of your job performance. That means EQ is more important than IQ when it comes to professional success. In addition, people with high EQ make an average of $29,000 annually more than their low EQ counterparts – so the Benjamins follow the skills!
Most companies are in the thick of a stress epidemic. The annual cost of stress in the U.S. is about $500 billion each year and growing. This astronomical number is made up of absenteeism, medical costs, diminished productivity, and turnover costs. It’s clear that too many employees don’t have the necessary skills to be resilient, deal with constant change and manage their emotions.
Companies ask their employees to handle change constantly. We live in the age of technological innovation. That’s amazing, but change is also a stressor for most people. In this fast-paced world, we need to equip our employees with tools to manage the stress associated with adapting to change. One of the best ways to combat stress is to build resilience through skills including mindfulness and emotional intelligence. ;
“The World is becoming more turbulent faster than most organizations are becoming more resilient”
– Gary Hamel What Matters Now, 2012
The 5 Components of Emotional Intelligence
Whil features the famous Search Inside Yourself course (born at Google). According to their research, there are five components of emotional intelligence:
- Social Skills
Think of these components of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) as a ladder of increasing skills with mindfulness as the first step. With a strong foundation of mindfulness, these EQ skills are trainable. Every employee can increase their self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, motivation, and social skills through meaningful and intentional practice in just five minutes a day.
Before you begin improving your EQ skills, you need to have a deep knowledge of yourself. You can’t work with something that you can’t see clearly. One of the tools in Whil’s digital mini-courses is journaling. We suggest journaling exercises where you ask yourself questions like:
- What brings me joy?
- What agitates me?
- What are my strengths?
- What are my weaknesses?
This encourages employees to not only explore issues, which we all spend too much time on, and move into exploring resolution and growth. Writing down will help you develop a growth mindset as you articulate your feelings. Think of these exercises as upgrading to high-resolution awareness of yourself.
It’s in this component of EQ that we can train employees to move from acting out of compulsion to choice. In other words, self-regulation is acting out of thoughtful choice rather than emotional obligation.
The amygdala is the part of the brain that controls emotions. An “amygdala hijack” occurs when the “emotional brain” acts before the decision-making processes or the “thinking brain” can kick in. When the “emotional brain” is in charge, actions are too often the result of strongly felt emotions, whether they be positive or negative. The “thinking brain” does not have an opportunity to consider the effects of the action.
Through mindfulness practice, you can increase your EQ skills by training your “emotional brain” to slow down, take a pause, and work cooperatively with your “thinking brain” to make more intentional, thoughtful and reasoned decisions.
Empathy is the ability to understand another person’s feelings and perspectives while balancing your own. While this may seem like a superpower, it can be developed through a mindfulness practice. Training your brain to understand the emotions and perspectives of others is the first step. As a manager, it’s also important to maintain your own. Otherwise, you may find yourself simply joining in the chaos versus helping to manage it. ;Once you do this, you can learn how to express compassion, the desire to help and advocate for them.
According to Gallup, around two-thirds of employees are disengaged at work. One third are intentionally disengaged, meaning they show up to work intending not to work. Like the other components of EQ, motivation is a skill that can be cultivated and learned.
Motivation has three steps: alignment, envisioning, and resilience. With the right digital mini-courses, employees can learn to better align their goals with the organization’s goals, envision what success looks like, and work toward maintaining resilience in the face of challenges and stress.
The cornerstones of social skills are decision making, leadership, and managing relationships. People with highly developed social skills find difficult conversations easier to have than those without these skills. Given that the workplace is full of difficult conversations, these skills are invaluable. Being able to maneuver confidently through difficult conversations without causing drama or stoking up stress in yourself (or others) is a must-have skill in today’s fast-paced workplace. Like the other components of EQ, employees can learn to improve social skills by practicing mindfulness.
Disclaimer: We didn’t cover everything from the webcast because emotional intelligence is a rich topic. You could fill books with all this information. In fact, many people have. Here are a few of our favorites:
- “Creating Mindful Leaders” by Joe Burton
- “Search Inside Yourself” by Chade-Meng Tan
- “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman
Want more information? Visit us at whil.com and join us for our next webinar on April 18th with ACI Speciality Services to learn to “How Mindfulness Helps Employees Build Stress Resilience”. Don’t forget that our webinars are eligible for 1 SHRM credit!