The importance of Emotional Intelligence (EI)


From young, I was always told that reading newspapers and watching the news on the television was important for several reasons. It was meant to keep me up-to-date with the latest significant information, improve my knowledge, my language and develop my maturity.This isn’t entirely wrong. News agencies bring information that should be regarded as highly important and significant. However, it is also true that news agencies have bias tendencies, reporting news that could potentially swing the audience’s perspective in a different way. What is important isn’t as much the reliability of the news reports, but rather the approach taken in handling these reports and the key to doing that is awareness.

Websites like Business Insider have a tendency to use professional information and publish it in a more entertaining and easier to understand manner in order to appeal the more general audience. Therefore some of the articles, especially the opinionated pieces, should be taken with a grain of salt. However, there was one article today that piqued my interest for its relative accuracy which you can find here.

The article described the need for people to improve on their emotional intelligence and suggested several ways in which one could improve on their EI:

  1. Gaining and accepting feedback
  2. Maintaining awareness between intent and impact
  3. Taking a moment to listen and understand the words and actions coming from themselves and others
  4. Taking multiple perspectives

Since the article already carefully described how you can recognize one’s lack of EI and how to improve on such, I will restrain from doing the same thing. However, as I read the comment, many people related Emotional Intelligence with taking a soft approach and sacrificing efficient productivity with increased positive working environments. Emotional Intelligence is very far from that.

Emotional-Intelligence

What emotional intelligence describes is the ability to gain a wider thought process that would include not only situational exceptions, but also consider the human input in the project. After all, it is people who utilize tools and turns projects into success. It would be a mistake to make the assumptions that people should just maximize their skills in the limited timeframe they are given to roll out projects after projects like mechanical processes. Enduring a high turnover of employees would make for an excellent example. There are exceptional companies that purely hire people that fit this model. Financial companies based on the stock market have a tendency to do that. And they would understandably need to because miscalculations and the lack of drive could cause these companies to lose millions of dollars. This is the type where it’s the people who should fit the profile of the company and not the other way around. EI is then reduced to a low-priority matter.

However, in situations where companies rely on the effective synchronization of talents rather than intelligent output, it is important to have employees and managers that have a higher than average emotional intelligence aside from being capable of performing their jobs. There is a difference between motivation and unnecessary pressure. That is why it is highly attractive for companies with people who are:

  • Goal-driven
  • Self-aware
  • Job-specific Intelligent
  • Professionally adaptive

They are independent people who are knowledgeable in their field, ambition to learn and develop, are willing to listen to constructive criticism and aware of the skills and impact of their and their team. The higher ranked they are, the more significant it becomes. It is the ability to glue talents together which makes for a high potential organization.

The importance of emotional intelligence is often underestimated simply because, like a pleasant working environment, it is technically a secondary benefit. An organization doesn’t “need” employees to be happy to function. They just need to do what they were hired to do, which is to fulfill their responsibilities to their best. However, the professional environment has shifted and no longer function simply on hard work, but also smart and efficient work. That would mean tasks need to be appropriately delegated to maximize talents, abilities and specialty fields.

eidiagram

Awareness in oneself, others and the surroundings could assist further improvement of this process. Positive professional relationships help improve production output, but it would also require smart teamwork. Knowing how to hire appropriate manpower is the task of the manager’s guideline to the human resource department. Like the coach in a basketball team, it is necessary to find complimentary talents rather than players that share similar traits. The starting five should be a mixture of players that each specialize in a field and are fully capable of handling the pressure and fulfilling their roles. After that, there is the bench and staff, but it is unnecessary to hire people who are incapable of (or unwilling to) work together or people who have little emotional intelligence to care for others in their team; Sometimes losing a talent while acquiring a glue-piece is the better option.

The existence of a team doesn’t mean an effective cooperative relationship. It most definitely doesn’t warrant a productive workforce. However, how high the priority lies in creating such environment lies solely on the company in allowing the manager to provide the necessary guidance for their employees.

Whether companies would focus on improving collective emotional intelligence relies on their production type and corporate goals, but it is proven that as emotional intelligence goes up, so will production effectiveness.

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