Did you know that the strongest predictor of success in the 21st century workspace is emotional intelligence? In fact, emotional intelligence has been ranked among the top 15 skills needed for professional success in 2022 and beyond by the World Economic Forum.
So, what’s emotional intelligence, how does emotional intelligence training work, and how can you benefit from it in the workspace and beyond?
What is emotional intelligence?
The term emotional intelligence (also known as EI or EQ) was coined by two American psychologists, Peter Salovey and John Mayer, and brought into fashion by Dan Goleman in his book of the same name. Emotional intelligence refers to your ability to recognize emotions in yourself and others, and the ability to use this awareness to manage your behavior and relationships.
“The emotionally intelligent person is skilled in four areas: identifying emotions, using emotions, understanding emotions, and regulating emotions,” as Salovey and Mayer write in their research.
Emotional intelligence is a power skill that can be learned and developed to help you advance in your personal and professional life.
Emotional intelligence: a critical skill for career success
Emotional intelligence has a tremendous impact on your professional success and the success of your organization. The World Economic Forum studied people working in various industries and found that 90% of top performers are also high in emotional intelligence.
Moreover, research by TalentSmart tested emotional intelligence alongside 33 other important workplace skills and found that it’s the strongest predictor of performance, explaining a full 58% of success in all types of jobs. It turns out that emotional intelligence is especially important for leadership roles.
”When it comes to building strong leaders, organizations are now turning to the concept of emotional intelligence to help give leaders a new type of intelligence edge above and beyond technical aptitudes,” wrote the authors of a Hay Group study that surveyed 44 Fortune 500 companies.
The study concluded that organizations that value and widely use emotional intelligence are 3.2x more effective at leadership development.
Emotional intelligence in practice
What does improved emotional intelligence look like within the workplace? It begins with better self-awareness. Employees are better able to understand their own biases, when they might be reacting badly to things, or how their actions may impact those around them. This kind of understanding is a critical foundation for improving behaviors.
Building from that self-understanding is self-management. This is when employees are able to use techniques to address emotions at the moment. This could be as simple as counting backwards or doing a breathing exercise, but in a heated moment, it makes all the difference. These techniques help minimize conflict within the workplace.
The last step is social awareness, wherein employees become more aware of the network of relationships which make their workplace run. This step uses empathy to empower employees to better understand each other, improving listening, collaboration, and relationship management.
But how can employees implement these steps in the workplace?
Using emotional intelligence training in the workspace
Higher emotional intelligence in the workspace has been associated with better employee engagement, retention, and job satisfaction. According to a recent report by Harvard Business Review, emotionally intelligent companies are capable of engaging and empowering their workforce while cultivating interpersonal skills that allow employees to develop innovative solutions.
Nevertheless, formal upskilling appears to be more closely focused on technology skills, while emotional intelligence skills are less frequently targeted with formal reskilling, according to The Jobs of the Future report published by the World Economic Forum. That’s why the importance of focused emotional intelligence training is only increasing. It’s not enough to simply mention its importance in a staff meeting. Improving emotional intelligence requires focused effort.
Emotional intelligence training allows you to model better behavior, work directly with employees on applying skills to work situations, and provide a space for open reflection on the topic. It also communicates the seriousness of the topic to those who may not realize its importance.
The results can be transformative, as employees and managers become better equipped to communicate, collaborate, and improve their performance. But more than those immediate results, building a workplace culture which values emotional intelligence establishes a foundation for long-term success through happier, more productive, and more engaged employees.
At Elev8, we know that success in the digital era requires the right blend of tech, power, and business skills. Our training programs combine key power skills like emotional intelligence with the most relevant cutting-edge technologies to equip you and your workforce with the skills needed to succeed in 2022 and beyond.
Want to build an emotionally intelligent workforce and ensure your business success? Learn more.