The importance of Emotional Intelligence

Having a leader with a low EQ can be detrimental to your organisation

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) should be regarded as an important attribute to look for within candidates, particularly line managers. EQ can be defined as the capacity to recognise and manage one’s own feelings and those of others. A stressed manager can handle workplace disturbances more quickly and effectively if he or she scores highly in emotional clarity. He or she also can “recover” quickly and with ease, too.

A manager that does not have EQ, however, can be unpredictable resulting in a tense working environment. EQ can also be lacking in teams and companies in general. The good news is, that when areas of weakness are identified, in the individual, team or company, they can be worked upon and improved.

People function better and are much more effective and productive if they are in a happy and relaxed environment. They will want to go to work and will work more effectively, and they will also be willing to put in that extra effort.

The introduction and application of emotional intelligence to corporate environments can reinforce the success of the workforce in general, whatever the activity or size of a company. Emotional intelligence is necessary at all levels and, if senior levels embrace and apply their EQ in their daily dealings with all peers and employees, this will filter down through a company.

Emotional intelligence can be introduced into a company in various ways, beginning with the moment a new employee enters a company. There are tests that can be used to assess potential candidates’ EQ and, although tests, like the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) are inconclusive, they can provide a starting point. Thereafter, companies can monitor the way workers relate to each other, how managers manage, how responsive the organisation is to the needs of its people, and many other areas.