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Are you emotionally intelligent?
Defined as the ability to identify, understand and manage emotions, emotional intelligence helps people in achieving their goals and improving their performance.
It is also described as a person’s personality, emotions and conduct, which are evaluated using their emotional intelligence. It helps from a business perspective, too, in determining its workforce’s needs for training and development. Additionally, it facilitates improved workplace collaboration and a decrease in stress.
According to statistics, Emotional Intelligence (EI) is also responsible for 58 percent of job performance. Also, 75 percent of the Fortune 500 use EI training reports add, noting, too, that emotionally intelligent people earn $29,000 more on average.
New research from The University of Toledo revealed during the pandemic just how important EI is for leaders as a study found that individuals with higher levels of Emotional Intelligence experienced lower levels of concern for leading remotely during the crisis.
“Prior to the global pandemic, most leaders did not have any formal training or on-the-job learning experiences related to leading remotely in a crisis situation,” said Dr. Jenell Wittmer, associate professor of management in UToledo’s John B. and Lillian E. Neff College of Business and Innovation and an industrial and organizational psychologist. “The results of our analysis confirm how effectively perceiving and managing one’s emotions contribute to effectively dealing with the challenges of leading remotely in crisis situations.”
Emotional intelligence encompasses many elements including self-perception and stress tolerance and beyond.
“What leaders need especially during this type of crisis is not only a predefined response plan but more importantly behaviors and mindsets that will assist them in looking towards the future,” Dr. Margaret Hopkins, professor of management and co-author of the “Leading Remotely in a Time of Crisis: Relationships with Emotional Intelligence” published research, noted.
There are five components to emotional intelligence:
- Self-perception, which gauges emotional self-awareness.
- Self-expression or being proactive about adequately expressing feelings.
- Interpersonal, which assesses a person’s capacity for building strong interpersonal connections.
- Making decisions, which gauges one’s capacity for problem-solving and reality testing.
- Stress management, or the capacity to manage stress.
“Leaders with a high degree of self-perception will be more likely to pause before taking any overly emotional or rash actions,” Hopkins said. “These leaders will tend to avoid being emotionally hijacked and allowing their emotions to govern their decision making in these trying times.”
Linda R. Taliaferro, founder of The TEE – The Extra Effort, which helps Black and Brown women strengthen their emotional intelligence (and level up in their careers) told the Michigan Chronicle recently that Emotional Intelligence is “critical”, especially for Black and Brown women in the workplace.
“I think it’s extremely important for us to be focused and to really stretch ourselves with regard to preparation around our Emotional Intelligence,” Taliaferro, who began her career in the 1980s, said, adding that she started out in the workforce not placing high rank on her EI. “I really just worked hard on just being good at what I did. So, I wasn’t focused on how I showed up from that perspective because I thought, you know, my work product was enough.”
Taliaferro said that she had to learn to control how she shows up and what EI represents holistically and knowing is more than half the battle but the “price of entry” to have a seat at the table.
Her advice to others on their quest toward Emotional Intelligence? Peel back the onion and then learn to “show up.”
“Who you are personally is who you are professionally,” she said, adding that once she realized who she was personally many doors began to open for her in the managerial and executive spaces. “I understood that things that…were affecting me and my upbringing in my earlier years really shaped [my] work.”
Shannon Cohen, principal at Shannon Cohen Inc., makes it her business to get into the business of other movers and shakers looking to build business strategies around EI and more.
Described as an Emotional Intelligence leader, writer, keynote speaker and more, Cohen told the Michigan Chronicle that in the post-COVID reality people are living in there is an abundance of employee disengagement – coinciding with higher figures of people looking for more than “just a paycheck.”
“They are looking for work environments that invite them to be holistically well,” Cohen said. “As a result of that those companies wanting to be visible, vocal and attract high talent need to have leaders that understand … and lead from a place of Emotional Intelligence,” Cohen said.
She said EI is the 2.0 version of a knowledge-based economy where people have stood on a soap box harping on the need to lead with empathy and not prioritizing it. Now, many companies are changing the narrative by hiring well-being-based positions to help their employees for the “pulse of the people.”
Cohen added that it’s time to “debunk the myth” that emotions are bad.
“Emotions are indicators and in a world of business we’re always measuring indicators,” she said, adding that a person wouldn’t yell at their phone if its battery is low – the same concept would apply if a person needed a recharge. “Emotional Intelligence starts with self-awareness.”
For more information visit lindataliaferro.com and/or shannoncohen.com.