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Why Building an Emotionally Intelligent Workplace is so Important

Article by Aoife Gorey

With the advent of what is being called the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ (the emergence of commercial Artificial Intelligence) all of the most credible research organizations are speaking loudly about the value of emotional intelligence skills as THE core differentiator for individuals and organizations in an AI-enabled world.

The latest research by Capgemini said “demand for EI is expected to increase by as much as six times” – underlining previous soft-quoted research from the World Economic Forum citing EI as a key skill for the next several years.

This report also said “Organizations do not conduct enough training in building EI skills for employees…”, despite the fact that they “…can achieve returns up to four times higher by investing in Emotional Intelligence skills“.  

And it’s not just the World Economic Forum and Capgemini highlighting the key role of Emotional Intelligence – research just published by LinkedIn also identifies EI as one of the ‘top 5 most in-demand skills“.

Harvard Business Review recently said “The rise of AI makes Emotional Intelligence more important…skills like persuasion, social understanding, and empathy are going to become differentiators as artificial intelligence and machine learning take over other tasks” and the World Economic Forum has identified Emotional Intelligence as one of the key skills for survival from 2020 onwards.

 

Everyone has emotions. It‘s a simple fact – a part of our being human. And whether we realize it or not, these emotions impact us every day. They also impact those around us, both in the workplace and in our personal lives.

What is Emotional Intelligence?
The Genos International definition of Emotional Intelligence (EI) is as follows:

“A set of skills that help us better perceive, understand, and manage emotions in ourselves and in others. Collectively they help us make intelligent responses to, and use of, emotions.”

These skills are as important as your intellect (IQ) in determining success in work and in life. Everyone, no matter what job function, has interactions with other people. Your capacity to understand your emotions, to be aware of them, and how they impact the way you behave and relate to others, will improve your people skills and help you ultimately be more satisfied and successful.

 

Who wouldn’t want a higher level of emotional intelligence?

Studies have shown that high levels of emotional intelligence impact multiple facets of a person’s life – career success, mental health, relationship satisfaction, humor, and happiness. An emotionally intelligent workplace is what all organizations should focus on developing. Higher levels of EI in the workplace have also been shown to reduce workplace stress and enhance employee resilience. People tend to misunderstand why Emotional Intelligence is so important. The bottom line is that the way you ‘show up’ (how you behave and interact with people) …determines how they feel and the way people feel determines how well they engage with you… Which in turn determines the outcome of that relationship. Simple. Basic. And you already knew that, right? It’s logical.

This should matter to all leaders because a large part of our success is dependent upon our ability to engage people to get the results that only engaged people to deliver. Emotionally intelligent leaders inspire and engage their people and, as a result, they achieve results from their people that are superior to the results achieved by other leaders. This is a key point: you are only as emotionally intelligent as people experience you being – you can have the highest EI ability on the planet but if you don’t demonstrate that EI ability, then you don’t get that payback.

This is in collaboration with Genos International Europe.

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Profiles International EA