What are the Benefits of Emotional Intelligence in Management
Why employees want to have input into important decisions.
There is no doubt that the workplace has changed over the last few decades. This hasn’t just happened because we’ve moved to an information age rather than an industrial one. It has a lot to do with our expectations when we step into the workplace – we’re more likely to want value, we want to progress more and we want to have our say, whatever our position in the company. In other words, more now than ever, we see ourselves as individuals.
Management itself has progressed from autocratic infrastructures to more fluid and holistic ones that are as much concerned with work life balance as productivity. Key to this is emotional intelligence and it has a wide range of benefits for the modern manager and major implications for leadership.
What is emotional intelligence?
We are all emotional animals. We get affected by things around us. An upcoming project can fill us with anxiety or excitement. A dispute in the office can make us feel angry and resentful. All sorts of events in the workplace create responses and the key to successful management is being able to handle them. That not only means understanding and coping with the emotions of someone who is on your team but your own as well.
All this put together is emotional intelligence.
Generally, those who have a higher level of emotional intelligence are able to build better relationships and have a better fit in the world around them. The truth is that our emotions can often overtake us – we see something and get too angry to respond properly or too frustrated because we’re not achieving what we wanted.
The good news is that emotional intelligence can be cultivated and developed like any skill.
There are several aspects to emotional intelligence that are useful to those working in management. It impacts on how we manage ourselves. For example, being more in tune with our own emotions means that we’re aware of how these affect us. We’re able to control those emotions and we’re able to understand and empathise with others better because we understand. Strong emotional intelligence also has an effect on our motivation and allows us to build productive and long lasting relationships with those around us.
The fact that many businesses nowadays look for emotional intelligence when they interview employees points to its importance in modern workplaces. Employees with better emotional intelligence tend to work well in teams and that, in turn, creates a productive office environment that welcomes rather than is resistant to change.
How can emotional intelligence facilitate change management?
Change management is part and parcel of every business nowadays. Nothing ever stays the same and implementing a new direction for a company or putting in place the appropriate changes for growth not only impacts on leaders and managers but those working for the company at lower levels.
Change management generally fails not because of bad planning but because there are people issues which are left unresolved. People can feel they are losing the status or they become worried about what the future holds. Understanding these emotions and providing the positive and forward thinking leadership that sets minds at ease and brings people along with you is one of the key roles of any manager when change is being proposed and implemented.
You can’t do this without emotional intelligence. It allows you to put yourself in the place of an employee member or even a whole team and look at it from their point of view. People’s reactions to change are often negative in the first place and working to alter that viewpoint can’t happen if you simply dictate and don’t employ emotional intelligence to bring them around to your way of thinking.
Emotional intelligence gives leaders the tools to manage their own feelings during any major change and enables a positive mood to be nurtured that helps rather than hinders the path ahead. The good news is this is a set of skills that can be learned and understood by managers and leaders and then implemented in the workplace to great effect.