As organisations bring their teams back together amidst a cost of living crisis, strong workplace relationships based on emotional intelligence are more important than ever.
Let’s start at the top. Why do we recommend that you focus on emotional intelligence in the workplace? The short answer is that you (the HR community) told us to. Back in 2017 we surveyed our network. We asked what challenges they faced and what they felt was needed to better support growth and productivity. The overwhelming reply was greater emotional intelligence, with resilience and motivation following closely. It was these survey results that gave life to flowprofiler®.
What is emotional intelligence and why is it important in the workplace?
Emotional intelligence, as measured by flowprofiler®, covers five dimensions:
- Self confidence
- Emotional regulation
- Emotional awareness
- Regard for others
- Social awareness
These dimensions are the building blocks of healthy and positive workplace relationships. They can be the difference between a high performing team and a costly tribunal judgement. You might think that emotional intelligence is an innate personality trait. An individual either is emotionally intelligent, or is not. However, emotional intelligence is actually a skill which can be assessed, trained and improved. It’s also true that an individual can over use their emotional intelligence. They can, for instance, show too much confidence in others, and indeed be too kind, when perhaps a bit of ‘tough love’ would be more appropriate.
Understanding our individual ‘sliding scale’ of emotional intelligence gives us the opportunity to adjust how we behave at work and therefore optimise our relationships with our co-workers. It helps us to understand the ‘difficult leaders‘ present in so many organisations, how to respond to them and encourage them to behave in a proportionate manner.
Why use flowprofiler® to develop organisation-wide emotional intelligence?
flowprofiler® is a psychometric tool which is specifically designed for the workplace. While its use at work will inevitably have a positive impact beyond the office, the objective of flowprofiler® is to develop and strengthen the relationships inside the workplace.
flowprofiler® consists of three individual assessments (eqflow®, resilienceflow® and motivationflow®) plus the flowprofiler® which encompasses all three in one. Because we know that emotional intelligence fluctuates, eqflow® assesses an individual’s emotional intelligence in two states: day-to-day and under pressure. When undertaken by co-workers, these individual results can be pulled together to provide a comprehensive overview of the team‘s emotional intelligence. It shows who are the outliers, where there is room for improvement and where the team is strong.
While the assessment is insightful as a standalone tool, it gives even greater return on investment when used within a medium to long-term development strategy. Taking a ‘test-train-coach-retest’ approach enables HR professionals to show how investment in emotional intelligence plays a part in achieving organisational objectives, for example lower employee turnover and therefore reduced recruitment costs.
Improve emotional intelligence for better communication
How often have you listened in horror as a communications message goes badly wrong? Or where there has simply been radio silence at a crucial time?
It’s all well and good to teach communication skills and techniques (which we do very well) but it’s essential to make sure decision-makers and communicators accurately ‘read the room’. They can only do this if they use their emotional intelligence to craft their message. There is no point in having the most technically perfect presentation, if you leave your audience feeling undervalued by your words and demeanour. Yes, it is important to appear self assured, but it’s not appropriate to come across as arrogant. It’s great to show you can contribute, but not so good if this tips over into controlling behaviour. And, while it’s important to remain composed under pressure, suppressing all emotion can present as cold and uncaring.
Too often we see leaders at line and senior levels forget to be human. Especially when delivering difficult messages. Adding emotional intelligence to their professional skill set will equip your leaders to inspire their teams, even in tough times.
Emotional intelligence in times of crisis
The war in Ukraine, the cost of living crisis and the challenges posed by the much longed for end to the pandemic-induced isolation make for a heady mix of vulnerability, inconsistency and uncharted emotions. In an ideal world we would leave these at the office door. But of course we don’t. We can’t. We are humans and emotions are part and parcel of our nature.
However, what we can do is learn to understand, recognise and regulate how we manage these emotions and reactions. We can use these skills to have a positive impact on those around us. We can then all play our role in creating happy and healthy workplaces that we actually want to be part of and contribute to.