The emotional quotient promotes understanding, respect, and relations across teams regardless of location
Ever since the stone age, workforces have come to a physical place and work together for larger goals. The evolution across the ages has been about making processes efficient and bringing in automation. The last year, and the reasonably foreseeable future, has seen us move to remote work. The literal common ground of discussions and gauging reactions moves to screen time and transactional conversations over emails and chats. With this interaction mode becoming de rigueur, managers and leaders must hone their emotional intelligence, just as much as they practice on their craft and knowledge.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional Intelligence or Emotional Quotient (EQ) is the ability to understand, use and manage emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathise, and overcome challenges to build better relationships. It is the key to set oneself apart in a virtual world. Rapid advances in technology and its increased adoption in the workspace, especially in the last year, change the way we live and work. The impact of AI and automation is increasingly felt in the workplace, accelerating workforce transformations- making emotional intelligence increasingly important.
Building EQ is a holistic process in the following buckets for leaders to be aware of:
Knowing oneself is the first step- your strengths, weaknesses, areas where you can better, and spots you can correct over time. Building self-awareness is an enjoyable journey for any leader, and the best part of that journey is that it is always on.
Being a good listener is just the start. EQ is about responding with the proper reactions to what one’s hearing. Depending on the situation, the response is educative, imparting a life lesson, extending help, or staying silent in their company. It is about recognising feelings and empathising to understand what others are going through.
The skills required to articulate and align goals and roles, coupled with emotional intelligence, make a leader genuinely appreciated, understood, and followed. Motivation goes beyond ‘giving instructions’ to ‘inculcating ownership’ of tangible and intangible skills and personal growth.
Collaborating with Others
Always remember, no man is an island. With emotional intelligence working in the background, you will always enable a team and process to achieve larger goals.
Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace
EQ is critical in a virtual workspace for clarity in navigating through communications. Team members need to support one another even in the absence of physical camaraderie. With remote teams relying exclusively on online communications like emails, chats, and audio/video conferencing mechanisms to get their message across, it is vital to increase our dependence on emotional intelligence. EQ helps reading between the lines. What may come across as kind and encouraging in person may seem the opposite in a virtual setting. What may be a stern managing style in one location may be lax in another and vice-versa. Not being able to read facial expressions makes empathy in gauging conversations difficult and much more critical.
EQ plays a significant factor in developing and maintaining cultural awareness. It promotes understanding, respect, and relations across teams regardless of location. It also helps maintain a general order to accept differing views and diverse cultural backgrounds in an increasingly virtual world.
Importance of EQ in Leading a Team
Leaders who empathise, inspire, and develop meaningful relationships with their people will begin to differentiate themselves in a constantly evolving and uncertain world. Through active listening, patient conflict-resolution, and mentorship, emotionally intelligent leaders build healthy relationships with others and allow employees to trust them as they lead the team through change successfully. EQ is part of our everyday life. All you need is the right mindset and composure. Learning the nuances of different communication styles must become part of emotional intelligence today.
The author is Director, TresVista
DISCLAIMER: Views expressed are the author’s own, and Outlook Money does not necessarily subscribe to them. Outlook Money shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.