Why Emotional Intelligence Matters
More and more companies are raising their voice about the importance of pre-employment emotional intelligence testing when hiring personnel. While we at Accountor Ukraine agree that EQ-profiling is an important aspect of the recruitment process, we believe that EQ skills are crucial for nearly every bit of work we do with other people, whether it is with our colleagues, managers, clients, or partners.
As EQ is often confused with other concepts, such as “empathy” or “ability to work in a team”, let us look at what EQ is and what it is not.
More Than Empathy
Empathy is an ability to discern other peoples’ emotions and to echo their feelings. However, the concept of EQ is bigger than simply “being empathetic”. According to the American psychologist Daniel Goleman, EQ is that it is the ability to perceive, control, evaluate, generate emotions and to promote emotional and intellectual growth. Goleman believes there are five key elements to EQ, empathy being one of them:
- Social skills
Unlike empathy, good EQ is usually not innate and is a result of education. However, for years, the importance of social-emotional education has been overlooked by entire societies. As a result, we have learned how to predict weather, stock price movement and currency fluctuations but lost the ability to understand ourselves. The price of ignoring EQ is high: poor communication, high employee turnover and decreased efficiency may be just some of the possible consequences.
Communication is Key
It is no secret that the success of any organization is largely dependent on effective communication. A common mistake is paying too much attention to verbal communication and ignoring the non-verbal signs. Although freedom of speech is highly encouraged by most companies, some people do not express their frustration due to shyness or fear of criticism. In this case, it is crucial that their co-workers use their EQ skills to recognize the “silent scream” and analyze what they can do to solve the problem. Failure to spot the non-verbal frustration signals might eventually turn the most sustainable company into a toxic environment with no room for trust, honesty, respect, or friendliness.
Similarly, EQ skills are essential in a company’s relationship with clients and partners. Self-awareness, self-regulation and empathy might help the negotiating parties be more attentive to each other’s needs and enable them to navigate difficult conversations more effectively.
Although mastering EQ might be challenging at first, it is amazing how quickly it becomes a part of life once you give it enough attention. Step by step, it broadens your horizons and provides insight into the things you never noticed. It teaches you to look at the world with someone else’s eyes, to understand the motives behind the actions, and to think like Sherlock Holmes even in the most unexpected situations.
While training our employees EQ skills helps build a strong team spirit, it does not stop at that. Since everything is interconnected, EQ builds bridges between different people, different companies and different corporate cultures. As we use EQ in the workplace, we create the atmosphere of trust that our clients feel, and that they want to share and to be part of. It is a truly effective way to cooperate, and it is a beautiful experience.