“It’s not personal; it’s business.” Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve likely heard that saying (many times) before. It’s a quick-witted way of saying that feelings and business don’t mix. But do they? Many business owners and leaders are finding the value of emotional intelligence as a tool to strengthen relationships, enhance communication and boost performance.
A research paper titled EQ and the Bottom Line reported that restaurant managers with high emotional intelligence (EQ) achieved a 22 percent annual profit growth. What’s more, individuals with high EQ are found to make on average $29,000 more per year than individuals with lower EQ scores.
When applied in a professional setting, emotional intelligence can help teams to improve listening skills, recognize verbal and non-verbal cues, work collaboratively and manage stress better. For business owners and leaders, it’s also a great way to enhance self-awareness.
According to Workforce, there are three simple ways to help your team boost their EQ:
1. Provide communication skills training that helps develop self-awareness and teaches employees to recognize their colleagues’ and customers’ verbal and non-verbal cues.
This means learning how to read the emotional needs of others by assessing facial expressions, gestures and postures and thoughtfully considering others’ feelings when responding and making decisions. Increased self-awareness boosts interpersonal communication and improves team dynamics.
2. Help employees understand the importance of listening by providing hands-on listening training. Often in meetings employees wait for a pause in the conversation so they can offer their opinion. They are not really listening, they’re just waiting to speak.
3. Teach employees to manage stress and work collaboratively to develop time management plans. According to the American Psychological Association, 61 percent of Americans say that work is a significant source of stress. To help with stress management, leaders should encourage employees to physically remove themselves from a situation that is stressful.
Take this free, quick emotional intelligence quiz to see how you score and areas where you can improve.