The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in the Work Place

free essayUnlike all usual concepts of intelligence, emotional intelligence is the ability to correctly interpret the situation and be able to influence it. Moreover, the person having this quality intuitively understands what other people want and need, knows their strengths and weaknesses, does not succumb to stress and is charming. The presence of emotional intelligence does not mean that a man should give free rein to the emotions; instead, he assumes full control and has a clear definition of everything that he feels.

The Notion of Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize human emotions, to understand intentions, motivations and desires of others and one’s own, as well as the ability to manage personal emotions and those of other people in order to solve practical problems. The concept of emotional intelligence has emerged as a response to the frequent inability of traditional intelligence tests to predict the success of a person in a career and in life. It has been found that the explanation lays in the fact that successful people are able to effectively interact with others based on emotional relationships, and efficiently manage their own feelings while the accepted concept of intelligence has not included these aspects, and intelligence tests did not evaluate these abilities (Smith, 2002).

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Emotional Quotient Compared to Intelligence Quotient

However, human intelligence includes not only logical but emotional part as well. High IQ shows only the ability to work with logic, but not with feelings. EQ (emotional quotient) is the level of emotional intelligence. Psychologists have used this notion to define a person’s ability to understand and manage their own emotions, and those of others. EQ is more important factor in the success of an individual human than “logical” intelligence – IQ (Smith, 2002).

Emotional intelligence helps to respond quickly to the situation. For example, when imagining that one is standing face to face with an angry man, body language (fists and loud voice) will tell him about the emotional state of the opponent, and thus, he will be able to predict the contradictor’s future actions and quickly react to the attack.

Furthermore, when a man is able to recognize his feelings and manage them, emotional intelligence will help him to focus on the achievement of certain goals. Let us consider the following illustration: a person needs to write an article. He does not like the given topic and would prefer to go to the movies instead. Emotional intelligence helps manage such different feelings. Knowing what feelings form the desire to go to the movies, he will be able to defer this pleasure anticipating it.

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Reasons of the Necessity for the Leaders to Possess Emotional Intelligence

To become a charismatic leader, the person must have high EQ. The main abilities of a successful leader are to motivate oneself and not give in to discouragement. Moreover, he/she should control impulses and delay the gratification, manage his/her own mood and not let troubles deprive him/her of the ability to think. Finally, they have to demonstrate empathy and hope. Thus, leaders with high EQ are capable of more rapid progress in the workspace and more efficient use of their abilities. Emotions and intelligence are interconnected, intertwined and often interact closely.

Skillful management of personal emotions greatly improves the ability of the manager to inspire, lead and influence others with positive methods. Additionally, high level of EQ helps the leader to understand how s/he is seen by subordinates and colleagues, that is, what s/he actually reports by the certain type of behavior to others. Furthermore, it ensures the ability to recognize the hidden motives of staff members based on personal feelings.

Thus, for the successful promotion on the career ladder, one needs quite a different quality from high IQ. Brilliant ability in analytical thinking and processing information may be useless if the person is deprived of the ability to influence and strive to achieve the goal. A leader who does not possess an appropriate level of EQ cannot operate effectively in difficult situations, withstand stress, and remain calm. Controlling the emotions, the leader can easier, faster and more efficiently understand the facts. Additionally, in business, to adequately assess the situation and decision-making, it is necessary to have inner peace. Failure to monitor and control one’s own emotions generally leads to the adoption of non-constructive solutions.

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The Elements of Emotional Intelligence Vital to Increase Leadership Effectiveness

Leader with high EQ does not usually request, but inspires; does not use arguments, but uses emotions; does not control, but trusts; does not support movement, but gives an impetus to it; does not do business correctly, but does the right thing; does not give guidance, but sets promoting issues; does not use only personal knowledge, but asks others. To increase leadership effectiveness, it is required from managers to be aware of the elements of emotional intelligence which are as follows:

  1. Personal competence which includes self-awareness, self-esteem, self-regulation (the ability to emotionally react to events in socially acceptable manner while maintaining sufficient flexibility to allow spontaneous reactions), and motivation.
  2. Social competence which consists of empathy (conscious empathy of current emotional state of another person) and social skills (Smith, 2002).

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When hiring new candidates, a test to identify their EQ can be used. The most successful recruiters will show good results in such competencies of EQ as assertiveness, empathy, emotional self-awareness, and tolerance. By developing skills of EQ, it is possible to achieve a breakthrough in the evolution of the company. If everyone in the company develops the EQ, it will positively affect their personal performance and work of the entire system. The staff and the leaders should be educated to track their feelings, emotions, understand their nature, and take responsibility for them. Furthermore, both the managers and the workers should learn the ways of effective interaction with others and achieve results through live communication, discussion, and collaboration. These aims can be achieved by constant pieces of training conducted in order to develop EQ.

Great results are evidenced by the following example: after supervisors in a factory were trained with regard to the emotional competence, in particular, listening and helping the employees to cope with their problems on their own, the downtime has decreased by 50%, the number of formal complaints has fallen down from an average of 15 to 3 per year, and the income of the factory exceeded the planned one by 250 000 dollars. At another factory, supervisors took a similar training which increased productivity by 17%. In the control group of managers who were not trained, the productivity growth was not noted (Cherniss, 1999).

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Emotional intelligence is often presented as an absolute key to success in all areas of life: in education, at work, in relationships. However, perhaps, it is the reason of a limited number of essential life patterns and outcomes. Anyway, almost everyone has agrees that emotional intelligence is expanding the notion of what it means to be smart. Although there is no doubt that all the level of EQ really affects a person’s success in life and, especially, in his or her career, to turn these facts into a scientific theory, one is required to establish a clear principle based on which it would be possible to structure the concept of emotional intelligence. In the absence of this principle, the notion of emotional intelligence is transformed into a random set of factors that influence an individual’s life.