Protect IQ with EQ

Companies could be losing money if they are not managing their employees’ intellectual and emotional intelligence effectively.

Intellectual and emotional intelligence are two core resources a business must have. Having intellectual intelligence is acknowledged and accepted as a vital part of succeeding in life and business but the importance of emotional intelligence, (EQ or EI), is only recently getting the attention it deserves. EQ measures a person’s ability to read, understand, empathize and respond to other peoples’ emotions. By interpreting facial expressions, body language, tone of voice and choice of sentence structures, we can understand someone’s mood and unspoken points of view.

Knowing someone has a vested interested in not agreeing or helping you, gives you an opportunity to address a problem before delegating and experiencing a lack of cooperation. The challenge is, we are not educated to understand that emotions are simply information of how we are experiencing our perception.Therefore, rather than using emotional intelligence for the understanding of each other, we often avoid and fear it, thereby compounding the problems that are natural consequences from not understanding each other’s needs.

Not understanding the importance of EQ could result in damaging office politics, low morale and, ultimately, lost time and money. If people are stressed and feel they are under threat, their brain chemistry changes and they lose adequate access to their IQ.Their objectives shift from seeking to achieve common goals to fighting for individual survival. The blood and oxygen that reside in the logical part of the brain (neo cortexes) moves to the back of the brain when a person is under stress – the part where quick survival decisions are made.

For example, if you are about to be run over by a bus, you don’t need your logical brain to analyse the situation, you need quick reflexes to dive out of the way. Hence when we are under threat in the workplace, our blood flow moves away from the part of the brain we need most to make logical and rational decisions that are best for the company.Instead, we shift our focus to survival, thereby engaging our less intelligent form of animal instinct that proves to be handy in the jungle, but destructive in the workplace.

EQ Management Recommendations

To combat the problems caused by office politics and low morale, we can protect the company IQ bank through effective EQ management via the following 6 recommendations:

1. All managers and work colleagues are to improve their ability to identify and deliver genuine specific praise and constructive feedback (criticism).

2. The company view on mistakes must shift from condescending judgement to seeing mistakes as opportunities to evolve. Work colleagues will sooner admit to mistakes if they do not feel they will be punished and looked down upon.

3. Communicate that anyone caught de-positioning anyone whether it be staff or clients will receive a written warning.

4. Create frequent team building opportunities such as mystery trips to leisure activities that encourage team participation and fun.

5. Facilitate solutions from staff rather than handing down instructions. This way, they build confidence in their abilities and are more likely to implement solutions they feel have also come from them.

6. Learn to communicate without negative emotions that corrupt the message and incite poor listening and defensive behaviour.

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