In the present day, emotional intelligence has already become an intrinsic part of the modern business world. The majority of companies consider emotional intelligence to be no less significant than professional skills and knowledge. In other words, no matter how a person is competent in his sphere – he will not be able to work efficiently without being able to motivate others, build strong relationships, listen carefully, and understand other people’s emotions.
At the same time, companies that consider the level of emotional intelligence of their employees report increased productivity and total sales. That is why I propose to introduce specific Emotional Intelligence Training to help organizational leaders develop and strengthen their competencies in order to improve organizational climate and morale. The course will contain 12 lectures (webinars) and approximately 120 minutes of audio and video content. In addition, there will be short tests after every segment to strengthen knowledge and drive individual learning.
What Is Emotional Intelligence?
First of all, addressing the necessity of the course, it is essential to define its fundamental concept. Thus, emotional intelligence (EI) is an essential concept that currently attracts particular attention as interpersonal relationships, and individual characteristics of people become considered in the workplace. In other words, intelligence and emotions were previously regarded as opposed to each other.
However, in the present day, evidence state that emotions may substantially impact thinking processes. According to Serrat (2017), emotional intelligence is an “ability, capacity, skill, or self-perceived ability to identify, assess, and manage the emotions of one’s self, of others, and of groups” (p. 329). It is traditionally used for efficient communication with others, decision-making, and problem-solving. In general, emotional intelligence addresses several essential components, including self-regulation, self-awareness, social skills, empathy, and motivation. Thus, emotionally intelligent people may predict others’ behaviors, decisions, and actions on the basis of their emotions, such as happiness, sadness, anger, or fear.
Impact of EI in the Workplace
In general, it is impossible to deny the significance of EI and its positive impact on working processes. First of all, emotionally intelligent people recognize their own and others’ emotions in order to manage them and achieve common goals and the best possible outcome for everyone. That is why through emotional intelligence, all employees have an opportunity to succeed, professionally and personally. As previously mentioned, EI consists of components that have a great impact on the workplace if understood and applied properly. To be precise, EI includes twelve competencies divided into four domains – self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management (Goleman & Boyatzis, 2017).
Self-awareness addresses emotional self-awareness, an ability to understand one’s own emotions. Self-management includes adaptability, emotional self-control, positive outlook, and achievement orientation. Social awareness refers to empathy and organizational awareness, while relationship management is conflict management, teamwork, influence, inspirational leadership, and coaching or mentoring (Goleman & Boyatzis, 2017).
Thus, an emotionally competent person is frequently a leader who uses his understanding of emotions to contribute to the company’s growth and development, improve the relationship with colleagues and followers, and help them to achieve personal and professional goals in the following ways:
- Through perceiving his emotions, an emotionally competent person understands how other people, including colleagues, managers, and clients, view him and may correct his actions and decisions;
- An emotionally competent person controls his emotions in stressful work situations when self-restraint is essential;
- Emotionally competent leaders motivate others through the promotion of feelings toward them and motivate themselves;
- Emotionally competent people understand the feelings and emotions of others and are able to manage them by building solid relationships on the basis of mutual trust and respect and to create a friendly and productive work atmosphere;
- The social skills of emotionally competent leaders allow them to resolve conflicts, listen attentively and speak argumentatively and communicate with people considering their individual characteristics (Di Fabio & Kenny, 2016).
Increasing EI Awareness
It goes without saying that the proposed EI training has particular guidance that helps participants achieve appropriate results. However, it is essential to develop EI competencies constantly. Nevertheless, the course will provide particular recommendations as well as professionalism in any sphere that requires hard work. Thus, in order to improve EI, increase EI awareness, or strengthen the course’s results, a person may apply the following strategies:
- To evaluate himself. The examination of personal strengths and weaknesses creates a basis for self-improvement.
- To observe personal emotions and reactions to people and events. It will be useful to write down all emotions and actions and their outcomes at the end of the day for an in-depth analysis of the connections between them. This practice will help to understand the reasons for particular behaviors and control inappropriate ones in the future.
- To ask himself questions related to people in the workplace and puts himself in their place. In the majority of cases, people react to others’ words and actions without thinking about what may stand behind them. It is beneficial to address people mentally as frequently as possible in order to understand their feelings, emotions, and thinking processes.
- To examine the work environment. It is essential to understand the whole atmosphere in the workplace as it is created by other members, and the interrelations of all people should be considered as well.
- To take responsibility for misbehavior. It goes without saying that in the process of EI improvement, anyone can make mistakes. However, self-awareness in relation to errors and readiness to correct them is an important step toward success.
Applying EI in Communication Skills
In general, the proposed EI training will address several areas in order to help the organization’s leaders develop and strengthen their competencies and improve organizational climate and morale. The first area is the connection between effective communication skills and EI. Effective communication plays a highly important role in achieving results and improving relationships in the workplace. Concise, clear, well thought out, and positive communication enables leaders to manage conflicts, understand other parties’ needs, improve listening, motivate, and influence people. Emotionally incompetent workers cannot communicate efficiently and understand the emotions of colleagues, managers, and clients.
During the training, leaders will learn:
- Major skills of EI: self-awareness, social awareness, self-management, and relationship management
- Using emotions to navigate the social environment
- Strategies to increase leadership potential
- Using tact and diplomacy in communication
Practicing Listening Skills to Build and Maintain Understanding and Empathy
Another area that will be addressed by the EI training is empathic listening. It is a specific well-structured questioning and listening technique that presupposes the focus on a speaking person for better intellectual and emotional connection. Emphatic listening is impossible without EI, and emotionally incompetent people will not be able to build strong relationships with others without understanding and considering their emotions in the process of listening.
During the training, leaders will learn:
- To be non-judgmental in listening;
- To give attention to a speaker;
- To listen carefully and show it to a speaker;
- To follow up;
- To consider silence as a natural part of the conversation.
EI Stress Management and Flexibility
The third area of the EI training is stress management and flexibility. Emotionally competent people are able to stay positive, control their emotions in stressful and challenging situations, and manage others’ feelings as well. Due to the training, leaders will learn to:
- Grow personally and make conclusions from mistakes;
- Accept challenges outside their comfort zone;
- Recognize when emotions impact their inflexibility;
- Be curious and ready for changes;
- Balance more and less urgent tasks;
- Focus on controllable things and avoid anxiety concerning things that cannot be affected;
- Appreciate positive moments;
- Share positive ideas with people to inspire them and strengthen cooperation.
Realizing Healthy Conflict and Collaboration Through EI
It goes without saying that EI substantially impacts collaboration as team members are no longer regarded as specialists whose individual characteristics are not important. Emotionally intelligent people recognize their own emotions and others’ emotions in order to elaborate on efficient ways of communication and collaboration. In addition, emotionally competent people are able to manage conflict as they know how to listen carefully, ask questions, respect both parties, and be non-judgmental and unbiased. During the course, participants will learn to:
- Evaluate personal emotions to perceive how other people view them.
- Understand others’ emotions and manage them to motivate and inspire.
- Understand and manage others’ emotions to solve conflicts.
Demonstrating a Collaborative Attitude by Applying EI
Applying EI for the improvement of collaboration in the workplace means appreciating the efforts of all team members, understanding their intentions, and respecting and trusting them. In addition, they may create a sense of empathy shared by all team members to ensure understanding and support. Emotionally intelligent workers are able to create a friendly atmosphere in the workplace, where everyone has an opportunity to relax, share their ideas, and work productively at the same time.
To sum up, this proposal demonstrates the necessity of Emotional Intelligence Training for the company. It is impossible to create a healthy working atmosphere, motivate employees, build strong relationships, manage stress, and resolve conflicts efficiently if organizational leaders cannot assess their own emotions, understand others’ feelings, and control behaviors.
Di Fabio, A., & Kenny, M. E. (2016). Promoting well-being: The contribution of emotional intelligence. Frontiers in Psychology, 7(1182), 1-13. Web.
Goleman, D., & Boyatzis, R. E. (2017). Emotional intelligence has 12 elements. Which do you need to work on? Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation.
Serrat, O. (2017). Understanding and developing emotional intelligence. In O. Serrat (Ed.), Knowledge solutions: Tools, methods, and approaches to drive organizational performance (pp. 329-339). Springer.