By Ayush Dev Pant

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is a gravitating topic today as people are gradually understanding the role of EQ in enhancing the quality of life we’re living. People with high emotional intelligence tend to be more successful in the workplace. So what is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. Emotions are the reaction (love, anger, fear etc.) to a certain situation and intelligence is the ability to understand, learn well and to form judgments and opinions based on reason. It’s basic to combine these two words on an article, but a pragmatic approach to emotional intelligence is a struggle for a lot of us, because it’s not something we learned in school or a topic we discuss with friends or colleagues. It’s an under-rated skill with a priceless output, if applied correctly. Charles Darwin considered Emotional Intelligence as a pre-requisite for one’s survival. Today, emotional intelligence is a pre-requisite for a company’s survival because the members of the newest generation in the market are the most emotionally vulnerable generation ever. People ages 15 to 21 — reported the worst mental health of any generation included in the American Psychological Association’s Annual Stress in America report.  

In a study that involved over 2,600 hiring managers, 71% said they value high EQ over high IQ. Employees with high EQ tend to stay calm during pressure situations, listen well before speaking and lead by example. Organizations which practice emotional intelligence propagate motivated employees. Retaining employees is one of the most challenging tasks for today’s managers. It’s a no brainer that a culture of emotional intelligence in a company is going to make it a lot less challenging for them. Realizing this fact, a lot of companies today are developing emotional intelligence among their customers, executive members and employees.

The future is predicted to be an era of artificial intelligence. This is where EQ beats IQ. Cognitive intelligence (IQ) is the ability to handle reasoning and solving problems. The era of artificial intelligence will be more efficient in solving problems and comprehending complex tasks than humans. They will do it all but Emotional intelligence is where they will stumble. Robots will never have the genuine human connections which are driven by emotions. We don’t know about the future but replacing humans with robots seems like an impossible project.

Since robots are not replacing every one of us anytime soon, leaders today need to prioritize and execute the culture of emotional intelligence. A recent article from Forbes has explained three different ways to develop emotional intelligence in workplace; considering what we might not see, turning frustration into teaching opportunities and accepting and learning from feedback.
‘Considering what we might not see’ deals with empathy and trying to understand what the other person is feeling during a conversation; especially in a situation where the communicators are not aligning with the agenda.
‘Turning Frustration Into Teaching Opportunities’ deals with a calm approach towards a generally ‘frustrating situation’. For example, if the employees are not focused in a meeting, instead of taking a rude route of frustration, we should opt for asking meaningful questions like  ‘What do you think should change and could be improved upon?’ so that they feel more in control and realize the importance of their mindful presence in the meeting.
Accepting and learning from feedback deals with being open to criticisms and positively accepting a remark by an employee. Emotional Intelligence in workplace is possible, when the person is open to feedback from personnel working below his/her hierarchical position. It is a form of empathy and using it as a medium to grow is one of the major avenue of emotional intelligence development in an organization. To sum it up, a true leader practices self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. 

Artificial Intelligence might dominate the workplace in the future, but will robots write an appreciation card for their human supervisors stating how grateful they feel to have them in their artificial lives? Probably not. But humans will. We understand and respond to emotions and try to make it a better place for everyone. That is what makes us realize that work is important and so is human connection.

Prioritizing emotional intelligence in workplace is making employees realize that everyone in the company, no matter where their hierarchical position lies, ARE ALL HUMANS. Achieving a successful emotional intelligence development process is going to be tricky because we all have different emotional reaction to different situations. Once we follow the path of emotional intelligence, empathy will kick in and we’ll all appreciate each other and help each other grow. It will take a while but it is the way to go in order to run a successful business with employees who value their work and their purpose as a human being and are living on a tiny, pale blue dot in the vastness of this universe.