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Emotional Intelligence in today’s workplace
As discussed in the article, How to survive in a workplace causing low EI, many decades of organisational research has shown that longer work hours, constant change and uncertainty result in elevated stress levels and a greater daily experience of negative emotions. This, in turn, causes our thinking to be narrowed, our perspective to be limited and a greater preponderance of reactionary behaviour. We become more easily defensive or aggressive in our responses, more problem-focused and we more readily forget the bigger picture.
When hiring or developing leaders, their ability to navigate through high demand, stressful working conditions and change in the workplace and to lead by example, is now a strong predictor of organisational performance. This is particularly applicable in industries where high emotional labour exists.
In any organisation that is customer facing, sales, for example, emotional intelligence is a high predictor of an employee’s emotional resiliency, their ability to cope and succeed in a high-pressure environment.
A powerful starting point in anyone’s journey to become more emotionally intelligent in the workplace is to understand our own emotions, be reflective and gain feedback to understand how people are seeing our behaviour and what may be causing it.