Posted by: healingtheworkplace | October 25, 2009

Using Emotional Intelligence to Heal the Workplace

Hi there!  How are you this week? I’m good and I’ve been thinking about how important emotional Intelligence (EQ) is in the workplace.

How important EQ is to creating and maintaining a healthy workplace. 

I keep reading about how important EQ is for effective leadership. YES it is!

I also keep reading about how important EQ is for career success (getting the job you want).

What I’ve not read much about is the relationship of EQ and healthy workplaces.

EQ was first made popular by Daniel Goleman. Daniel Goleman has written a number of excellent books on the subject and I would recommend that you read Emotional Intelligence and Working with Emotional Intelligence if you are not familiar with his work.

If you read Working with Emotional Intelligence you’ll discover that the person responsible for first identifying the need for EQ skills at work was David McClelland.

Basically EQ skills fall into the following categories:

  • self-awareness (knowing one’s strengths and weaknesses, values, leadership style, communication style etc.)
  • self-regulation (managing one’s internal states–anger, fear, frustration etc.)
  • motivation (persistence, taking initiative etc.)
  • empathy (understanding others, developing others etc.)
  • social skills (influence, communication, conflict management, collaboration, team building etc.)

We all have to take responsibility for making improvements in the places we work. If we see someone being mistreated we need to speak up. If we know of someone who is acting unethically we need to “blow the whistle”. If we are not happy with the way our colleagues treat us we have to stand up to them. If people don’t pull their weight we need to raise the issue with them, the team and the boss.

What we need in order to “take responsibility” is to use our EQ skills.

Some organizations are now attempting to hire people with these skills. But organizations also need to help people develop these skills if they don’t have them. 

In fact, this might be the best investment they make!

What if everyone in the organization that you work in had good relationship-building interpersonal skills? What about your team? Sometimes the best teams are the ones in which everyone has the skills to work together–EQ skills.

What if everyone took responsibility for creating an organization that was healthy and productive? Maybe I’m naive but I think that a shift is taking place. Remember the book The Tipping Point?

Well, there is a growing emphasis on EQ and on leadership.

There is an explosion of people stepping up and stepping into leadership roles–in their work, in their communities, in their places of workship, in their schools and around the world.

I believe that we have the power to improve our workplaces but only if we all take some responsibility.

Cheers,

Lesley

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