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By Dawn Klavon with Dr. Sabrina Brandon Ricks, Founder and President of SBR Workplace Leadership Services
Q: Why is SBR offering a new class about emotional intelligence?
A: Advances in technology have obvious benefits for society, such as the ability to work remotely, artificial intelligence (AI), connections with people around the world, and more. However, one of the disadvantages that is not often considered is the elimination of a lot of face-to-face interaction. Many people can go through a full day with little to no face-to-face interaction with another human being. This is detrimental to health, growth, development, and maturity for adults, especially in the workplace. Establishing and maintaining interpersonal relationships is a skill and without continued practice, one loses the skills and therefore the ability to observe, recognize, or respond to different emotions. This impacts workplace interactions, personal relationships, interactions in educational institutions, interactions in houses of worship, and many areas of one’s life. There are more organizations recognizing this need and requesting this workshop from SBR for their employees. This is why emotional intelligence (EQ) has become more important.
Q: Why do you think an awareness of emotional intelligence is relevant?
A: Although AI is increasingly taking over many industries, there are still industries and certain positions that rely on a worker’s ability to connect with customers emotionally and other stakeholders connected to an organization. These positions include nurses, social workers, hospice care, hospitality, servers, first responders, medical doctors, teachers, and more.
There are five components that reflect EQ and these are needed to ensure workplaces are able to connect with stakeholders in such a way that the organization remains relevant. Researcher, Daniel Goleman, described these components as:
- social skills
COMPONENTS OF EQ
The ability to be self-aware is essential to noticing how you feel and that you have feelings. Additionally, self-regulation allows you to control how you feel and not be emotionally hijacked or triggered by something or someone. Motivation is necessary to help one reach goals in a passionate and positive manner. Empathy is required for you to relate to others and understand their perspectives even when you do not agree. Finally, social skills are essential in order for you to communicate with staff, build motivation, express empathy, provide feedback on work tasks, and more.
Q: What are some consequences of not considering emotional intelligence, and what are some possible benefits?
A: The primary consequence of not considering EQ is not connecting with your organization’s stakeholders (i.e., customers, intermediaries, local government officials, etc.) which will eventually lead to the demise of your organization. For example, if you operate in the healthcare industry and your staff is unable to self-regulate, express empathy, and properly communicate with your patients or residents, how long do you think these patients are going to keep coming to your place of business? Word of mouth will spread that your staff is difficult to deal with, uncaring, unmotivated, unkind, and more. This is not the reputation you want for your organization in any capacity.
The benefit of EQ is the exact opposite of this example. If your staff is warm, welcoming, caring, kind, and relatable, clients will want to do business with your organization regardless of which industry you represent. Think of your own needs and desires when interacting with people. Would you prefer to interact with a staff member of an organization who is empathetic, motivated, and well-versed or someone who is unaware of how they come across, demotivated, and not understanding of your needs at all? It sounds simple but when these factors are missing, it makes a big impact on which organizations customers choose to do business with and there are always other options that do not include your company if EQ is not evident.
Q: How would a work environment and organizational culture potentially improve as a result of addressing emotional intelligence?
A: Emotional intelligence may not be an area that many employers have been considering but as we continue to move, as a society, towards a more technological and virtual world with fewer face-to-face interactions, the organizations that still require face-to-face interactions will suffer if the EQ factor is not met. Younger generations that are missing out on the practice of understanding emotions due to fewer face-to-face interactions will find they suffer when it comes to trying to work for organizations that require the understanding of EQ.
Organizations that build a culture that recognizes and appreciates EQ, hires for EQ, trains for EQ, and promotes EQ will be more appealing to customers and other stakeholders that are connected to the company. Word of mouth will advance the success of those organizations that practice EQ and high customer satisfaction scores and profits will follow. Ultimately, the advancement of EQ has become the competitive advantage for organizations to stand out from the rest.
Dr. Ricks is the primary consultant for SBR Workplace Leadership Services, which exists to prevent workplace bullying and harassment while helping to build employees as strong managers and leaders. Dr. Ricks also offers many empowerment presentations and hopes that her inspirational messages positively impact the lives of others. For more information, log onto sbrleadership.com.