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This paper analyses emotional intelligence and its applicability at places of work. The introductory part defines emotions and explains what emotional intelligence, and distinguishes it from academic intelligence or intelligent quotient. In the main body, deeper discussions of the tenets of emotional intelligence are explored.
The causes and underlying reasons for emotional breakdown are discussed with concrete examples. The paper further explains how modern organizations are trying to adopt emotional intelligence, and how this component of modern human resource management can impact the performance of organizations.
Have you ever been angry with your workmate? What prompted your anger and how did you react? Do you think your reaction was justified? These questions introduce us to the subject of managing emotions which is also referred to as emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence commonly abbreviated as (EQ) or emotional quotient is one of the key tenets of modern human resource management.
Emotions occupy a very big part of human life, thus this subject deserves much attention. Emotion is defined as the disturbance of the mind and passion, and which excites the mental state of a person. It is usually marked by a strong feeling to act. On a daily basis, people experience different happenings in or out of work.
The modern world economy is dominated by economic constraint, for instance the economic recession that was experienced in early 2008 (Weiten, 2009). For a longer period of time, it has been believed that the success of a person at the place of work depends on the level of intelligence of that person known as intelligence quotient (IQ).
This is presumed to work in the academic field and not the real open work field. It has been noted that the performance of a person at the place of work goes far beyond the intelligence quotient. The modern workplace demands for varied resourcefulness. What is needed is a different kind of mental smartness; that is, emotional intelligence (Singh, 2006).
Since the start of 1990s organizations and researchers in the United Kingdom began to accept and implement emotional intelligence. From then, consultants in management and psychologists have dug deep into research to know how important emotional intelligence is at places of work in relation to productivity, the general management and in sales. They appreciated that emotional intelligence is a basic need more so in jobs where interaction between people is a must (Gold and Mumford, 2010).
Distinguishing Emotional Intelligence from Intelligent Quotient
Chakraborty (2008) observes that many people have failed to separate these two subjects. They use these terms in similar contexts with assumptions that each is the antonym of one another. It is good to note that the two have a kind of a complex relationship. Emotional intelligence is based on emotion while rational or intelligent quotient is based on academics.
Nonetheless, the two interact in a certain manner and go together in some instances. Emotional responses can be managed well through conscious efforts. When this awareness is inexistent, rational thinking is overridden by emotional actions (Chakraborty, 2008).
Emotional intelligence skills
There are a number of emotional intelligence skills that are very fruitful when they are learnt and adopted. They include being empathetic. When a leader in any organization has grasped this skill, he or she is able to feel and listen to the demands and complaints from employees (Stein, 2009).
Responsibility is also an important skill of managing emotions. Managers who have a grasp of social responsibility give room for a participatory approach in management. Such managers take good care of the community and the environment they are working in and respect the rules that govern that society (Stein, 2009).
Leaders who are emotionally intelligence know how to relate well with other people. Good interpersonal relationship skills help these leaders to maintain a positive relationship with all other people in the organization. Good interpersonal relation skills help leaders to cultivate relationships they want in the organization (Stein, 2009). Emotional intelligence has to come with the ability to control impulses.
This skill comprises of patience, and it allows a leader to listen to the employers of the company. Therefore, employers are able to clearly understand the views of employees and they can make an attempt to integrate these views in the organizational working framework thus drawing away bad feelings and protests at the place of work.
Happiness is another important emotional management skill that leaders need to have in order to manage emotions in the organizations that they lead. Happiness pulls people closer to the organization. Employees will always prefer to work with joyful and rejuvenated leaders. On the contrary, they will shun from leaders who are gloomy and unfriendly (Stein, 2009).
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Emotional intelligence has to be accompanied with tough mindedness. For any leader to gain success, he or she has to have a lot of resilience. This enables one to easily respond to tough and challenging situations. They manage to persevere when faced with obstacles. It is easy for them to overcome challenging situations and easily contain pressure arising from these constraints.
Tough minded leaders must have high self-regard because people with high self-regard have confidence and self-assurance. Leaders who possess the skill of self-regard have a strong understanding of their strongpoints and their weak points. They use confidence to counter tough situations and moments of the organization.
Tough minded leaders must have high levels of tolerating stress. This means that one must be ready and know how to deal with tough situations as they arise. Though attending to a taunting task, one is able to keep focus and control himself in relation to the activity that he or she is handling (Stein, 2009).
Organizational Culture and Emotional Intelligence
The bottom line in operation of a business, companies or even the government are impacted by emotions that are derived from the work, the management and the customers. Organizational culture and climate are determined by emotions and how the emotions in the organization and how these emotions are managed. The feeling and performance of employees influences the feeling, satisfaction level and loyalty of customers to the company.
These in turn work to affect the performance of the organization. Emotions whether they are positive or negative affects everyone in the organization. In “What makes a leader” in the Harvard Business Review, Daniel Goleman (2005) states “When I calculate the ratio of technical skills, IQ and emotional intelligence as ingredients of excellent performance, emotional intelligence proved to be twice as important as others for jobs at all levels” (Stock, 2008, p.18).
He goes on to say, “When I compared star performers with average ones in senior leadership positions, nearly 90% of difference in their profile was attributable to Emotional Intelligence factors rather than cognitive abilities” (Stock, 2008, p.18).
There is evidence supported by many researchers that emotional intelligence lays at the centre of efficient leadership. Efficient leaders are modelled by their thoughts and state of mind as they perform their work. Good leaders have self awareness as well as the influence they have on other people.
Self awareness is more vital. Leaders who have performed well in management have high abilities to control or manage their emotions. They do not at any point let emotions control them but rather are always on top of their emotions are good in adjusting their feelings (Stock, 2008).
Organizational culture is a combination of different tenets that include values, beliefs and behaviours. These tenets work together to determine the climate of an organization. Analysts argue that emotions have economic value. Profitability of companies are determined by behaviours of employee most of which are shaped by emotions (Stock, 2008). Research ascertains that the manner in which employees behave and treat one another affects the profit making patterns of the organization.
The improvement in the attitude of employees leads to an improvement. Research ascertains that the manner in which employees behave and treat one another affects the profit making patterns of the organization. The management of companies are in these times finding it important to handle employees in a nice way. It has been found out that if at any instance, the attitude of employees rises, the satisfaction of customers will equally raise (Spritzer, 2007).
Stress normally has a big impact on the management and the workers. Stress emanates from bad emotions and feeling that renders people unable to withstand what the environment demands from them. Demands of the jobs and the social setting of the society are unlikely to change soon. This is making it very important to develop skills to held cope with these demands thus a call for emotional intelligence skills. On the other hand, there is good stress also called eustress. This is fuelled by positive emotions (Stock, 2008).
Research indicates that when anxiety, fear or even despair enters a persons mind, a person become defensive and seek for personal security. On realization the people who surround cant offer the security, the person becomes frustrated. This results in a turndown in performance. The taunting nature of tasks at places of work is being accompanied by stress. Jobs that come with a lot of complexities call for high levels of emotional intelligence.
At the workplace there is rising need to help manage stress. Stress management is not a simple activity. It requires one to have high levels of emotional intelligence in order to solve this problem without harming the activities of the company where one works. Successful managing of stress and its related conditions has positive impact to the profit patterns of the company (Singh, 2006).
Social and emotional intelligence works have been adopted by organizations. A person’s social and emotional intelligence goes deep into making the person successful. If extrapolated, this can be reflective of the entire organizational culture. People who manage famous organizations keep in mind that their workers are their key assets thus by developing them; their organizations are bound to be successful.
In order for organizations to maximize on their competitive abilities, they have to pay maximum attention to motivating and satisfying the needs of their employees. Ability of the organization to weigh and fully understand the socio– emotional intelligence is a beginner step to see to ensuring that an organization has reached its maximum potential.
Organizations that are devoid of emotional intelligence stand a high risk of not attaining their goals. Emotionally intelligent organizations on the other hand, have a high rate of attaining their goals and objectives. They promote an open culture where issues of openness and transparency are the key norms (Singh, 2006).
Merging Organizational Culture and Emotional Intelligence
Leslie works in a young advertising, and she has good friendship with the workmates. Much of the leisure time, she spends time with her friends. She describes the manner in which she relates with the bosses. The bosses are very nice, and they forward them online emails and jokes. A lot of workers gather on his computer to view latest emailed jokes (Spitzer, 2007). This is so creative of the leadership of the organization.
Though, after working for very long hours, she fills guilty leaving earlier whenever she has to do so. The reasons why people or employees get faded up with the work they do originate mostly from their supervisors or bosses. The leading teams in organizations affect the organization through directing, and guiding and the manner of responding both to the employees and the external world.
Leaders in any organization are the steers of the organizational ship. People needs to be full aware of where the ship they are travelling in is meant to reach. Employers need to understand that the leadership is competent when it comes to organizational decision making and that they are guided by the interests of the organization they are leading (Stein, 2007).
From the discussion, it is clear the world we live in today is full of challenges that emanate from both the economic and social spheres of life. These challenges have a great impact on people and their behaviours. Therefore, the modern society has to accept the realities that these challenges pose to organizational performance.
In an effort to counter the challenges, they have resorted to introduce and cultivate the culture emotional intelligence and management. Emotional intelligence is however a subject that is still very young. Nonetheless, smart organizations that have adopted this technique are doing well. Emotion intelligence has become more of a necessity in organizations in current time. Each organization faces emotional related problems and thus by adopting this practice can help them maximize productivity.
Organizations should conduct research about the changes on the emotions of their employees, so that they can determine the best motivational strategies to apply. In addition, employees should be consulted when implementing strategies in the organization to ensure they accept them.
Chakraborty, A., 2008, Emotional intelligence, Berlin, Springer.
Gold, J., Thorpe, R., & Mumford, A., 2010, Gower handbook of leadership and management development. Burlington, VT, Gower.
Goleman, D., 2005, Emotional intelligence. New York, N.Y., Bantam Dell.
Singh, D., 2006, Emotional Intelligence at Work: A Professional Guide. New Delhi: Response Books.
Spitzer, D. R., 2007, transforming performance measurement rethinking the way we measure and drive organizational success, New York, American Management Association.
Stein, S., 2009, Emotional intelligence for dummies, Mississauga, Ont, John Wiley & Sons Canada.
Stein, S. J., 2007, Make your workplace great: the 7 keys to an emotionally intelligent organization, Mississauga, Ont, J. Wiley & Sons Canada Ltd.
Stock, B., 2008, Smart emotions: for busy business people, [Mich.], B. Stock.
Weiten, W., 2009, Psychology applied to modern life: adjustment in the 21st century, Australia: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.