Let’s say you had a Zoom call recently where a team member had his arms folded crisply across his chest and a concerned look on his face. A few minutes into the meeting it was clear by his body language and his words that he was on the defensive about his work.
You weren’t sure why he felt this way and knew that asking him outright wasn’t the way to go. So, you complimented his efforts when you could, affirmed his good ideas to the group, and asked for his opinions on different projects. After a while, you could physically see him relax and be more engaged in the conversation. That’s emotional intelligence (EI) in action.
Emotional intelligence is noticing behavior, being authentic, and having the ability to make difficult conversations productive. It’s about responding rather than reacting. It is when you take a deep breath and use all your skills to respond well.
Why Cultivate Your EI? The Reasons are Many.
When people have a higher level of EI, it’s been shown they:
- Are more effective leaders
- Perform better at work
- Show more resiliency
- Sell more
- Serve members or clients better
- Develop highly liked teammates
- Are more engaged in their jobs
Also, there is a tremendous return on investment for organizations that measure and provide development opportunities for EI.
The good news is that unlike people’s intelligence quotient that cannot be learned or improved on, a person’s EI certainly can be. Not only does it make for a better employee, but it also makes for a well-rounded and resilient person. And who doesn’t want that?