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Businesses have come a long way from being perceived as a mechanical setup, where a group of individuals used their knowledge about market conditions and finances to earn profits. Today, the role of an individual's emotional state on his professional success is being widely recognized. Studies have revealed that it is not just a high intelligence quotient that is required to be a successful businessman. Rather, individuals who have a high emotional intelligence are found to make better leaders and decision makers, and hence, the most successful professionals.

Meaning

Emotional intelligence quotient, or EQ, refers to one's ability to recognize and control one's emotions as well as handle interpersonal relationships judiciously. Such a person is aware of the fact that emotions affect every aspect of one's life, be it personal or professional. He is able to address every problem in a cool and logical way. Not only does he understand his own emotions, but he is also sensitive to others feelings. Such people are sympathetic to those around them, and are able to inspire, and influence decisions and performance of those they work with. Hence, such an individual is an asset for a company.

Why is it Important for Business Leaders?

Conflict Management

Running a business involves the efforts of a large number of people working together. Most of these people come from different social and economic backgrounds. Hence, each has a different way of approaching a problem at the workplace. This often creates conflicts, even among those individuals who are working in the same team. In such a scenario, if a person has high emotional intelligence, he will be in a better position to handle the conflicting views of his colleague. Since such people have control over their emotions, they are able to stay calm and think clearly. Due to their sympathetic demeanor, their detractors tend to become calmer and make efforts to find solutions to the problem in an amicable way. The net result is that not only does the conflict at hand get resolved peacefully, but due to improved relations between the employees, the probability of a future problem spiraling out of control also gets minimized.

Decision-making Abilities

Businesses carry inherent risks, and all successful entrepreneurs will agree that it is only the ability to take the right decision during times of crisis that can save the day. A person with high emotional intelligence is more stable and can maintain a balanced disposition when under pressure. He is in a better position to listen and understand the opinions of different members of the team, and take the right decision. Such leaders also encourage team members to voice their views when it is needed.

Improved Managerial Skills

Emotional intelligence is specially useful for managers, as they have to deal with a workforce that comes from varied backgrounds and beliefs. Managers who possess high levels of this ability, know the importance of lending a patient ear to every individual in their team, and of treating them with respect. Such leaders are held in high regard by the employees, and hence, are more successful in getting an output from them than those professionals who treat their staff in an authoritarian way.

It should be remembered that in the world of business, no one is entitled to become a leader by birth or by virtue of being in a position of power. The right to lead is bestowed upon by people who work with him, because of his empathetic attitude coupled with the ability to take right decisions. It has been observed that such individuals are usually the ones that get promoted to higher executive positions.

Retaining the Workforce

One of the keys to running a successful business is hiring and retaining a qualified and efficient workforce. With the baby-boom generation entering retirement age, labor shortage is going to become one of the pressing problems. Moreover, competition for hiring the best talent is becoming stiffer day by day. Qualified individuals have an array of jobs to choose from. In such a scenario, only those companies and leaders that make their employees feel that they are valued, can attract efficient professionals and retain their existing workforce.

Business can't be carried out purely from boardrooms, or discussing excel sheets and presentations that project the annual growth of a company. It is important to understand that the minds that actually execute all the policies of a company, can work best only when they are completely satisfied with their jobs. Hence, if a company wants to run successfully, it has to appreciate the role that emotional intelligence plays at the workplace.