Why is emotional intelligence important at work?

Many companies, teams and departments make the mistake of assuming that workers are like machines, as if simply paying more or less is proportional to the chances of meeting or not meeting profitability targets. .

The truth is, for better or for worse, professionals aren’t robots, and that has strong implications for how human resources work.

It’s not all about numbers in bank accounts, in budgets, or in the number of sales or products created by the business. And in the same way, it all boils down to applying the ability to reason to a solution to the economic needs of organizations. Do not overlook the importance of Emotional Intelligence at work, a factor that influences both personnel selection and other HR functions. Let’s see why.

    What is Emotional Intelligence?

    For decades, humans have taken for granted that intelligence is a set of skills and abilities that have to do with our ability to reason and think in logical terms, holding abstract concepts in our imaginations and memories, numbers, etc. . This way of defining what it means to be more or less intelligent has been useful in many fields, but over the years it has proven insufficient.

    And it is that if Homo sapiens has shown us to have an astonishing capacity for adaptation and for providing ingenious solutions to truly new problems, it is not only because we are given to reason well. In fact, much of this is because we are also capable of learning to manage our emotions. Something fundamental given that we are robots, and therefore our emotional side has implications for our own behavior and that of those around us.

    Faced with this reality, in the 1980s, several researchers in the field of psychology, including Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer, developed a concept known as emotional intelligence, which gained great popularity, especially thanks to to the works of the informative psychologist and journalist David Goleman in the next decade. This psychological construct refers to a set of skills that are present to a greater or lesser degree in virtually all people. Among these skills, those that most characterize Emotional Intelligence are:

    • The ability to identify emotions and feelings in oneself (and to distinguish between them).
    • The ability to identify emotions and feelings in others.
    • The ability to predict the consequences of a person or self experiencing a certain emotion or feeling in a given context.
    • The ability to understand the implications of having a tendency to easily feel a certain type of emotion or feeling.
    • The ability to modulate the expression of emotions.
    • The ability to apply this type of information in practice, to achieve individual or collective goals.

    Thus, emotional intelligence consists of a set of abilities associated with good or evil given to us to identify, understand and manage emotionsboth in oneself and in others.

      Why is it important to consider Emotional Intelligence in the world of work?

      From what we’ve seen so far, it may seem that emotional intelligence has a profound effect on our ability to be happy and have a satisfying private life, allowing us to connect with others and make emotional connections. But in reality, professional life is no less affected by Emotional Intelligence than personal life. Below we will see why.

      1. Emotional intelligence is the key to conflict resolution

      Where there is an organization, there is a context in which conflict can arise with relative ease. That’s not a bad thing per se, it’s just something to hope for. So, since discussions and conflicts of interest will take place, it is important to know that people’s ability to manage their emotions is a variable to consider, and that in the same way, it is a quality that should be present. among leaders and among those who act as mediators to prevent these experiences from turning into real fights or entrenched conflicts.

        2. Emotional intelligence must be taken into account in the selection stage

        Assess candidates, albeit more or less indirectly, in or in relation to their emotional intelligencewill predict your versatility in teamwork, your ability to motivate yourself, your ability to manage stress at key times, etc.

          3. Emotional intelligence must be taken into account in communication strategies

          In the context of Human Resources, knowing how to communicate it is much more than giving verbatim the information that it is objectively necessary to disseminate among the workers. It must also be understood that all communication leaves an emotional imprint, and that the ambiguity of the information given feeds feelings linked to fear and anxiety.

            4. Understanding worker priorities requires connecting with their emotions

            Many companies struggle to retain and supply workers satisfying incentives because there is an inability to put oneself in one’s place. In this sense, having strategic profiles with a high degree of Emotional Intelligence makes it possible to gain sensitivity on these issues and to make better informed management decisions.

            5. Emotional intelligence can be trained

            On the other hand, all companies with worker training initiatives should bear in mind that emotional intelligence can be developed through learning; it is not just a purely innate and static psychological trait.

              Do you want to train in the field of Human Resources?

              If you are interested in becoming a professional in the HR world, you might be interested the Master in Talent Selection and Management from the University of Malaga (UMA).

              This one and a half year specialization program offers the opportunity to learn, from the hands of experts from several of the most important companies operating in Spain, the theoretical and practical fundamentals of the personnel selection process and the place of. internal training programs, creation of incentives and talent retention initiatives, use of new technologies for HR data management, job description, internal communication, conflict resolution, creation of an appropriate organizational climate, etc. To find out more, contact the University of Malaga.

              Bibliographic references

              • Bohlander, G.; Sherman, A., & Snell, S. (2001). Human Resource Management. And more: Cengage Learning Publishers.
              • Goleman, D. (1996): Emotional Intelligence. Barcelona, ​​Cairo.
              • Goleman, D. (1998). Working with emotional intelligence. New York: Bantam Books.
              • Operskalski, OT, Paul, EJ, Colom, R., Barbey, AK, Grafman, J. (2015). Mapping lesions of the four-factor structure of emotional intelligence. Front. Hmm. Neurosci.

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