Recently, business leaders including (most notably) Elon Musk have been trying to explain to the rest of us the new Sci-Fi technology called Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) with positive as well as negative stories relating to its adoption; and how in the near future if business integrates it whether or not individuals will benefit from it. Currently, the implementation of A.I.-powered solutions haven’t gone beyond Proof of Concepts (PoCs) with a recent media frenzy focus around Sophia the follically-challenged robot pulling rubbery faces on TV talk shows.
A more pressing issue
A.I. might be important in the future workplace, but I can affirm from personal experience that a much more urgent problem in the modern business environment is not lack of A.I. but lack of E.I. (Emotional Intelligence).
Humans thankfully far outclass a robot in E.I. High I.Q. robots have low E.I. and that is their Achilles heel. However, some human bosses and managers also have low E.I. and may as well be robots as they are so wrapped up in their own programmes they are unable to empathise or listen to advice from others, are poor delegators and are given to isolation. Many live by the idiom, “It’s my way or the highway!”
How many good staff end up leaving and how many businesses have nosedived because of the failure of bosses and managers to learn good E.I.?
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional Intelligence, also known as Emotional Quotient, is the way individuals recognise their own emotions and people around them, discerning between different feelings and labelling them correctly. This ‘empathy’ towards people can be learnt and used to guide our behaviour towards co-workers; managing and adjusting emotions to adapt to people and places to achieve more positive outcomes.
What E.I. is not
Emotional Intelligence is not the same as IQ. For example, autistic individuals may have a very high IQ and while they may be valuable employees, can lack, through no fault of their own, essential E.I. aptitude and social skills. It’s why many autistic individuals thrive in an environment of self-focused work like inputting data and detail projects, yet find team work and skills-sharing very difficult.
E.I. Benefits to individuals
On a personal level enhancing your E.I. provides a range of benefits which include:
1. Helping you become more empathetic, so you respond to people around you more sensitively
2. Helping you change from being a talker to a good listener. This benefit alone improves your approachability, helping you be more charismatic, engaging and attractive to others, so improving your own self-esteem and confidence
3. Accurate self-assessment and better understanding of your own psychological state, which can include managing stress effectively and being less likely to suffer from depression.
Benefits to teams
On the team level, E.I. helps:
1. People to form and maintain better interpersonal relationships and to ‘fit in’ to group situations better, developing meaningful relationships with others in the workplace
2. Individuals to understand and deal with their emotions and the emotions of others more effectively so the team works as a well-oiled machine with less friction
3. The inner workings of a person to be better identified and matched with their job description
4. Faster learning and work efficiencies, as people freely give their advice and share knowledge with others without feeling threatened, rather than creating silos of self-interest.
Benefits to organisations
At an organisational level and for “the big picture of the business” E.I. has amazing benefits:
1. E.I. helps to place the person with the right temperament in the right role.
2. Improved sales as high E.I. individuals outperform those with low E.I.
3. Greater productivity – staff with high E.I. are significantly more productive with better stress management, self-awareness and social skills
4. Increased staff retention results with attendant reduction in recruitment and training costs and increasing sales through retention.
5. Staff with high E.I. are more trustworthy and conscientious, innovative and adaptable
6. Job satisfaction – when people are better suited for their positions they are more fulfilled, reducing staff turnover
7. E.I. improves self-motivation and improves commitment to business goals with improved optimism and ability to build resilience
8. Better customer service – high levels of empathy in customer facing roles improves sales and customer satisfaction
9. Better organisational communication – companies with strong E.I. communicate with their employees better than those who don’t.
Get motivated with our great courses
Carol Barwick Learning and Development recognises the importance of working on Emotional Intelligence to enhance your personal development skills to help your team and to prosper your business company-wide. It’s why we’ve focused on developing courses for you and your staff to develop higher levels of E.I. and other Personal Development skills to enjoy more satisfying careers and successful relationships.
Our bespoke courses can be delivered separately, or as mix and match programmes. Select from 90 minute buzz sessions, seminars, half day workshops or full day events.
Contact me now for more details.