Julie had just gotten off the phone, her eyes were obviously fighting back the tears, the call was apparently not a good one. One moment later, impervious to her emotional state, her manager approaches only to scold her about a report that just wasn't up to standard.
Bad timing - right?
This is the difference between having emotional intelligence and lacking it. It can also have consequences that will impact and even threaten the success of a business. This is worth a closer look...
Defining Emotional Intelligence
Being mathematically smart may mean you can handle and manage algorithms and equations. Being scientifically intelligent could mean you can handle and manage formulas and chemical compounds. Psychology Today defined emotional intelligence as:
That article is insightful for those looking to get a firm grasp on the basics and principles of emotional intelligence (EI). For this conversation, we are looking at the application of EI in regards to the business arena.
Managing with Emotional Intelligence
Remember our seemingly callous manager from the opening scenario? What if this person wasn't a heartless emotionless robot. What if, instead, this individual was overworked that week, behind on the schedule and actually had never even looked at our distraught employee? Perhaps this busy manager barked with displeasure some notes off of a notepad about a report that was honestly not good, dropped it at her cubicle and moved on?
Fair enough, this may be a glaring lack of people-skills but it might be difficult to have excellent people skills without emotional intelligence too.
Our manager should have looked Julie in the eyes for starters. They could have taken a few more moments to recognize the situation and then? With the right training, our manager would have taken inventory of their own hectic state of mind. They would have made it a point to slow down and engage with Julie, only then to recognize the situation. From here, they would have assessed the issue and responded appropriately.
Here is the good news, this manager only lacks the proper training. Here is the bad news, these types of situations can promote success for everyone or produce potentially costly results.
If the situation with our employee, Julie, is handled properly the potential rewards for her and the company are endless. Fast forward ten years, she is now on the company board and a regional manager. She remembered the compassion and concern for her well-being that day, which could be the reason we could paint such a hypothetical conclusion.
The other side of this coin can honestly become ugly. Perhaps our poor sweet employee just lost her mother unexpectedly, the pressure from work aggravated the situation and Julie storms out of the office. Does she get into her vehicle and frantically race away? Does she simply quit? Ten years later she is setting sales records for your competitor and what if?
If these seem like far-reaching scenarios, maybe they are - maybe they aren't. That is the point when we start dealing with emotions, these are powerful forces at play in all of our lives. Where they can lead us, good or bad, is always an unknown.
The Right Kind of Smart
Smart managers realize their company's most valuable assets. They recognize the power they have to influence, encourage and increase productivity using emotional intelligence. What motivates your employees? Who needs challenged? These techniques aren't in the managers handbook, they are learned techniques from emotional intelligence training.
It takes smart people to manage and run a successful business. It takes the right kind of smart people to make your business better by managing your employees successfully. That is emotional intelligence - that is smart.