Ever hear someone use discrediting vocabulary like “pink and fluffy” when describing emotional intelligence? The reality is that there is a hard case for tangible organisational and financial returns when companies develop their EQ.
So let’s jump in. Here is Martyn talking about tangible ways that EQ can lower workplace anxiety:
The current climate that we face in the world of work is a climate of uncertainty.. and uncertainty creates anxiety. We’ve seen downsizing, we’ve seen people afraid of losing their jobs. When people become anxious, their focus narrows, they lose sight of things that are essential, and the pressure on business is that they’ve got to do a lot more with less.
So the challenge is creating climates in which people can produce more with a lot less resource. And that is really where emotional intelligence comes to the fore because it extracts from people the essence of their talent and focuses their talent in renewed ways to enable them to step up to the new challenges and become more productive.
In fact a large telecommunications company that we’ve worked with in the last three years in Asia-Pacific, their challenge, as they downsized, was to reach out to a big market, a very competitive market were there was fierce competition. They needed even the most technically competent people in the business to begin to share information more widely to engage a broader range of customers externally and also internally as staff morale was starting to become an issue. They needed to retain the brightest and the best talent. And as Howard Shultz said from Starbucks, “There’s employee engagement, there’s employee engagement, and there’s employee engagement.” And we know if you are really going to engage employees and enable them to step up to the opportunities then it’s engaging them at the deep core with what drives their behavior, it’s the emotional skills that leaders have got to engage with today.
So, to pilot emotional skills inside this telecommunications company, four out of the seven business units adopted an emotional intelligence program to develop leadership skills – to really engage customers internally, build staff morale, make sure people were inspired, to produce their very best work. Turned out that in the history of the telecommunications company those four business units achieved the highest leadership and customer engagement socres in the history of the business.
It’s any wonder why companies like ExxonMobil, Syntel, Ernst & Young, Quiksilver are investing in development of emotional skills, realising that that’s how you produce dynamic leadership cultures that engage customers internally and externally all around the business.
These are the people that are coming to London March the 9th to examine the questions of where we’ve been, where we are right now and more importantly, where are we going in the future when it comes to building emotional intelligence to drive effective leadership cultures inside global companies.
Do you think EQ will be considered essential in the future? Or will it still be considered pink and fluffy?