Emotions matter at least applying to work that is what experts say. Research suggests that ‘Feeling’ is the most important resource we have. As a result of growing need to test adult intelligence, an expert developed IQ test in 1939, which tested verbal and non-verbal intelligence. However, it was contested by many psychologists that IQ is genetically determined and cannot be changed much after 18 years of life.
In 1983, the IQ approach was re-opened again by Howard Gardner. He came up with the term EQ and developed an assessment to measure emotional and social intelligence. Various researches were conducted in Europe and US which concluded that emotional intelligence has significant impact on leadership behaviors. For example, a survey conducted by US department of labor in 1995 shows that 46% employees who quit their job do so because they feel unappreciated.
Applying Emotions to Work:
In present day scenario, there has been a remarkable change in the way we work and the rules that we adopt. People are not only evaluated by how smart or intelligent they are, or the training and expertise attained, but how well they handle themselves.
Research conducted at Centre for High Performance Development (CHPD) concluded that ten years ago the leadership environment was stable, simple and steady. Therefore, a strong leadership could impact 10-12% performance behavior. However, in the current dynamic, complex and competitive environment, leadership can be the definite edge. With a growing Indian economy, the demand for talented young leaders is almost insatiable. People have opportunities for growth in various sectors, leaving no time for the new leaders to go through the entire learning curve which comes with experience. Dynamic business conditions demand a certain level of maturity and emotional intelligence from leaders at every level. The typical example of this can be the high levels of attrition in some sectors where employees have no emotional connection with the organization they are working in.
One of the demands that leaders today need to cope with is being able to foresee and create the future, and then paint a clear picture of their vision in front of those who they lead. A leader must be equipped with the skill sets to mentor those who are following him. Another thing expected from an effective leader is the ability to keep things simple and make information accessible to others. A leader must also be able to challenge his/her teams to achieve significant work goals and raise the bar.
So, do developing high levels of emotional intelligence help employees become leaders of tomorrow? Experts feel that emotional intelligence helps an individual in building skills and competencies.
Although present day employees are well equipped with technical skills and are aware of the hard expectations of the job, they still need to develop a high level of emotional intelligence to help them understand their behavior. Time and again, experience while working with various organizations has proved that an emotionally aware leader handles any given situation in a much more balanced way.
Learning is a continuous and a never-ending process. It is important for employees to opt for developmental programs, consistent feed back and coaching. Leadership is all about people management. One of the timeless principles of leadership is “treat the people with dignity and respect-the way you would like to be treated.
Leadership development is important for any organization to keep itself ahead of competition over a long time. Only true leaders can tune in to the wavelength of the employee community and keep them motivated. Without engaged employees, the dream of an organization runs the risk of remaining what it is.