By now, we’ve all heard about emotional intelligence.
Whether it’s in your personal life or your work life, you’ve almost certainly come across people who you just know have high emotional intelligence - and those who you know don’t…
As business psychologists, our focus is the workplace, yes. But we’re big believers that our work should still be all about humans, not nameless entities. It’s the individuals within a company that make the company what it is.
So when it comes to emotional intelligence, we often talk about wellbeing, engagement, and work-life balance - all the things that matter to the people in a business.
However, what might not be so obvious is that all of those things matter to the bottom line too. So, keep reading to find out 3 ways emotional intelligence helps businesses grow.
Outside of abstract business strategies and KPIs and CEO-led board meetings, what matters to the actual day-to-day success of business teams are their leaders.
Whatever the industry and regardless of whether it’s managers or supervisors or team leaders, it’s the leaders on the ground who have the power to make or break business growth.
Emotionally intelligent leaders are adaptable, engaging and effective leaders.
They’re better able to inspire their team members, because their emotional intelligence gives them the empathetic understanding to know what makes them tick.
They’re better able to adapt to change and uncertainty, because they’re able to lead with rationality and flexibility, rather than being led by their own in-the-moment emotions.
They’re more receptive to feedback and criticism, because they don’t view everything through an emotional lens. They’re able to take on board feedback to develop new strategies to achieve business goals, rather than reacting emotionally and taking things personally.
Ultimately, having a leadership team of highly emotionally intelligent people gives your business the upper hand, particularly in highly competitive and unpredictable markets. Leaders who can inspire greatness from their teams will be the secret weapon in achieving business growth in challenging times.
To learn more about what makes an emotionally intelligent leader, read this.
Resilience is the true secret weapon in business growth. It’s inevitable that every business, at one point or another, will hit a stumbling block (or twelve). Whether it’s a global economic crisis or a cost of living crisis or a sudden loss of much-needed investment, some things are completely out of our control.
In the moment, those things feel like the end of the world. But the secret to successful businesses isn’t that they somehow avoid experiencing any of those issues, but that they handle them effectively when they do happen.
A business full of teams with low levels of emotional intelligence will experience these setbacks intensely. They’ll feel disengaged, despondent and unable to see a way out without being overcome by negative emotions.
On the other hand, a team full of emotionally intelligent people (bonus points if they’re also led by emotionally intelligent leaders) will pause, reflect on the issue, then tackle it with a rational, logical approach. They may feel emotions, but won’t let those emotions dictate their actions.
Their interpersonal relationships with their team members will create an environment of cooperation and mutual support, not one of conflict and finger-pointing. They’ll be able to think creatively and strategically about how to overcome the obstacle in their way and find solutions that support business growth.
In a competitive market, it’s the quality of the people that make the difference between average success and real success. For tech companies, developing new technologies and solutions is how they stand out from other companies in the same space. But for most companies, there are other companies out there that offer the exact same product or service they do - and the best way for them to outgrow their competitors is by harnessing the power of the talent pool.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the people in a business matter more than any strategy or growth goal.
If you’ve got the right (emotionally intelligent) people working for your business, you’re much more likely to hit and exceed those growth targets.
So, how does being an emotionally intelligent business help you build emotionally intelligent teams?
First, it helps you to attract higher quality team members by creating a more appealing, growth-focused workplace culture.
A business lacking in emotionally intelligent team members can be spotted from a mile away - high staff turnover, negative reviews on social media or Glassdoor, disengaged employees…
And a business where emotional intelligence is actively promoted and developed is equally as easy to spot, for all the right reasons - staff turnover will be lower, social media and Glassdoor reviews will be glowing, and interactions with team members will be largely positive.
As a prospective employee, it’s clear which business you’d rather work for before you even step foot through the door.
Secondly, it helps you to keep those highly effective staff for as long as possible. Not only is the workplace culture better, but a business that shows a clear focus on investing in its people and their wellbeing is a business people want to stay at for longer.
Developing and encouraging emotional intelligence in your business supports business growth and proves to your team that you care about your people - which is becoming an increasingly important factor in staff retention as the business world faces more and more challenges.
Using emotional intelligence to attract, hire and retain the best possible staff for your business is vital for business growth - particularly in a competitive business environment!
If you’re still reading, we’ve done our job: you’re convinced that emotional intelligence matters if you want to achieve business growth.
So, what next?
That’s where we come in! We work with businesses of all shapes and sizes to develop emotional intelligence in leaders, teams and all business practices. Whether you’re a startup or an established corporate entity, we can work with you to assess the current level of emotional intelligence in your teams and develop coaching interventions focused on developing emotional intelligence as a business growth tool.