Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the backbone of a healthy and successful individual. If you are emotionally intelligent, you can achieve your goals quickly and become successful. Three factors or emotions are essential when talking about nurturing emotional intelligence. These three factors or emotions are empathy, compassion, and solidarity, which, when encouraged, bring about a positive change in the individual and the organization. Let us look at each of these emotions individually.
Empathy is one of the most vital facets of emotional intelligence. It is the ability to comprehend and respond to other people’s thoughts and emotions. To be labeled empathic, you must have both because without perception, you cannot respond effectively, and without a proper response, perception alone is insufficient. The biggest question faced by many organizational leaders today is whether empathy can be learned like any other skill or are born with it. Researches conducted on this subject show that while you cannot teach empathy, you can assist your team in understanding and learning it by demonstration. Following are four ways in which you, as part of HR, can demonstrate empathy to your employees.
- Explain what empathy is through your action, showing them the behaviour rather than merely talking about it.
- Talking about the advantages of being empathetic to teammates and superiors.
- Give concrete examples of empathetic behaviour and explain how it differs from sympathy.
- Appreciating them when they show empathy to others.
Researchers believe that when you talk about empathy and appreciate its display, you automatically set the stage for the behaviour to be emulated by others.
Compassion is the second most crucial aspect of emotional intelligence that you should have. Where empathy is passive knowledge, compassion is more action-oriented. In empathy, you have a basic understanding of the other person’s emotions, but in compassion, you discover the need to do something about it. It is an active response to the other person’s feelings. In other words, you are not satisfied with merely being aware of the emotion but feel a visceral need to respond to it. Compassion is fundamental when fighting against discrimination and seeking inclusivity. As part of your organization’s human resource department, you should utilize all possible methods to inculcate compassion in your employees. Following are the significant aspects of compassion.
- Shared values and beliefs – Developing a system of shared values and beliefs is an efficient way to inculcate compassion in your workforce. Diversity doesn’t necessarily mean different values or beliefs, and therefore, it should not be used as an excuse for doing away with kindness.
- Organizational norms and practices – Workplaces have definite norms and practices that make them unique. However, these norms and procedures should not be such that they do not conform to the need to be compassionate. In other words, setting your standards and practices to adhere to the basic principles of compassion will help teach your workforce this aspect of emotional intelligence. Also, while norms are meant to discipline, they need not be harsh. Instead, they could be considerate towards the employees.
- Organizational behavior and interpersonal relationships – Compassion plays a significant role in ensuring the smooth running of your workplace. A lot of interpersonal relationships can be nurtured and will benefit with the help of compassion. You should take measures to ensure the overall contentment of your employees.
- The behavior of managers and leaders – Differences of opinion between managers or leaders and employees exist in every workplace. However, compassion can help reduce the rift and facilitate better interaction.
People sharing the same beliefs and value systems, who are empathetic and have compassion, usually unite when fighting against a common problem. This feeling of unity is solidarity, and it is the instinctual response of an emotionally intelligent workforce. Where possible, you should nurture this sense of solidarity as it is the third factor that helps increase emotional intelligence in your employees. The role of HR in promoting solidarity is vital as it is through HR that employees get an opportunity to voice their feelings and thoughts to the management.
All three aspects mentioned above are essential, but the most crucial element is the human element. Understanding the human element behind all aspects of organizational behavior and growth is necessary. Empathy, compassion, and solidarity cannot exist in isolation but will work effectively for you if seen through the human lens.
Is Emotional intelligence an important factor in your organization? Is EQ a KPI you also take in consideration? Studies show that increasing Emotional Intelligence of your team will turn into a compound improvement of their professional skills. What are your thoughts on this? Share your ideas in the comment section below.
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