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The Importance of Emotional Intelligence: Why soft skills matter more than ever in today’s workplace

The Importance of Emotional Intelligence: Why soft skills matter more than ever in today’s workplace

In today's workplace, soft skills have become increasingly important. This need has been highlighted by the disconnect that came with pandemic-induced remote working.

In the past, technical skills and knowledge were the main focus for employers when hiring new employees. However, now that the business world has become more complex and interconnected, it's become clear that emotional intelligence is just as important, if not more so, as technical knowledge.

Improving communication and collaboration

Emotional intelligence refers to a person's ability to identify, understand, and manage their own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. This essential workplace skill can lead to better communication, collaboration, and teamwork. In fact, studies show that employees with high emotional intelligence are more likely to be successful than those without it.

One reason why emotional intelligence is so important is that it promotes effective communication. Effective communication is crucial in any workplace, as it allows employees to share ideas and information concisely. When employees are emotionally intelligent, they can communicate their thoughts and feelings in a way that is easily understood by others. As a result, they can work more effectively as a team and achieve better results.

Feeling valued and supported

Another reason why emotional intelligence is essential is that it helps to promote a culture of empathy and understanding. When employees are empathetic, they can put themselves in their colleagues' shoes and understand their needs and concerns. This helps to create a positive work environment where everyone feels valued and supported.

Finally, emotional intelligence helps to promote resilience in the workplace. When emotionally intelligent employees are better equipped to deal with stress and challenging situations. They can stay calm and focused even when things get tough, which helps minimise the impact of stress on their productivity and well-being.

Avoiding the damage of disconnection

On the other hand, insufficient emotional intelligence can cause communication gaps and misunderstandings among team members, especially in hybrid work settings. Difficulty in deciphering nonverbal cues and emotions can obstruct effective teamwork. 

Without face-to-face interactions and shared experiences, building relationships and establishing trust with colleagues can be challenging. Remote employees may feel isolated, ultimately impacting team morale.

Unlocking emotional intelligence

The good news is that there are steps that can be taken to enhance and enable emotional intelligence, given the disconnect created by remote working:

  1. Offer emotional intelligence training to employees.

  2. Promote regular meetings and team activities for better communication and connection.

  3. Ensure leaders maintain transparent communication, keeping everyone informed and valued.

  4. Avoid creating divisions within the workplace.

  5. Allocate equal attention to all team members.

  6. Practice mindful communication at all times.

Enabling soft skills with purposeful workplaces

Considered workplaces, intended to foster emotional intelligence can elevate the experience of occupants and their employees. When spaces are conceived and built to meet the needs, roles and interconnectivity of employees and business goals, they create a positive work environment that promotes communication and productivity – as well as business success and occupant satisfaction.

These workplaces usually include a conscious balance of beautiful spaces that promote social interaction and collaboration while also allowing for privacy when needed. Additionally, they can be equipped with technology that enhances productivity and reduces stress levels.

Aligning people, workplace and performance goals

A well-designed and built workplace can complement and amplify the efforts of leaders who prioritise emotional intelligence when hiring and training. By pairing these powerful practices, organisations are more likely to build strong, productive teams capable of adapting and thriving in today's fast-paced business world.

Elevating employee emotional intelligence and opting for an enabling workplace has the potential to take a business to new heights.

By Tandi Jacobs from ID Internal Developers Developers - Operations Manager