Building an Effective Workplace – The EQ Way

Article submitted by guest author Arul John Peter

In the Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) business environment of today, leaders play a critical role. Leadership is all about influencing people’s behaviour, thoughts and commitment to achieve certain outcomes. Leadership is about being able to connect with others emotionally. Effective leaders are able to make people feel valued while getting things done. This is where the power of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) comes into play. Effective leaders recognise that without engaging and improving their mastery of EQ skills, sustained achievement will prove elusive.

However, as important as EQ continues to prove itself to be, research findings show that there has been a downward trend in global EQ score since 2011. With this decline in EQ, people are finding it more difficult to connect and collaborate with others. The research team believe that this decrease comes as a result of increased stress and chaos, all symptoms of the VUCA environment in which we operate. To be successful, organisations will need their leaders and managers to consciously make an effort to adopt a mindfulness approach to explore and master EQ Skills. Without actively working on improving EQ competencies, our workforce, and leaders in particular, will find it increasingly difficult to get anything done.

Why EQ is a Necessity

Emotionally Intelligent managers know how to connect with people to bring about a positive mindset by enabling them to experience a new meaning and purpose about the work and their contribution in the workplace. The Emotionally Intelligent Leader is able to focus on the intrinsic aspect of motivation in an on-going ‘flow’ mode.

Building an effective workplace through EQ skills is about creating and sustaining meaningful work to manage the outcomes that are critical to the success of the organisation. These outcomes consist of more than just the business dimensions, and also include the following:

  • Job Satisfaction
  • Lower levels of Stress at Work
  • Employee Engagement
  • Meaning and Purpose

Bringing Back the Humanity

One simple way leaders and managers can improve their EQ competency is to start treating their team members as what they are: Human. Leaders need to genuinely care about their people, and advance policies throughout the organisation that actually makes a difference to employee well being. As author Simon Sinek put it: the real job of a leader is not being in charge, but taking care of people in their charge.

Caring about team members, and understanding the motivations behind their actions and behaviour, gives Emotionally Intelligent Leaders an unparalleled advantage over their less EQ-inclined peers. By approaching tasks, dealings, and negotiations to fit the Wants, Interests, Needs, and Expectations (W.I.N.E.) of teammates, leaders will be able to get more done with less, while simultaneously creating a win-win situation for all parties involved.

Actively asking and understanding the W.I.N.E of someone allows leaders to provide exactly what is required in every circumstance. Whether its a recent graduate who is looking for mentorship, or a new parent who wants flexible working arrangements, understanding the W.I.N.E. of team members, and acting on this knowledge, shows that leaders, and in turn the organisation, actively care about its people. In the environment of today, I cannot think of a better answer to the VUCA elements around us than a workforce of highly motivated, loyal, and satisfied employees.

 

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