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Get Started with Emotional Intelligence Training in Your Organization

In his book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, Travis Bradberry writes “EQ (emotional intelligence) is so critical to success that it accounts for 58 percent of performance in all types of jobs. It’s the single biggest predictor of performance in the workplace and the strongest driver of leadership and personal excellence.”

Consider the implications of this fact: if EQ accounts for 58% of performance, then providing emotional intelligence training in your workplace will significantly boost the results of your individual contributors, leaders, and entire teams!

Employees who have high emotional intelligence can solve problems more effectively, better communicate with clients and colleagues, and manage conflicts in a way that leads to a productive outcome.

Relationships are important in business, and often the people we think of as natural leaders are very adept with building and maintaining relationships. Leaders with high emotional intelligence can retain talent, coach managers, and guide an organization towards success.

Emotional intelligence differs among people just like IQ does. EQ determines how well a person understands the emotions of others, and of themselves.

Low emotional intelligence can create difficulties in communicating and cause misinterpreted perceptions about how a colleague is feeling. People with high emotional intelligence are likely to have stronger relationships because they observe and evaluate emotions, and then use those observations to make communication more informed and effective.

What You Need to Start Developing Your Employees’ Emotional Intelligence

Now that you understand the benefits of developing your employees’ emotional intelligence, you’re probably wondering how to improve EQ in your workplace, which is where your training program becomes a true catalyst for change.

Before you can train employees to improve their EQ, it’s important to understand what emotional intelligence is; at its core, emotional intelligence training is about improving how your employees understand and influence their own emotions, and the emotions of their coworkers.  

There are four components of EQ that most research recognizes, and each of these components can be developed as building blocks to improve your employees’ overall EQ.

A well-rounded emotional intelligence training program will target these four components, helping expand your employees’ mastery of their self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management!

Self-Awareness

The first step in improving your employees’ emotional intelligence is to develop their self-awareness by helping them understand their own feelings and biases.

Are your employees projecting emotions onto someone else because of their own feelings? Are they struggling to receive constructive criticism because of their personal bias against the person giving it?

Teaching self-awareness to your employees means helping them know when to take a moment to evaluate their thoughts and what emotions they’re associated with.

Improving their self-awareness won’t only improve your employees’ emotional intelligence, it will empower them to help others do the same, and will break down the walls that hinder collaboration and growth.

Travis Bradberry writes:

“Self-awareness is the process of getting to know yourself from the inside out and the outside in.”

What does self-awareness in the workplace look like? Someone with poor self-awareness may struggle to understand how their mannerisms and behavior effect their colleagues.

Let’s use a manager as an example – this manager often comes across as angry, so when he tries to coach his employees, he sounds like he’s reprimanding them.

He doesn’t understand why he comes off this way and asks you to help him learn how to coach better. You do a great job of teaching him strategies to change his behavior, but when he applies these techniques on the job, he’s making employees defensive by his tone, so the message is lost.

You notice this and decide that this manager needs training in self-awareness. You show him how his tone affects others, and how his frustration with coaching is exasperating the roadblocks to better communication.

When that manager learns to understand how his presence affects employees, he can strategically communicate with individual contributors and lead more effectively.

Emotional intelligence training isn’t always straightforward, but when you break it down into components like self-awareness, it becomes a lot easier to understand and develop! The BizLibrary Collection has a variety of videos and resources designed to help your employees hone their self-awareness – check out a one-minute preview of “Using Emotional Intelligence – Improving Your Self-Awareness.”

Self-Management

The next step is self-management – how employees manage their own emotions and reactions.

As with many things in life, emotions (and our resulting behaviors) have better outcomes when expressed in moderation. Negative emotions can quickly spiral out of control and have a long-term impact on our own well-being and our relationships with others.

It is unreasonable to expect employees to work well with each other if they consistently do a poor job of communicating their own thoughts and feelings. Self-management skills help employees to deal with intense or confusing circumstances without exacerbating the situation.

A good example of self-management is in this clip from Seinfeld George’s self-awareness shows him that following his instincts always yields a disappointing result.

By managing his response, George acts on the opposite of what his instincts tell him to do, and his results are surprisingly (and hilariously!) positive!

Thomas Jefferson once said:

“When angry, count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.”

Employees with strong self-management skills essentially “count to ten” in response to almost every conversation, so they’re able to craft more effective responses. This is one of the many reasons why self-management is so crucial for building relationships.

Teaching employees about self-management takes intentional and strategic EQ training, but it can be done! Check out a one-minute preview of “Improving Your Self-Management,” from The BizLibrary Collection!

Social Awareness

Step three of improving EQ is to develop social awareness. This requires a combination of observation, active listening, and perhaps most importantly, empathy.

Empathy is the glue that connects self-awareness to relationship management, and it’s the factor that most impacts social awareness.

Empathy in this context is the extent to which an individual understands how a different person might interpret an event.

Employees that have strong social awareness are confident in how they behave in most settings, because they understand how their behavior affects their coworkers!

Emotional intelligence training on social awareness will increase team performance and help employees work more effectively together. This video preview, part of The BizLibrary Collection’s series on improving EQ, is all about increasing your employees’ social awareness.

Relationship Management

The last step is using emotional intelligence to connect and develop healthy relationships with people. Your employees can use the first three steps (self-awareness, self-management and social awareness) to successfully manage their interactions with others.

In his book, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, Daniel Goleman says that individuals with strong relationship management skills can better:

  • Develop others
  • Inspire others
  • Help lead during change and uncertainty
  • Influence others
  • Manage conflicts
  • Master teamwork and collaboration

These benefits of emotional intelligence all help to make individuals and departments more successful! Travis Bradberry tells us:

“The secret to winning this culture game is to treat others how they want to be treated, not how you would want to be treated.”

Figuring out how others want to be treated is the secret to better relationship management, and you can use emotional intelligence training videos like this one to help develop that skill!

The Keys to Building an Effective Emotional Intelligence Training Program in Your Organization

Providing EQ training to your workforce will yield tremendous benefits and improve the results your business is able to achieve.

As modern workplaces become more interested in developing a learning culture, emotional intelligence has become an increasingly important area of focus for training and development.

At BizLibrary, we want to help improve emotional intelligence in the workplace, which is why we created this free Practical EQ handbook to jump-start your employees’ development. If you’d like to see more emotional intelligence training content from The BizLibrary Collection, be sure to reach out for a demo. 

Training & Development Industry Researcher | Derek researches, discusses, and writes about the impacts of employee learning on organizations and individuals. He regularly interviews L&D and HR professionals, sharing their insight on trends and best practices that help organizations create stronger training programs, and help to grow their employees and their business.