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Adapting to the ‘Next Normal’: Australian Businesses Prepare for a Relaxation of COVID-19 Restrictions

With the Federal Government announcing their three-stage plan to restarting the Australian economy, businesses around the country are eagerly awaiting a return to “normal” work after COVID-19. However, what will this post-pandemic environment look like, and ho.....

Wealth - 4 min read

You’ve probably heard the term “Emotional Intelligence” (EI) or “Emotional Quotient” (EQ) used before – it wouldn’t be surprising – it’s made its way into the vocabulary of businesses and even popular culture.

The emerging of this ideology stems from a keen realisation that the typical hard skills (those specific and teachable abilities that can be defined and measured) are now making way for softer skills which are now the new drivers for success – one of such intangible determinants is emotional intelligence.

A term coined by two researchers (Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer), Emotional Intelligence is described as the ability to:

  • Recognise, understand and manage our own emotions
  • Recognise, understand and influence the emotions of others

As seemingly straightforward as this definition seems, it’s a lot harder to not only implement, but also find people who have such a temperament.

In this research conducted to better understand emotional intelligence within the context of high performing businesses, a survey of C-suite executives working for some notable Fortune 100 companies were sampled.

The result of this study revealed that the chief source of executive disorder involve shortages in emotional aptitude. This resulted in the following deficiencies:

  1. Difficulty in handling change
  2. Inability to work well in a team
  3. Poor interpersonal relations

Another 2010 research makes a strong business case for the vital role of having a high EQ. In a survey of 515 senior executives from 15 global companies it was revealed that:

“…those who were primarily strong in emotional intelligence were more likely to succeed than those who were either strongest in either relevant previous experience or IQ. In other words, emotional intelligence was a better predicator of success than either relevant previous experience.”

The conclusion of the matter is crystal-clear: individuals who are equipped with high soft skills - or other skills relating to emotional intelligence – can mean the wafer-thin difference between companies that sink or swim – especially, in this fast-paced and unpredictable business climate.

Now that we understand that emotional intelligence is important for a business, let’s now examine, specifically, what these people with high EQs bring to the table.

Characteristically, these individuals:

  1. Make for great leaders
    Emotionally perceptive employees display qualities that make others around them want to impersonate. The fact they score top points in human interaction, work well with a wide spectrum of personalities, are self-aware and can skillfully gauge people and situations, affords them respect from their peers. This in turn bears the commanding traits of great leadership.

  2. Know how to diffuse tense situations
    These employees are empathizers. Because of their great listening skills, they have the emotional bandwidth to understand and put themselves in the shoes of other people (peers and clients alike), especially in irate situations, and come up with timely solutions to such problems – which could otherwise spiral out of control.
  3. Have an insatiable curiosity
    Great listeners typically make for curious individuals – they genuinely want to learn more about other people – and this kind of healthy inquisitiveness is great for business, especially those that involve a great deal of client-facing roles. Due to this keenness, such employees make the necessary time investment in getting to know their clients, which in turn makes them feel valued.

  4. Bring in repeat business
    Clients who feel truly appreciated typically bring their businesses back to those employees who make feel that way. Examine the last time you made an important and high involvement purchase (like a buying a house) for a moment – how did the real-estate agent you gave your business to make you feel? I bet they inspired confidence by going above and beyond; you’re also likely to go back to that agent and/or refer other people.

 With all that has been said, we hope you now have a well-nuanced understanding of what emotional intelligence as a soft kill means, and its vital role as a business differentiator.


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