Emotional Quotient – How EQ Can Help You Become A Better Manager

Growing up, one of the most important lessons one has to learn is to be self-aware. Having an honest accountability and explanation of what our strengths and weaknesses are is one of the biggest achievements that one has to conquer in the lifelong journey from a toddler to an adult. One of the fundamental branches of self-awareness is being emotionally aware or having an “emotional quotient”.

To start with, the literal definition of the emotional quotient boils down to a one-liner – “The ability to manage our emotions”. This sentence, though very compact, holds a Pandora of meanings. There have been many interpretations of EQ but every single interpretation summarises to one fact: How do we handle our emotions and place them in the right direction?

The human mind is a treasure-chest of emotions. Some emotions are considered as “pleasant emotions” and some as “not-so-pleasant”. The ability to place the right emotion or expressing the right emotion is what is known as “emotional balance” or “emotional quotient”.

This emotional highness is developed when we are able to decipher the reason behind our emotions. To explain this simple statement, let us take an example of a very common expression of emotion that no human is unknown to – “Anger”. We often hear people saying, “I wasn’t angry at you. I was angry at something else and it all came down upon you”. This is an example of a low emotional quotient. Here, the person was not able to control his/her social reaction to what is going on inside him. The ability to be angry, happy, sad or annoyed with the right person or in the right situation at the right time are the signs of a high emotional quotient.

Now that we have shed some light on the basic understanding of what emotional awareness or emotional quotient is, let’s take a look at why recruiting companies, be it an MNC or a start-up, look for a high emotional quotient in their employees.

In the famous words of Theodore Roosevelt “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”

This is pretty much the agenda of every company that hires employees: How much you care. Among the various goals, a company sets to achieve, keeping its employees happy and maintaining a happy work environment is always among the foremost agenda. This process starts at the very basic level. While hiring an employee nowadays, a high EQ is a must. As much as recruiters enjoy hiring an employee with high IQ, sometimes it is overlooked if the interviewee doesn’t qualify for their EQ requirement. They have various ways of testing EQ. Some might look at your extra-curricular activities (which say a lot about your interacting and social skills) while some hold special rounds to put you under situational & emotional pressure to judge how would you react to a certain conditional dilemma.

Why is EQ important for a company?

EQ depicts a person’s emotional management. There is an inductive notion that if a person is good at dealing his/her emotions he/she is good at dealing emotions of his social surroundings. Your office, more-or-less, is a family away from family. We spend a major part of our day in the office with many people around us. In these situations, it becomes highly important to maintain a stress-free environment. Empathy and sympathy play a major role when we take social EQ into consideration. It is highly important to comprehend what our colleague is feeling. We have all been in a situation where our colleague has had a bad morning or a bad day due to something that happened in his personal/professional life. It so happens that he/she might not behave his usual way. Here the emotional quotient comes into the picture.

We all are capable of judging a grumpy mood. Here two kinds of reactions come into the picture. The first reaction is the reaction of anger from one’s side. One might think, “Why am I being the target of grumpiness?”, which in turn might lead to an unpleasant reaction from one’s side. The second reaction is the reaction of utmost tolerance where one tries to show empathy towards the other one, depicting a high emotional quotient quality. Here both the situations result in two different auras. One with zero to negligible emotional comfort and one with a high stress-free environment with emotional comfort and stability.

Companies aim to create a stress-free environment to have happy employees. This is achieved by a simple logic: A mentally stable and comforting environment. This is achieved by employees having high emotional quotient and understanding. The hidden profit that a company earns is that a stress-free friendly environment will fetch a high work efficiency.

The world as a philanthropic society is very sensitive towards emotional quotient. For a company to maintain a worldwide reputation in every sphere, the EQ of the company as a whole cannot be neglected. It has its fair share of importance. A company cannot turn a deaf ear to the crisis prevailing in the world. Many companies have a motto to contribute a share of their income towards world development and social advancement.

EQ has a lot to do with environmental stability also. The greenness of the planet has to be maintained. A company with no emotional quotient can never think of saving the environment, whereas a company with a high emotional quotient will be sensitive towards the environmental change and degradation. Efforts for a sustainable setup and less wastage will come into the picture from company’s side. This paints a picture of co-existence with the social society.

Be it a business decision or a managerial decision EQ plays an important part here too. A company cannot run behind profits overlooking every other aspect of emotional presence and sensitivity. A manager has to keep in mind the productivity threshold of people working under him. If this happens the employees will be stressed and will be loaded with pressure resulting in lower efficiency and lower gains altogether. While making huge business decisions the committee cannot overlook the environmental, social and emotional impact on profits and exponentially increasing number figures. This does not possibly means that a company should overlook profits and lay complete stress on these factors. Rather these factors should go hand in hand with an all-round growth of a company.

Hence hiring an emotionally present employee serves a greater purpose to the company in the long run. This does not mean that they overlook the talent and IQ altogether. Most of the companies believe that talent and IQ can be worked upon but EQ is something that takes a lot of time. And even if one promises to inculcate an emotional quotient within themselves, it takes a lot of time to shed old habits and develop new ones. Hence working on our social skills and the way you are around people matters a lot when we set off to find a job.

Medha Gupta