Written by:
Abdul Wahaab MSc GMBPsS
Organisational Psychologist

There are a growing number of people talking about emotional intelligence, but what does this buzz word actually mean? Is it just a buzz word? Or is there some reason as to why this has slowly become a prized trait within the workplace? Read on to find out more.

Emotional intelligence helps relationships

Emotional intelligence is widely considered to be the ability to monitor one’s own emotion as well as the emotion of others. Naturally, this has significant implications for the workplace especially with collaboration between colleagues and teams becoming a key facet of modern work.

For example, you may have some personal circumstances which contribute to you feeling anxious and easily flustered before a day’s work. The ability to recognise that you’re feeling this way will help you remain consistent in how you behave and respond to others on the day. Someone who is less in tune with their emotions, on the other hand, may be snappier and respond in an annoyed manner to situations and tasks where they would usually respond in a calmer manner.

In this example, we learn that emotional intelligence can help us be more consistent in how we interact with our colleagues. Consistent behaviour is key in the workplace as it helps set expectations and build relationships with other people.

Emotional intelligence helps collaboration

In the same way, emotional intelligence can help us collaborate better with others. This is already implied with the way it benefits our behaviour and relationship-building, but it also helps us identify when others need to be dealt with differently, or just require that extra bit of support.

Imagine you’re working with a team of six on a 3-month project comprising of several deliverables on the way, with agreed deadlines in place to ensure a smooth project lifecycle. Halfway through the project, with a deliverable’s deadline looming, you have the emotional intelligence to recognise a team member is struggling. This recognition benefits the team member but also the end-goal of the team, as you may then choose to lend extra support to this member. This ensures the project progresses as planned, and they feel comfortable with the task at hand.

How is it measured?

Emotional intelligence can be measured using either of the following methods:

  1. Self-Report: This is where one rates their own level of emotional intelligence.
  2. Other Report: This is where others rate someone’s emotional intelligence.
  3. Psychometrics: This is where one must sit an assessment which is specifically designed to assess emotional intelligence.

Anything else?

Companies are always seeking to improve the candidate experience, whether this means a more seamless application form or more interactive assessments. The latter goal has contributed to some organisations using game-based assessments as part of their recruitment process.

GF’s i-EQ™ Game measures one facet of Emotional Intelligence.

One such game seeks to measure a facet of emotional intelligence and is being used in consultancy, finance and banking. GF’s i-EQTM game seeks to give jobseekers a similar experience, with this game measuring the ability to recognise facial expressions – a key facet if we are to be emotionally intelligent with others.