By: Carol A. Wilcox
PREFERRED Therapy Providers Inc.
Have you heard about emotional intelligence? Do you know what it really is? Curious as to how emotional intelligence could be beneficial for your healthcare clinic? This article explains what emotional intelligence (EI) is and how it can benefit the workplace.
HISTORY OF EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
In the 1990’s, Professors Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer, along with David Caruso, PhD, defined emotional intelligence this way: “Emotional Intelligence includes the ability to engage in sophisticated information processing about one’s own and others’ emotions and the ability to use this information as a guide to thinking and behavior. That is, individuals high in emotional intelligence pay attention to, use, understand and manage emotions, and these skills serve adaptive functions that potentially benefit themselves and others.”
The concept of emotional intelligence was introduced to the public by journalist Daniel Goleman when in 1995, he published his book, “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ.” In the book, Goleman writes that emotional competencies could be equally, if not more important at, predicting success in life. He goes on to write that emotional competencies could play a significant role in the workplace.
THE CONCEPT OF EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
In order to apply the concept of emotional intelligence (also referred to as EQ for emotional quotient), in the workplace, you must first recognize what it is: the ability for a person to manage their emotions, and to understand those emotions as well as the emotions of the people they come in contact with. Highly emotionally intelligent individuals are aware of their own feelings, what those feelings mean, and how those feelings can affect other people in the workplace.
KEY TRAITS OF EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT PEOPLE
Self-awareness – the ability to recognize your own strengths, weaknesses, emotions and moods, and the resulting effects they have on other people.
Self-regulation – the ability to think before emotionally reacting to something.
Internal motivation – the ability to be self-motivated by pursuing goals for the purpose of personal development and improvement.
Empathy – the ability to recognize and understand the feelings and emotions of others – to be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.
Social skills – the ability to build trust and respect with others. Emotionally intelligent people are adept at recognizing problems, managing relationships, and avoiding instances of deceit and power struggles.
HOW EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE HELPS IN THE WORKPLACE
In 2012, Daniel Goleman shared his thoughts on why there’s interest in applying emotional intelligence in the workplace:
“The interest in emotional intelligence in the workplace stems from the widespread recognition that these abilities – self-awareness, self-management, empathy and social skill – separate the most successful workers and leaders from the average.”
A study conducted by CareerBuilder of 2,662 non-government hiring managers, found that seventy-one percent of employers say they value emotional intelligence over IQ. When asked why emotional intelligence was more important than high IQ, these employers indicated the following reasons in order of importance:
- Employees with high emotional intelligence are more likely to stay calm under pressure
- Employees with emotional intelligence know how to resolve conflict effectively
- Employees with emotional intelligence are empathetic to their team members and react accordingly
- These employees tend to lead by example
- Emotionally intelligent employees tend to make more thoughtful business decisions
The study also found that HR managers and hiring managers assess their candidates’ and employees’ emotional intelligence by observing a variety of behaviors and qualities including:
- Emotionally intelligent employees admit and learn from their mistakes
- They keep emotions in check and have thoughtful discussions on tough issues
- They listen as much or more than they speak
- They take criticism well
- They show grace under pressure
RESOURCES FOR APPLYING EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE IN YOUR HEALTHCARE CLINIC
So, how can you and your employees adopt a culture of emotional intelligence in your clinic? Here are some resources to get you started:
Take a free Emotional Intelligence test – this online test from Memorado is a great first start to measure your emotional quotient. Click here for the test.
The People Currency: Practicing Emotional Intelligence
After undergoing a major brain injury as a teenager, Jason Bridges was challenged by a diminished IQ. In his journey to health, Jason discovered the value of emotional intelligence and how he could apply it to the world around him.
Actions to improve your Emotional Intelligence: This resource offers strategies based on Daniel Goleman’s five components of emotional intelligence in the workplace including actions you can apply to improve your EI.
Read one of the top books on Emotional Intelligence.
TalentSmart EQ assessment co-founders Drs. Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves use data from over 500 thousand people to provide insightful answers to some of the most common EI research questions in their book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0. The book covers dozens of strategies for building EQ in the areas of self-management, relationship management, self-awareness and social awareness. The book also includes online access to a brief EQ self-assessment.
About the Author:
Carol A. Wilcox is the staff writer and head of marketing communications at PREFERRED Therapy Providers, Inc. You can reach Carol here.
This article is brought to you by PREFERRED Therapy Providers Inc. PREFERRED is the nation’s leading payor management services network. Our expertise is working with physical, occupational and speech therapy practices – from single clinics to multiple clinic locations.