Loyola University Chicago

Loyola Business Leadership Hub

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Building Emotional Intelligence

Building Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence- EQ- the indicator of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. The importance of emotional intelligence is often underestimated, but it shouldn’t be. Emotional intelligence is a critical component of interpersonal and professional effectiveness. Knowing how to leverage emotional intelligence can help utilize creativity and create a broadened perspective to increase effectiveness in the workplace. During the 2014 Family Business Center PAG Summit, speaker Jorge Cherbosque discussed the importance of emotional intelligence and three factors that disrupt it: inability to deal with change, inability to work effectively with others, and poor interpersonal relationships. Identifying your level of emotional intelligence and taking steps to improve it will not only benefit you personally, but also the relationships you hold with others in your family business. Tackling the three major issues within emotional intelligence is a solid place to begin.

Dealing with Change

Learning how to handle change is a feat in itself, and handling it in an emotionally intelligent way is even more challenging. Dealing with change in an emotionally intelligent way has a lot to do with managing self-governance, or your ability to control your emotions. For example, during difficult times it is human instinct to express anger and frustration toward others. However, practicing control over your emotions and handling conflicts in more productive ways, such as thoroughly communicating your issues to promote conversation and problem solving, can help to make change more feasible to embrace.

Working Effectively with Teams

Differences in personalities, opinions, and styles of communication make working in a team difficult. Poor emotional intelligence makes it even harder. A healthy EQ can help to build harmonious and creative workgroups, focusing the group’s attention on its mission rather than any conflicting interests within the group. Paying attention to others’ work traits, communicative behaviors, and feelings will develop your emotional intelligence and build connections and trust within your team. Being reflective and understanding while offering constructive feedback to team members will drive the shared vision within your team, allowing for a smoother experience in reaching team goals.

Improving Interpersonal Relationships

Much like constructing a harmonious and engaging team, developing interpersonal relationships can be complicated. Maintaining and improving interpersonal relationships requires a more complex level of emotional intelligence. Here is where awareness of emotions is especially important. Yes, it seems obvious that this is an essential part of emotional intelligence, but what is often overlooked is that in order to practically interact with a person’s different emotions, you must be aware of your own emotions, how to manage them, and assess them in order to gain insight on your values and beliefs. By being aware of your emotions you are able to better connect with others on a deeper level, establishing a foundation of trust and connection.

Emotional intelligence is crucial in bridging the complex differences that exist in family work environments. Self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management are key components in a healthy emotional intelligence level. By improving your EQ, you will be able to create an inclusive, healthy, hospitable, and engaging family work climate.