Emotional intelligence (EQ) has been accepted as the best predictor for success in building high performing individuals and teams. Emotional Intelligence is the ability to understand and influence one’s own emotions and the emotions of others.
Emotional Intelligence begins with an individual’s understanding their own emotions in various situations (Self-Awareness), then using this awareness to regulate those emotions to produce healthy responses (Self-Management). Emotions are at the center of every situation, whether it is good or bad. Emotional Self-Awareness also equips you to be better tuned in to the emotions of others (Social-Awareness), and then this helps us to respond effectively, reducing conflict and stress (Relationship-Management).
Stress or conflict triggers the primitive ‘fight/flight/freeze’ response and leaves us with ‘tunnel vision’. This was a good adaptive mechanism for ancient cave-dwelling humans, but this is disastrous for today’s managers in multicultural workplaces. It is up to the managers to bring comfort levels to teams with diversity. A harmonious and productive workplace can be achieved with the influence of an emotionally intelligent leader. Why? Because Emotional Intelligence is also about displaying healthy emotional responses at the right time with each individual.
So, how does EQ enhance Diversity Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging in workplaces?
Empathetic individuals are able to put themselves in the shoes of others and understand what they are going through. Moreover, they are willing help others to improve the situation. Empathy is at the core of successful leadership in diverse groups. This is a crucial skill in dealing with differences and helps in building stronger relationships.
The benefit of unconscious bias is that it can help us to make quick decisions; however, the downside is that it happens unconsciously and can bring negativity into complex social situations. Knowledge of unconscious bias alone is not enough to reduce workplace bias. Emotional intelligence can mitigate the impact of these unconscious biases by improving self-awareness, assertiveness, adaptability, and impulse control.
As the popular saying goes, ‘Diversity is a reality, but Inclusion is a choice’. Emotional Intelligence provides relationship management skills to make an inclusive culture a reality. Research has proven that Emotional Intelligence is a predictor for multicultural competence. People displaying ‘Emotional Common-sense’ is critical to develop inclusive teams.
A diverse workforce can create positive or negative social situations. Emotions are organized responses to internal or external events. It can result in negative or positive meanings for the individuals. Understanding your inner landscape is vital to determining your response to various social situations. Mindfulness is a regular practice of emotionally intelligent individuals.
Constructive thinking is particularly important for corporate leaders. It helps them to create win-win solutions, to generate creative ideas, to settle disagreements, to influence cooperation, and to build trust. Emotionally Intelligent people have higher self-awareness and impulse control that helps them to apply knowledge to immediate situations.
Therefore, a foundational ingredient in the recipe for DEIB in any workplace is emotionally intelligent leaders and teams. At Purple Ink, we can help your organization and teams to develop their emotional intelligence skills. Contact us today to see how we can best partner with you so that true inclusiveness becomes a reality for you and your organization.