Not too long ago the conventional workplace wisdom dictated that employees who earned promotions tended to fall into one of two categories:
Staff with the highest level of seniority.
Staff with the highest level of technical knowledge.
However, as individuals get promoted higher their technical skills become less important, and the need for strong interpersonal skills increases as the teams they manage grow in size and complexity.
In the modern workplace employees are often graded and judged not only on their technical skill and knowledge, but also on their “soft skills” like Emotional Intelligence (EQ).
These factors, which were often overlooked in the early days of the corporate environment, have moved to the forefront as businesses look at more effective ways to reduce costs, keep employees happy, and reduce turnover within their organization.
How Does Developing Your EQ Make You a Stronger Candidate for Promotion?
A 2011 Careerbuilder Survey of more than 2,600 hiring managers and HR professionals found that 71% valued EQ over IQ, and that 75% reported that they were more likely to promote an employee with a high degree of EQ over IQ than the reverse.
Below are a few of the key areas that hiring managers look for when assessing an individual’s EQ for promotion:
You Can Keep Your Cool Under Pressure
As your responsibilities increase in your role, so too will the amount of pressure that you feel at work day-to-day. Being able to keep your cool under pressure and keep your emotions in check during stressful situations is one of the key attributes management looks for when considering who to promote.
How EQ Helps: Developing your EQ can help you identify your “triggers” which make you feel anxious or overwhelmed. A person with a high degree of emotional intelligence can identify when these situations occur, and can keep their cool as a result.
You Listen So That Others Feel Heard
Many issues in the workplace can be avoided simply by ensuring that everyone feels heard and understood. It’s almost impossible to take everyone’s needs and suggestions into account, but ensuring that employees feel heard is just as important as actually incorporating their suggestions and feedback.
How EQ Helps: One of the key tenets of EQ is to understand how to identify how other people feel, which can only be accomplished through active listening and paying attention to how others react to various situations and reactions.
You Can Show Empathy
Work takes up a significant portion of our lives, but that doesn’t mean that outside factors won’t influence us and cause us to bring outside worries and anxieties into the workplace. Unfortunately, these issues can often impact how we behave at work, and can negatively impact an employee’s performance and ability to complete their assigned duties.
How EQ Helps: The best managers are the ones who can treat their staff as actual people and not robots who exist to complete specific tasks. Being able to identify when a colleague is struggling and offering support and assistance is critical for any successful manager.
What else can you do to improve your chances of earning that next promotion? Get in touch and ask us about our upcoming training sessions, or how you can book an EQ training session for your department.