Having high emotional intelligence is very beneficial in every aspect of life. Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand your emotions in a positive way in order to enhance your connections with others and feel empathy. Emotional intelligence is an interesting topic because it is so important yet oftentimes overlooked in settings such as the workplace since most people focus on the left-brained information side of work. People get so focused on the actual content of their projects and daily tasks and forget that they need to also grow their relationships with those around them. Because of how overlooked the value of emotional intelligence often is, I explored some ways in which it can be beneficial in the workplace.
I talked to UBWA alumni Madison Shimborske, a strategy analyst for River Financial to see how she values and incorporates emotional intelligence into her job. For her job as an analyst, Madison works part-time in client services and part-time doing product and project work as well as process improvement. Madison explains that River Financial is a start-up company that fosters a very fast-paced environment. “In a fast-paced start-up environment, it is essential to be able to read your coworkers’ emotions and adjust your approach accordingly to be able to reach the best solutions and avoid any potential burnout.” For Madison, it is essential to have high emotional intelligence in her job because of the collaboration with her co-workers and the atmosphere of the smaller start-up that she works for. She also suggests that “there tend to be a lot more emotions involved than I have seen at past, larger companies.” The people that Madison works with are “very passionate about [their] business, so emotion runs high in that environment.
Emotional intelligence becomes a necessity in the workplace when one values making connections with their co-workers and having seamless collaboration with team members. As Madison puts it, “I’ve seen how crucial it is while working in a start-up environment where your coworkers also happen to be your friends.” Emotional intelligence is important for networking and forming relationships. It is necessary for high-pressure situations in your job where people feel many different emotions and need to figure out how to control them.
Similarly, it allows you to take criticism easier and understand that it is coming from a desire to help you grow as opposed to a way to put you down. It is also important in leadership roles because others look up to you and depend on you to guide them. Madison shares that “you realize the true importance of emotional intelligence once you experience a manager or leader who embodies emotional intelligence.”
Aside from the workplace, emotional intelligence is just an important trait to have. Having empathy for others and the ability to understand peoples’ situations is very valuable. Madison points out how important it is to be able to create a safe environment for others and to make people feel seen. Without emotional intelligence, people would have a hard time getting along and forming genuine friendships or relationships. Understanding those we work with is crucial to having success in your place of work.