Last week I had the privilege of teaching another “How To Be An Effective Manager” workshop at General Assembly in Santa Monica. The workshop builds on the principle that highly effective managers are emotionally fit and aware. An article in the latest issue of Fast Company bolsters that position and notes its very real value among employers in the marketplace.
The article, “7 Reasons Why Emotional Intelligence Is One Of The Fastest-Growing Job Skills” is based on a Career Builder survey of 2600 hiring managers. The majority (75%) said they are more likely to promote an employee with a high emotional intelligence (EI) over one with a high intelligence quotient (IQ). That’s recognition and cash, all from being emotionally intelligent.
In the survey, Rosemary Haefner, VP of human resources at CareerBuilder said, “Technical competency and intelligence are important assets for every worker, but when it’s down to you and another candidate for a promotion or new job, dynamic interpersonal skills will set you apart. In a recovering economy, employers want people who can effectively make decisions in stressful situations and can empathize with the needs of their colleagues and clients to deliver the best results.”
Hiring managers are focused on how employees handle challenging situations and rightly so. During these times mistakes are made, customers mishandled, and processes go out the window. The survey asked the hiring managers to rank the reasons why emotional intelligence is more important than IQ. That top reason: “Employees [with high EI] are more likely to stay calm under pressure.”
Hiring managers assess a candidate’s level of emotional intelligence through soft skills questions and observation. The top things they look for are:
- admitting to and learning from mistakes;
- keeping emotions under control;
- having thoughtful, tough conversations;
- listening more than talking;
- taking criticism well; and,
- showing grace under pressure.
The good news is that all of these behaviours can be learned, and all are traits of a highly effective manager.
There was a time when tough, no-nonsense, type-A managers were the ideal. That emotionally distant manager is a relic and has given way to one who is strong enough to handle the nuances of managing people as they are, not as he wants them to be. This manager has the soft skills that convert into cold, hard cash in the marketplace.
Are you interested in attending one of my live workshops? Here is a list of my upcoming General Assembly workshops in Los Angeles.