forward HR

Spring 2021

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 15 of 23

16 | forwardHR • Sp r i n g 2021 TALENT MANAGEMENT W e've all been there. A supervisor sends an email that makes you do a double take, or a teammate leaves a comment on a shared spreadsheet that makes your head spin. It's no secret that written communication in the workplace is fraught with pitfalls for misunderstanding. Aside from the basic message, there is an underlying and unknown emotional current in every virtual communication. e isolation of employees in the new virtual workspace makes it even more difficult to understand and manage those emotions, as the everyday informal relationships are missing. What one employee might see as a short but efficient comment on a shared document may seem harsh to another. In person, the exact same comment would have been accompanied by tone of voice and body language to help convey the intended message. We know the basic rules for virtual communication in the workplace, such as avoiding all caps because that looks like we're shouting. Yet these workplace miscommunications keep happening. Perhaps, the time has come for another look at emotional intelligence training in the workplace. What is emotional intelligence? Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and understand one's own emotions and the emotions of others, and to use that awareness to manage personal behavior and relationships (Bradberry & Greaves, 2009). e concept of emotional intelligence has been around since the 1980s and was popularized by Goleman in 1998, whose emotional competence framework is divided into personal competence (self-awareness, self-regulation and motivation) and social competence (empathy and social skills). Some of the many benefits of emotional intelligence include greater job performance, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, effective leadership and service quality (Goleman, 2006; Levitats and Vigoda-Gadot, 2017). Training in emotional intelligence Emotional intelligence training has the potential to increase emotional competencies (Goleman, 1998b, Schutte et al., 2013). However, even Goleman (1998a) cautions that many training programs in emotional intelligence are not useful, noting that training must focus on helping individuals break old habits and form new ones, and take an individualized approach. Emotional intelligence training can't be a weekend seminar that will magically clear up miscommunications in the workspace. However, with a commitment to learning and continuous improvement, strides can be made to increase the emotional intelligence of the organization and provide for a more collegial workplace. Below are some suggestions for ways you can begin to incorporate emotional intelligence training in your organization. • Take an assessment. If your organization is ready to commit to improving emotional intelligence, a good starting point may be to have employees take an emotional intelligence assessment. is would also be a good way to get a conversation started in your Changing workplaces Emotional intelligence training more vital than ever in virtual work environments By Amber Gray, Assistant Professor of Accounting and Chair of Quantitative Business, Concordia University Wisconsin/Ann Arbor

Articles in this issue

view archives of forward HR - Spring 2021