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The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Finance
The importance of emotional intelligence -- measured by the emotional intelligence quotient (EIQ) -- cannot be underestimated, especially in the customer relationship process of finance organizations. Many have even started to invest in EIQ programs. Understanding personal emotional behavior and that of others, then being able to analyze and use the data to drive decision making, has become a powerful tool in the customer relationship journey. But exactly what value can emotional intelligence bring to today’s customer-focused finance businesses?
In a world of digital transformation, there’s one area within finance which can’t be automated -- face-to-face communication with clients and key stakeholders. This requires someone with a high level of competency in emotional intelligence – an executive or manager that can positively engage with a range of different individuals.
Emotional intelligence – self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship management, etc. – is a key component when interacting with customers. Empathy is also an advantage. Those who display empathy and have high EIQs often tend to be more successful in customer-focused situations. They can quickly make the right judgement regarding an interaction with an individual or a group of people to achieve the most positive outcome. This approach can create a feel-good factor which tends to drive commercial success.
Even though we know that technical expertise in most areas of finance is integral, this is not viewed by many of our clients as a necessity. But it’s the employees which can successfully communicate and influence others who are achieving career success.
Integrating Emotional Intelligence Competencies Into Existing Training Programs
So how do we integrate EIQ into an organization? Building a high EIQ starts with understanding yourself as a person. Personality profiling exercises, such as Myers Briggs, are a good way to do this.
Initially, you’ll naturally find it easier to engage with those people who have a similar personality type to yourself. But in order to create a successful or diverse environment, personality profiling exercise is meant to provide tools and advice to successfully communicate with those personality types which don’t naturally mesh with yours. Other ideas for integrating EIQ could include role plays, debating sessions, and books on the topic.
Can emotional intelligence be used to improve business productivity?
At its worst, a lack of EIQ in any business can lead to conflicts such as bullying, demotivation, and even illness. An unhealthy and disengaged workforce will reduce productivity levels. Promoting an environment in which EIQ is championed will undoubtedly create a clear communication pathway that will lead to a better understanding of goals, a sharpening of team focus, motivation, and the ability to get the best out of those in your business. Staff attrition rates and sick leave should, which would have a positive impact on productivity.
If you’re recruiting right now and rate emotional intelligence high on your candidate wish list, you should expect to hear the following buzz words from candidates hoping to prove their aptitude for the role:
- team focus
- achieving a common goal
Emotional intelligence is a key attribute in most finance roles when recruiting, but embedding it into an organization’s culture will require a sufficient amount of time. It requires training, both theoretical and practical, and needs to be further reinforced through company values, 360 appraisals, and company behaviors. However, the benefits will be worth it in the long run.
If you would like any more information, or to discuss how we can help with your recruitment processes, reach out to one of our expert recruitment consultants today.