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The number one skill your employees need in 2021

When it comes to your team, there is one skill that will lead to better cohesion, productivity, innovation and overall wellbeing: emotional intelligence. 

Forbes has declared that empathy and emotional intelligence should be priorities for all business leaders in the upcoming year. Indeed, it has been found that workplaces that have focused on building an emotionally intelligent workforce are more agile and able to build the strong relationships needed to survive tumultuous times.

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is a skill you should be encouraging in all of your employees, especially your leaders.

Below are some of the main benefits of having emotionally intelligent workers in your arsenal. 

90% of top performers have high emotional intelligence

EQ isn’t just a skill that most top performers in your team have; it’s what sets them apart from the rest. Time and time again, we see that the people who go that extra mile and are able to cultivate strong relationships between themselves and others.

Google conducted an experiment to build the perfect team and found that two factors played a key role: team members should speak for equal amounts of time during a discussion and treat each other with kindness and respect. Listening to each other, giving each person the space to share their thoughts and ideas and supporting other team members allows them to thrive and deliver their best performance. In other words, empathy is the key that unlocks your team’s potential.

Soft skills are the ones that will survive

As the future of the workforce is more and more uncertain, there is one thing that is for sure: relationships between people. Being able to tune into the wants and needs of others is an invaluable skill that allows organisations to grow and better serve the public and their customers. 

Emotional intelligence is crucial in a post-COVID world

Leadership expert Fiona Robertson asserts that in the upcoming year, emotional intelligence will be more important than any technical skill. As we endure and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses will need leaders (and employees) that can listen to their team and clients and adapt accordingly. Crisis can cause us to stay in fight or flight mode; when drawn out, your team will be overwhelmed and performance will drastically drop. 

2020 was a year of constant stressors, and it is looking like 2021 will be no different. To make sure that your team can continue to function — even thrive — under any circumstances that are thrown their way, it is essential to make sure that all of your staff feel heard.

Additionally, as more and more workplaces transition to a work-at-home model, it is important to make sure that your employees still feel connected. When it comes to managing a remote team and keeping all of your employees on the same page, excellent communication skills and empathy are crucial for any leader.

The best thing about EQ is that it can be learned by anyone. Invest a little time into your employees and you will soon see a team that functions better than you could have dreamed of.

If you want to focus on cultivating an emotionally intelligent workplace, we can help. trainEQ provides a range of courses suitable for all sorts of organisations and needs that will have your employees ready to tackle the challenges thrown at them this year and beyond.