Emotion has often been criticized in the business world and elsewhere. We are told to think with our brain not our hearts or to keep our emotions in check. But I believe this approach is all wrong.
In fact, we should all be using our emotions more because when we make a heart-to-heart connection with others, it impacts everything we do in a very positive manner. Years ago, I decided that I would bond with weavers in rural India and this has impacted my business in the most amazing ways.
Making this connection from the heart with these artisans allowed me to understand them and their needs better. As a result, they also formed connections with me. When you merge hearts in this way, it takes a business relationship to a higher and more meaningful level.
Having emotional intelligence means to be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses. In this state, a person realizes the importance of thinking before acting and uses empathy as the basis of each relationship.
According to Forbes magazine, emotionally intelligent people make great employees for several reasons including staying calm under pressure, carefully listening rather than constantly speaking, accepting criticism and admitting mistakes, and thoughtfully resolving conflict.
“In the increasingly diverse world we live in, EQ is a necessary tool for providing social and economic solutions to people of vastly different circumstances and needs,” CEO and co-founder of Focus7 Shot Jeff Moss writes in Forbes magazine.
At Jaipur Rugs, we look for emotionally intelligent people during the hiring process because no team can be successful in the long term without this important characteristic. Once people are hired, we conduct regular workshops and events in order to encourage development of emotional intelligence among all employees.
One particular training program involved heads of departments learning how to make decisions through nonviolent communication. Conflicts are an inevitable part of life and business but when people are taught how to deal with clashes in a non-combative way then issues can be resolved quickly and effectively.
We also conduct regular town hall style meetings where there are extensive discussions on how to understand the emotional states and psychological needs of employees so they can be nurtured in such way that they develop into better leaders. Regular meditation sessions are also a very important factor in increasing the emotional intelligence levels of our employees.
One of the programs that I am most proud of is something we call sensing journeys. Most of our office employees are traditionally educated and have grown up in a city environment. They rarely if ever have any meaningful contact with people who live in rural environments like our artisans. It is crucial that the office employees meet, understand and make deep connections with our artisans, who are the backbone of our organization.
Office employees spend time with the rural artisans and learn about their way of life, which is so difference from their own. In this way, office employees become empathetic to the needs of artisans are able to better work with them in a more meaningful and productive way.
Emotional intelligence is something that all organizations must focus on in today’s world. Developing an emotionally intelligence team not only brings success to the organization but to the individuals themselves.