Emotional intelligence can have a positive impact on your business. Ush Dhanak has the experience and the expertise to grow your workforce.

Emotional intelligence, or EQ, is a subject that has been gaining a great deal of momentum in the business world of late, stemming from an increased understanding of how company-wide EQ has a positive impact on everyone and everything down to the bottom line.

An executive coach, HR specialist and certified Emotional Intelligence Coach, Ush Dhanak uses knowledge and skills accumulated over many years in business to help people improve their EQ, and in doing so, increase their self-awareness and allow them to better recognise their triggers. Having seen the top-down benefits EQ training can have on an organisation, Ush sees improving an organisation’s EQ is a win-win.

What is the biggest issue you see when working with organisations trying to build an EQ component into their culture?

One of the main issues I see is a lack of understanding of how Emotional Intelligence can help build the culture.

Culture can really affect the bottom line in a business, but are leaders aware of this? If they are, do they know how Emotional Intelligence can help? Emotional Intelligence is not just ‘fluff and soft skills’. Not having an emotionally intelligent workplace can have a negative impact on engagement, performance, productivity, absenteeism, which all leads to a breakdown in culture … which will ultimately affect the bottom line.

Organisational behaviour is linked to human emotions – which is linked to emotional intelligence. ‘Culture’ is a word used to describe behaviours, and emotions make up behaviours. Employees learn about culture by interacting with other employees. If this is the case, then why aren’t we focusing on emotional intelligence enough?

Emotions are also linked to values, and you’re only going to get upset about something at work if it breaches a core value that you hold dear. Values are linked to culture – the company culture can only exist once the company has decided what their core values are.

Emotionally intelligent people will also do a better job recruiting the right people, and this will clearly impact the culture. Cultural resonance is more important than competence. It’s crucial that the right people, with aligning values are employed to help build a healthy culture.

The organisation may agree that they need EQ training; once they have agreed, I make it really clear as to what the benefits are, what results they will get, and also why emotional intelligence training is a must-have when it comes to developing emerging leaders within their organisation.

Emotional Intelligence Coach, Ush Dhanak

What do you wish the C-suite understood about EQ?

It’s important to understand how building a highly emotionally intelligent workforce is not just a nice thing to have, if the budget allows for additional training. Organisational EQ is becoming a must-have. If your employees, and in particular your emerging leaders lack emotional intelligence, then you’ll have future leaders who don’t understand how best to manage their emotions in the moment, and then use that understanding to manage themselves and the world around them. Organisations are losing executive talent because these high IQ individuals may be technically great at their job, but they don’t know how to respond; they react.

They don’t know how to practice empathy, and they struggle to build trusted and connected relationships. Building emotional intelligence is crucial and is the foundation and building blocks for future success.

In addition – if you want to recruit the best talent there is out there, the more and more individuals are being coached on EQ and know what it is. They will want to work for a company that also understands the importance of this.

What is the greatest lesson you’ve learnt?

The biggest lesson I’ve learnt is about me! When I began looking for a coach and mentor, I realized that I was lacking in a few areas such as resilience, personal power and behavioural self-control. I realised that these were key emotional intelligence competencies, and I knew that if I was to become successful in running my HR business, I would need to develop these key areas. For me, it was about self-awareness, understanding more about myself, so that I could better understand others around me. It was like I had turned a light on in my mind. It was then that I made the decision to become Australia’s expert in EQ and teach others, and I haven’t looked back since and taken it to the next level by building EQuation.

What is the biggest misunderstanding that you find organisations have when it comes to EQ?

That they’re ‘soft skills’, and that other leadership programs which have areas of Emotional Intelligence will be enough. It is not enough to learn ‘bits’ of emotional intelligence. There are four different areas that the model takes you through, and once you understand this, the areas/competencies make more sense.

Self-awareness is the ability to understand your feelings and how you react emotionally to the actions of others; self-management, which is the ability to choose how you react in highly emotional situations. Social awareness is the ability to recognize the emotions and body language of others, and relationship management, the ability to communicate with others based on their mental state and emotional needs.

Each of these abilities is important to develop high levels of emotional intelligence. If one is missing, then it’s hard for a leader or even an employee to cope with their emotions and work with others.

For example, someone might be able to recognize the emotions and feelings of others, but if they push down their own feeling and try and understand what they feel and why, then change won’t be created.

What is the one piece of feedback you usually get from your clients after working with your programs?

That the skills are not hard to implement or learn, there is no secret here. The difficulty arises in implementing the lessons and bridging the gap between knowing and doing. However, once as they go through the program, and they get coached in between the sessions, implementation occurs, self-awareness occurs and before they know it, they’re becoming more emotionally intelligent – which means that they understand themselves better and are making better decisions.

EQuation has been created for organisations that are serious about EQ and want to create an impact and lasting change on not only the organisation but on its people. To find out more, visit www.ushdhanak.com